Thredbo Skiing & Snowboarding

Thredbo Skiing & Snowboarding

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
  • Thredbo Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,365 – 2,037 (672)
  • Average Snow Fall
    2  metres
  • Lifts (14)
    1 gondola
    3 detachable quads
  • Ski Season
    Early June - early Oct
  • Terrain Summary
    Size – 480 ha
    Longest run – 5.9 km
    Beginner - 16%
    Intermediate - 67%
    Advanced - 17% 

Thredbo Skiing & Snowboarding Terrain

Unlike Perisher which looks like a series of hill, when you gawk at Thredbo Resort from the village, the terrain looks like the real deal. Other than a little flat spot near the base for beginners, the majority of the Thredbo ski resort has plenty of consistent pitch. It’s only the top portion that mellows out somewhat.

A standout of the Thredbo skiing and snowboarding is the significant vertical between 2,037 metres and 1,365 metres, which results in some nice long runs. The Thredbo Resort markets itself as having “The Big 5” – Australia’s longest ski runs. Supertrail is probably the most impressive – it’s 3.7km and most of it is continuous fall line skiing and snowboarding. It’s also possible to get plenty of vertical in considering that two of the main lifts, Gunbarrel and Kosciuszko, are detachable.

Thredbo Resort has 480 hectares of skiable terrain but only 53 trails, which is a very low trail density compared to other Australian ski resorts. The length of a handful of the runs partly accounts for this, but it’s mostly due to there being huge amounts of space between some of the runs. And like most Australian ski resorts, the whole resort is usually open only for a portion of the season, so often the size of the resort is shrunken compared to the stated statistics.


Same story for the lift density, with only 6 main lifts. This is great if the snow is primo and you love off-piste riding, yet if the snow has turned sour in the mid to lower reaches of the Thredbo ski area, then there are large areas of “no man’s land” where it can be a long and arduous traverse and/or ski down crappy snow to the bottom. This is particularly a problem on the skiers’ right of Thredbo Resort where a significant amount of terrain is right of the furthermost lift which commences at the base. An additional lift or two that only service the mid sections of the ski area would be nice so that returning to the snow-bereft base was not necessary.

Otherwise, the lift infrastructure is very good. Thredbo Resort has 14 lifts, which includes a gondola and 3 express quads that cope OK with most of the weekend stampedes, plus a double chair and a handful of T-bars up high which are handy for windy days. There are also a few lifts for novices.

The addition of the Merritt’s Gondola has changed the resort. Pedestrians can head to mid-mountain to see what’s happening in lessons or eat at the Mountain House. More importantly, it’s easy for the upper beginner and low end intermediate riders on Cruiser to download the gondola at the end of the day. The mid-station of the gondola is also handy so that beginners can unload and just ski easy terrain, and so that intermediates and above can load the gondola mid-way and avoid the carnage of the base area below.

The Thredbo Resort offers a first tracks experience which includes breakfast at Eagles Nest atop the Kosciuszko chair before ripping down Supertrail. Whilst this is a fantastic concept, it’s very costly and good luck getting a booking.

Lift Tickets

As with the other main Aussie ski resorts, the day lift tickets are expensive, however unlike Perisher, Falls and Hotham, the season passes are also very costly. There is also the option to purchase a season pass plus the Ikon Base Pass. Thredbo is partially accessible off the Ikon Pass (7 or 5 days with blackout dates over school holidays).

It’s also possible to buy single trip passes on the Kosciuszko Chairlift for accessing the backcountry.

Thredbo Snow and Weather Conditions

Thredbo Resort doesn’t report a statistic for its snowfall, possibly due to embarrassment at it being so low. This is Australia after all, not Japan. There also seems to be some bizarre historic notion in NSW of measuring the snow base at Spencer’s Creek between Perisher and Charlotte Pass as an indication of snow volumes, rather than actually measuring the Thredbo snow accumulation.

As to expected considering it has the highest and lowest altitude of the mainland Australian ski resorts, the Thredbo snow quantity and quality varies considerably depending on elevation. The top is often lovely, whereas the snow quality further down the hill usually doesn’t hold up until midday on High Noon.

Many of the slopes on the eastern side (the gondola side) of the resort have the advantage of a mostly south-facing orientation, whereas the Kosciuszko side has more southeast facing slopes. Thredbo is prone to high winds that close lifts but if they can remain running, the high T-bars can still operate in moderate winds. The slow Snowgums double chair comes into its own because it’s reasonably sheltered and provides access to Supertrail.

Ski Thredbo for the Beginner

Thredbo skiing and riding for novices is really good. As the name suggests, the Friday Flat area has a very mellow gradient. The zone is serviced by magic carpets and a slow quad chair, so beginners have plenty of time for a rest, and some of the ski school kids also get transported up the slope in cute trains. A huge plus for this zone is that it’s dedicated for beginners and faster skiers only skoot around the side at the base to access the Gunbarrel chair. The snow quality may be poor which is unlikely to deter beginners, whilst the main con for this area is that it often gets very very congested. Once you graduate from Friday Flat it’s a very leap to the next progression. You can ride a few of the green runs in the Cruiser area but these are quite steep and not that wide. Similarly the green runs near the top off the Basin T-bar are pitchy. Confident and fit beginners can also tackle the 5km Village Trail, which gets a fraction harrowing when it nearly converges with Supertrail.

Thredbo Skiing for the Intermediate

In comparing Thredbo versus Perisher, both are great ski resorts for intermediates although they are quite different. Perisher has an abundance of blue trails, many meander around at a moderate gradient, wide fall line runs are rare, and the runs are mostly short. Perisher is ideal for low end to mid-level intermediate skiers and snowboarders.

Thredbo has a few nice blue runs off Cruiser that are well suited to timid intermediates. There are also a few meandering runs up high, however the stand out for Thredbo is the long wide groomers that have consistent pitch that are ideal for strong intermediates. The resort does a pretty good job of keeping the terrain open considering the lack of natural snow near the base. If Thredbo Resort wasn’t so stingy with the grooming at times, it may get full marks.

Thredbo also has some lovely off-piste style terrain for intermediates off any of the top T-bars in the Central Spur or Basin regions.

Snowboarders take note that there are a few awkward flat spots around the resort, with The Traverse being the most notable.

Terrain Parks & Pipe

Beginner to intermediate hits can be found in the Cruiser area accessible via the Easy Rider T-bar. This park can usually remain operational even when the bad weather hits.

The main terrain park at Thredbo is off Anton’s, which is also a T-bar, so hopefully you like riding T-bars. This terrain park caters for intermediate to advanced riders and includes good sized jumps, spines, boxes and rails. Sometimes a mini pipe is set up. Like a lot of ski resorts, the park may only be open for a portion of the season.

Advanced Skiing Thredbo

Like Perisher, Thredbo is not big on grooming black runs so there often aren’t any steep groomers where you can fly (go to Hotham for that). Little Beauty is sometimes groomed and Funnelweb is occasionally groomed, otherwise it’s usually a mess of icy moguls, or dust on crust bumps which are gnarly on the really steep section.

Thredbo has a handful of short black runs amongst the trees off the Snowgums chair, which are incredibly popular with fresh snow. The runs near the skiers’ left boundary are also common go-to runs.

The Bluff and Cannonball are also quintessential runs, but if the snow quality runs out, they can feel too long. This whole zone has plenty of fun features including cornices, rocks and pillows.

It’s really the off-piste where Thredbo comes to the fore, with plenty of nooks to explore including around the old Ramshead lift line or Gunbarrel trees when the snow is good.

Golf Course Bowl offers a wide expanse of off-piste terrain with plenty of variety. As the bowl funnels down it can turn into a pinball run and the egress often falls into the expert category because of the unfavourable aspect and the rocks and roots that may be poking through on the long traverse back across. At low elevation it can get particularly heinous and for experts only. Shred the Thred.

Expert Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Thredbo Resort doesn’t have any categorised double black diamond runs so there are no obvious challenging named trails. There are no sustained technical steeps like at Mt Hotham, but if you explore around, you’ll find short stashes that fall into the expert category. And when the snow’s good and you’re storm skiing, there are some fun tight trees.

Sidecountry & Backcountry Thredbo

Thredbo offers some of the best, but not the best, easily accessible backcountry terrain from the resort.

There is the great temptation of the long steeps that can be found out skier’s left of the resort in Stanley’s, which is terrain only for those with avi savvy. With a usual snowpack you can’t really bush bash your way down to the road, so touring back up into the resort is usually the go. The Twin Valleys is also reasonably accessible and heading north from the top of the Sponars T-bar is another key gateway to the backcountry where you could leave your signature on a hill.

Heading farther beyond takes you to the renowned Main Range which includes plenty of serious backcountry terrain.

Other popular backcountry skiing spots include touring up from Dead Horse Gap, or routes down from the top of Karel’s T-bar to Dead Horse Gap with a car shuttle.

Thredbo Resort offers reasonably priced backcountry tours ranging from introductory tours to show you the basics, up to more advanced day tours that tackle more technical terrain.