Since our last 2 winters in Australia, a visit to the snow fields has always been on our list of places to explore. Approaching the end of winter we decided that there wasn’t much time left to see the snow before it retreated for another year. We had 3 ski resorts to choose from Thredbo, Mt Selwyn and Mt Perisher. Mt Perisher and Thredbo are the main resorts. Both of these places have many excellent ski runs to cater for people who are novice skiers to the more advanced. However, Mt Selwyn is said to cater for younger families without much ski experience or who just want to have some fun in the snow.
Perfect place for young families
Being a family with 2 young kids it was either a choice between Mt Perisher or Mt Selwyn as both of these were family friendly resorts.
We decided to visit Mt Selwyn primarily because we were told it had gentler slopes and was more child friendly. After all we were just after a fun day out in the snow to have fun with the kids playing in the snow and going on the toboggan rides.
The drive to Mt Selwyn from Sydney
We left Sydney and arrived in Canberra for an overnight stay. The plan was to get up early the next day, drive to Mt Selwyn and spend the best part of the day on the slopes, tubing and tobogganing. It was around 8am before we left the house for the two and half hour drive up to the resort. The car journey to Mt Selwyn where we were heading is approximately 213km so a little under 3 hours but the views that you see on the way are breathtaking. You certainly don’t feel as though you’re in NSW anymore. Trees, rivers, lakes that can be seen in the distance are surrounded by these beautiful snow covered mountains.
We had chosen the perfect day for venturing out into the snow. The day was clear the sun was out and the night before there had been a downpour of snow so what better than to have fresh snow at your fingertips.
About an hour south of Canberra is the town of Cooma (capital of the snowy mountains), roughly half the distance between Canberra and Mt Selwyn. Here, the road splits and you can either head up to Mt Perisher or Thredbo, while the other way goes around a huge lake called Eucumbene up to the snowfields of Mt. Selwyn.
Whilst at Cooma, we took the opportunity to stop for a rest and hire our snow chains. We stopped at the Skico located next to McDonalds. From here you can hire everything snow related from chains to suit most vehicles to toboggans, snowbies, snowboots, gloves (Adults and kids), Snow Jackets etc. We only needed the snow chains which cost us $22 to hire for the day. You can also hire chains from the petrol stations and other ski rental type shops.
Something you should know if you don’t already is that Motorists are legally required to carry properly fitting chains in any vehicle other than 4WD’s in a ‘snow-ice’ risk section within the National Park.
From Cooma we headed north to Mt Selwyn.
Now having no experience what so ever fitting chains onto the car was an experience in itself. There are heaps of fitting bays on the way up to the mountains, at different elevations, where you can pull over to fit them on the car.
It’s recommended you use snow chains for your own safety especially if you don’t have proper snow tyres. Ice roads can be hard to predict and you should never drive more than 25 MPH with chains installed. Any faster and you run a chance of causing damage to your vehicle.
Mt Selwyn Snowfield
We reached Mt Selwyn just before lunchtime. Entry to the National park was $27. This would be cheaper if traveling in summer. After parking in the nearby car park we went straight to the snowgums café located besides the main slope to have lunch. We bought our own lunch however the café sells things like burgers, sandwiches, wraps salads, hotdogs, pies etc. After lunch we hired our toboggans, and were ready to go!
At Mt Selwyn there is a separate area called the Toboggan Park. The tickets cost $5 per person per day for 1 day entry into Toboggan Park and Toboggan hire another $5 per person. The kids had such a great time. It did take them a while to get use to the toboggans but as soon as they tried the slopes they wanted to go again and again.
We also enjoyed building a snowman and there was plenty of good places for making them too. We came prepared with carrots for the nose and raisins for the eyes which made it all that more fun.
We gave the snowtube Park a go too. This is a thrill like no other. You get to slide down the hill at double the speed than a toboggan. Tickets cost $42 for 10 rides and this was definitely worth it. Tickets are not linked to one person so you can share them out among your friends. It’s great fun and the best part is the lift ride back up.
After a fun day we headed back to Canberra in late afternoon. For more information about Mt Selwyn, you can visit the Selwyn Snowfields website.
We’d love to hear about your experience at Mt Selwyn – just leave a comment below. We always love to hear from our readers.
Address: Selwyn Snowfields, Kings Cross Road, Mount Selwyn NSW 2630