The Snow Gauge

Running the rule over the ski & snowboard industry since 1995

Help! I can’t find anywhere to stay

Posted by on Jul 21, 2016 in Australia | 0 comments

Sad in the snow

But they’ve had two feet and I’ve got nowhere to stay!

The snow’s coming and you don’t have a bed. Everywhere is full. But The Snow Gauge has run the rule over some left field options for NSW – they may not be the closest or always the absolute best but they can mean the difference between a riding a powder day – or just reading about it.

And they reckon a week in politics is a long time.

Have a look at what’s happened in our skifields over the past week and it’ll have you start thinking Donald Trump is the new normal.

There was the glorious day that was Wednesday 13 July that finished with up to 85cm of snow and a top temperature of -3.9 degrees all day at Perisher Valley. Then Saturday tipped out at 10.3 degrees. Tuesday had 21.6 mm rain. Friday is calling for tops of 7 degrees.  After that? A lazy two feet of snow over a couple of days. Head hurt yet? Mine does.

So the deal is you’ve left it late again waiting for the perfect storm but are fast running out of options with Perisher, Thredbo and Jindabyne fuller than a centipede’s sock drawer. Here my friends are the alternatives …


Gets a hard time from some but don’t forget you can do a day trip from the nation’s capital. If you are coming from Sydney it can be a great option to split up your trip. Funky new redeveloped areas like New Acton have some great restaurants and you can maybe take in a flick before calling it a night. Getting out of Canberra is not like the nightmare Sydney can be on the M5 on a Friday night but if you want to save a little time in the morning look for somewhere south near the Monaro Highway around Fyshwick, Narrabundah or Hume.

East Jindabyne

Jindabyne can get full on a big August weekend it particular – but I have on occasion had a little more luck in East Jindabyne around the Tyrolean Village. Expect it to add around 10 minutes or so to your trip (to Jindabyne) depending on the traffic.


Probably at the outer reaches of where I’d like to stay for multiple nights to access Thredbo or Perisher but do-able in about an hour and 15 minutes from door to resort depending on traffic. Actually not as cheap as you might expect and some accommodation is a bit tired but if you’ve got good snow you can probably forgive that. There are a few guest houses about of varying quality – I haven’t stayed at Ellstanmor but it comes with some pretty reasonable recommendations.


In between Jindabyne and Cooma (but closer to Jindy) there are a surprising number of options here and it’s not a bad place to consider if Jindabyne is full. The Snowgate Motel is the big one and gets serviceable reviews. Haven’t been there for close to ten years personally but it did then job then. Not much goes on there but as someone noted in the SMH many years ago: “Berridale is the sort of town where if you blink you’ll miss it but if you roar through you’ll remember it forever because you’ll probably get booked for exceeding the 60 km speed limit.” To wit: I had a mate who was booked there 20 years ago who probably hasn’t had a ticket since.


The pickings may be slim but there are a few options further along the Alpine Way from Thredbo. It’ll take you a good hour and 10 minutes to drive into Thredbo Village and quite a bit more in bad conditions. With the increase in elevation, snowfall here is more frequent and the road can get a bit sketchy in spots under snow/ice and shadow. From time to time there is the occasional rock/tree fall. Don’t panic though – it’s actually an otherwise gorgeous viewing drive! Queen’s Cottage looks pleasant.

Making it happen

  • Mid week is best for vacancies
  • Try direct with hotels for last minute vacancies and book direct as well to save some fees in many instances
  • Don’t be afraid to keep checking the run of websites like Trivago Wotif, Need it Now and Last Minute as vacancies can arise even on the day due to cancellations
  • The new Australian-based Snowsearch website has an increasing number of accommodation listings
  • The Visit NSW website has plenty of Snowys listings too.


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