Last weekend my friends and I took a trip to Perisher, it was organised by the boys! It was a great trip and also great company; we are all from the same hometown back in the UK and some of us have known each other for over ten years.
If you’re visiting Sydney or you live here, it’s a great place to get away from the city for a few days. I don’t know about you guys, but when I pictured Australia before I moved here, I never, not ever pictured vast snow topped mountains that you could ski on. It turns out, that there are plenty of these, you just need to drive six hours south of Sydney, that’s all, ha!
We set off at 3pm on the Friday morning to ensure two whole days of skiing, it was a mega early start, we had two designated drivers make sure we didn’t suffer the effects of fatigue on the roads!
I had booked my clothing and equipment hire online at www.perisher.com.au, (TIP: if you book 7 days in advance via the online booking system, you get a 10% discount) which we picked up after checking in at the hotel. The clothing hire was $123 and included goggles, boots, skiis, gloves, clothing and poles. The lift pass for two days was $200 and the lessons were $86 for two, two hour lessons.
Ahhh the hotel, where to even begin, not in a good way I might add! As a general rule, I have the philosophy, if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all – well on these occasion my friends, I’m afraid I can make an exception.
I might event dot point the issues with the Perisher Manor, as there are quite a few!
- The rooms are $500 per night for a twin room – not too steep you might think as you’re directly at the bottom of the slopes, so you don’t have to worry about getting to the slopes in the morning, you’d be wrong.
- The rooms look worse than some hostels I’ve stayed in. The beds were tiny, the bedding looked like it was from the 80s. The floor space was similar to that of a king size bed, with a tiny sink in the corner. The bathroom was attached with a toilet and shower, the usual size of a wardrobe – which the room didn’t have! There was no TV, no audio system and not even a phone to call reception. I must add that breakfast and dinner is included in the price however, but we’ll come onto this shortly.
- Parking – There is no parking allowed in Perisher Valley, a rule from the National Park and not the hotel. This isn’t my gripe – what is my gripe is that this wasn’t communicated to us clearly before we made our booking. This meant that we drove our car to the hotel, which cost us $27 to enter the national park. When on the slopes in the afternoon in we were advised (be a fellow skier, not the hotel) that we couldn’t leave our car in the car park overnight and that we’d have to drive it down to the Ski Tube station and get the ski tube back – at $70 return person, per day I might add. Fantastic!
- We called upon the help of one of the members of staff of the pub, not the hotel to drive us to show us where to park, we paid them $60 for their time, which also paid for them to run us back, which saved us a bit of money. The interesting thing is that the Ski Tube is actually in the middle of nowhere, so we parked our cars in Jindabyne, the nearest town. If we wanted to get the Ski Tube to pick up our cars, we would have to get a taxi to the town as there is no public transport from the Ski Tube – makes sense? Nooooooott!
- Now what bothers me is that a hotel that charges $500 per room per night, doesn’t have a shuttle service for its guests to pick up their cars – which would save them an additional $70 per person per day, nor do they think that they should have to. In addition, they also don’t believe that they should have the mention this fact on the phone, due to the fact it’s in the small print of the booking confirmation, which you receive AFTER you’ve made your booking. So even if you wanted to change your mind, you can’t without a $200 cancellation fee.
- The staff at reception was rude and not understanding in the slightest at our predicament! When having to book a taxi to take us to get our car on the final day, we were advised that it would cost us $160 to get to our cars – fabulous!
- The $500 per room per night included breakfast and dinner for guests, which to its credit wasn’t bad at all. The choice was somewhat limiting for dinner, there are two choices for starter, main and desert. On the second night when the choices were veal or Thai Green Curry, both of which I don’t like, the staff were very helpful and allowed me to choose something from the kids menu, adult portion of course. This I thought was very nice of them!
- All in all, a complete rip off, which is in need of a massive makeover and revamp and a note that we’re now in the 21st century! The accommodation (including parking and taxis) ended up costing $1000 for two people for the room and meals, $27 for national park parking, $100 for parking in Jindabyne, $60 for the staff to run us back and $160 for a taxi to take us for our car – so per person it was $673.50 for two nights – It would’ve been cheaper to stay in Jindabyne and get the Ski Tube daily, rather than pay for the ‘luxury’ of being on the sloapes!
Anyway, back to the positive as Perisher valley is actually an amazing place, the skiing and snow is unreal and it literally goes on forever. I plan to go back again very soon!
There’s a great mixture of green runs for beginners, blue for intermediate and black for experts. It’s also home to the longest ski lift in Australia.
My favourite run was Pretty Valley! Wide and not too steep! There are also many hidden bars, coffee houses etc in the mountains, which are a great rest spot with the most amazing views you’ve ever seen!
Night skiing is also amazing, we only got one run though as it isn’t included in your lift pass for the day, it’s an additonal cost. It was very nice of them to let us try it for free!
My friend and I actually got on the Pretty Valley double ski lift by mistake after our second lesson and we didn’t quite realise how high it was! My friend has an inexplicable fear of the ski lifts and actually forgot to get off this particular one, to the point where she was still sat in it when it spun around to go back down the mountain – hysterical isn’t the word as she had to get helped down, ha!
In terms of lessons, I paid for two lessons that were two hours each that cost $86 for both. They’re great as you don’t have to wait in line for the lifts and it acts as a great refresher (especially if you haven’t been skiing for 14 years like me!).
In terms of entertainment, there is a bar in the main complex that is open until late, where you can enjoy a wine or a game of pool or darts and music.
If you’re looking to get away for the weekend, or a few days I couldn’t recommend Perisher highly enough – just don’t stay at the Perisher Manor!