Australia’s mountain resorts are enjoying their place in the sun thanks to a brilliant six months in the Australian Alps where a sensational summer of tourism has followed the incredible #blizzardofoz 2017 winter.
Freak season. Three mega-storms. Epic snow conditions. And record profits for the likes of Thredbo, which has just announced it made $24m pre-tax in the six months to December 31.
A major factor was excellent late snow through September, when snow-starved skiers/boarders from Sydney and Canberra jumped all over it, boosting the month’s taking by 40% over 2016.
Then when the snow cleared, summer kicked in early.
At Thredbo, seasonal visitor numbers were up 22% through to Dec 31, while there’s a real buzz in the mountain air with visitor numbers buoyant.
“This summer’s been incredible – to be honest it’s the sleeping giant I think,” says Susie Diver from Thredbo.
“We thought last year was good but this year has blown it out of the water.”
She says mountain biking has been huge with punters loving the new Thredbo All Mountain Trail which is attracting lots of new riders.
Biking is on the rise throughout the region and there’s great anticipation about the Thredbo Valley Track – a thrilling downhill run through mountain scenery that will eventually run all the way to Lake Jindabyne.
“It’s an amazing, amazing track,” Diver says. Work on completing the final stretch to Jindabyne is well under way.
Other alpine pursuits like walking, climbing and camping are also getting more popular, while booked bed nights are also on the rise.
HotelsCombined.com.au says it had record mountain bookings in 2017.
“Perisher Valley experienced growth of 82.4%, while Thredbo – the most popular destination in the region by accommodation bookings – grew 12.2%.
Berridale, Adaminaby, Guthega and Kalkite were also popular.
So as you can see, the clear fact is more Australians are discovering the mountains in summer.
Who knows, maybe one day the dream of the Australian Alps becoming a four-season destination will become a reality.
Iconic alpine destinations such as Queenstown and Chamonix have more visitors in summer than winter – why not Australia?