TRAVEL GUIDE – SKIING IN AUSTRALIA
As a kid I would travel to some of the most incredible places to ski with my family during the school holidays here in Australia but mainly overseas. But after I got married, mortgages and kids came along, there was always a reason not to continue this annual snow adventure. After 15+ years since skiing or snowboarding (I became a snowboarder when I was 18 to my parents horror!), Mark and I decided to take our new Volvo XC90 T8 for a road trip and introduce our kids, Jay and Mac to the snow.
Because the drive from Sydney is about 7 hours, the thought of having the boys in the car for that time was too stressful to even think about it. So we stopped off in Canberra to break up the trip – which is one of our favourite places in Australia, mainly because there’s so much to do with kids. Top of our list is Questacon (Art & Science museum) and the National Museum of Australia (there’s a Lego exhibition on their right now!). Then the next morning we packed up the Volvo again and headed 2.5 hours to Thredbo.
The road to the mountain is very scenic with stunning open spaces dotted with cows and sheep (which kept Mac entertained) and then seeing our kids reaction to the snow tipped mountains ahead was priceless. Having the Volvo in the city most of the time, we really haven’t had the chance to test all the amazing features of the car: the semi-autonomous tech amazed us as it has the ability to track along safely at highway speeds, only requiring a gentle brush of the steering wheel every 20 seconds or so to show the car that you’re not asleep behind the wheel. In case that made no sense – the car drives by itself!!! Making long drives not only very safe but so much more comfortable and less exhausting. The driver can actually enjoy the journey.
We love Thredbo mainly as you can drive into the village and park at your chalet. Very convenient when you, as in me, like to over pack and have way too much luggage and somehow fill our 7 seater car with …stuff. The Denman Hotel for us is like home and not only is situated in the perfect location to get you to the slopes or the local village (shopping!). It is so nice after an exhausting day skiing to warm up and have one of the best restaurants in the area a staircase away from your room – The Terrace Restaurant (even if you aren’t staying at the hotel make sure you go there for dinner). This time our room overlooked the mountain which the boys sat at gazing at the snow they had longed to touch in ‘real life’.
As I hadn’t been skiing for a long time (last time I was on the slopes I wore lime green and orange!) – I wasn’t up with what the latest trends and must own accessories were. In the local village there is an amazing store Snow Sport International, that to my joy had all the labels from around the world I had seen on blogs and in magazine shoots. (I did come with ‘skiing and Apres’ inspo images of Kim Kardashian, Elle McPherson, Kate Moss and Bella Hadid from when they were in Aspen as my references). In my head I wanted to be in all black, possibly a high shine puffer style jacket with fur trim and would carry my Chanel back pack….yes on the slopes. I did have to laugh when my plan came to a halt after I was told that wasn’t the done thing on the mountain! So I got educated from the girls in the store and they wouldn’t let me be seen wearing any of my fav fashion designers on the mountain! No Chanel for me.
I went with Austrian brand Frauensohuh which is hand made and very exclusive – apparently what all the very chic women wear on the slopes in Europe. And instead of my usual black, I wore red and navy which in hindsight was perfect as my family knew it was me on the slopes. Also head gear is super important, something that wasn’t 15 years ago. SO it’s all about the Swedish brand POC who specialise in very safe helmets and goggles – plus may I add looks very cool too!
Now when I was ready to hit the slopes I was decked in the latest gear and looked like a pro. However to be honest I really didn’t think I could ski ! Mark and I booked into a beginners class to make sure we didn’t make fools of ourselves. After we sorted our kids in the ski school, time got away and we missed our class. So we didn’t waste anymore time we thought we would go up the beginners slope to see if we could remember what to do. As soon as I hit the snow everything came back to me – I could not believe after all that time, like riding a bicycle I remembered how to ski! After years of skiing on the best mountains in the world as a child I didn’t forget and my style came straight back. And the HIT of the addiction to skiing set in.