Charlotte Pass Village is in the Snowy Mountains between Perisher Valley and Mt Kosciuszko. At 1760 metres, it is the highest resort in Australia and enjoys a long ski season. The traditional way to get there is by snow cat from Perisher, but another way to get around is to slip your feet into a pair of snowshoes.
Snowshoeing has been around for thousands of years and is believed to have originated in Central Asia. Ancestors of Inuits and native Americans are believed to have taken their snowshoes with them when they migrated. They had wooden frames with rawhide lacing and were popular with hunters, trappers, farmers, timber cutters, explorers and soldiers. It wasn't until the 1970s that the shoes were used for recreation.
Now considered a true winter sport, snowshoeing has come a long way light aluminium frames are used, which can take people into places inaccessible to cross-country skiers and snowmobiles.
Mountain Adventure Centre in Jindabyne offers snowshoe trips, similar in concept to going on a bushwalk, except on snow. The shoes keep the wearer on top of the snow.
Trips leave from Perisher Valley, Charlotte Pass, Thredbo and Guthega. They begin at around 9.30am, returning around 3.30pm. There are half-day trips too.
The Kosciuszko Chalet has played an enormous role in Australia's skiing industry since the 1930s. The Barvarian-style hotel has several cosy lounges with open fireplaces, two bars and a resident masseuse. The licensed restaurant caters for all tastes and offers a children's menu as well as special diet or vegetarian meals.
Accommodation is designed for families or couples. There are suites, interconnecting rooms and cosy rooms for two. Most rooms have mountain views. They all contain queen beds, are centrally heated and have tea and coffee in the room.
You can ski right from the front door to the lifts, without trudging hundreds of metres in ski boots. Lift lines are kept to a minimum. In fact, it is unusual to see any lift lines at all at Charlotte Pass. It is the most intimate ski resort in Australia.
Snowy Mountains between Perisher Valley and Mt Kosciuszko.
Kosciuszko Chalet has two nights accommodation, breakfast, dinner, three-day lift passes and equipment hire between June and September. It costs $650 for adults and $365 for children.
Mountain Adventure Centre day trips are $114 per person and operate during winter months.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
For further information
Mountain Adventure Centre
Paddy Pallin Jindabyne
Cnr Kosciusko Rd and Thredbo turnoff, Jindabyne NSW 2627
Ph: (02) 6456 2922; 1800 623 459
Fax: (02) 6456 2836
Charlotte Pass 2630
Ph: (02) 6457 5245 Enquiries 1800 026 369
Fax: (02) 6457 5362
Kosciusko National Park
Parks Office (Jindabyne)
Ph: (02) 6450 5600
Fax: (02) 6456 1249