Snowy Mountains © Susan Wright
Australia's winter playground is in the peaks of the Snowy Mountains, about 315 miles (500km) south of Sydney, where there are more than 145 miles (230km) of ski-trails, graded from beginner to championship level. Ski season lasts from June to October. The ski resorts are known for their warm hospitality, spectacular scenery, and their apres-ski entertainment. The largest resort is Perisher Blue, which is actually four resorts united to form a Mecca for snow-seekers. Another, at the foot of Mount Crackenback, is the resort of Thredbo, which is a recreation of a European Alpine village and features Australia's longest ski run, known as the Funnelweb. Australia is generally celebrated much more for its picturesque deserts than for snow and skiing, but the Snowy Mountains provide some surprisingly good winter sports facilities.