Taking toddlers to the snow doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience.
If you enjoyed skiing or boarding prior to children, and have been itching to get back to the slopes, we may just have the answer.
Most NSW ski fields are notorious for their high prices (over $100 for a one day lift pass) and usually only have a limited play area for children away from the speeding boarders.
However we have found an exception - Selwyn Snowfields in the Snowy Mountains!
Selwyn has a large snow play area, with a fenced toboggan run which is perfect for toddlers and primary school aged children.
They also have a ski school and some excellent green runs once the kiddies are ready to take the next step, as well as couple blue and black runs for mummy and daddy. Remember to purchase travel insurance for skiing and snowboarding in Australia before you head off to the snow!
Unlike the other resorts, there is no overnight accommodation at Selwyn, though you do have a few nearby options.
Adaminaby is the nearest town and has a few motels and a number of holiday lettings available, some with beautiful views overlooking the lake.
As these are away from the more touristy Jindabyne town center you will often find great deals here, and in the morning it is a quick 40 minute drive to the snow.
Cooma has a larger amount of options, and a 75 minute drive to the snow, or if you are up for a bit of a road trip prior to hitting the snow, Canberra has the full array of accommodation options, though would be at least a two and a half hour drive.
Our travel writer stayed at the Clifton Suites in Canberra. They offered a great buffet breakfast and spacious self-contained rooms, as well as a pool for the warmer months.
Selwyn is located inside the Kosciusko national park, and attracts a $27 entrance fee.
The road can get icy so if you don’t have a 4WD, keep an eye out when you’re driving through Cooma for shops offering chains for hire, and make sure you listen to Snow FM at 97.7FM for reports on the mountain conditions.
It’s a beautiful drive up as the snow slowly surrounds you to create a postcard worthy view.
Upon arrival there’s a large car park with disabled parking, as well as an overflow if you arrive a little later, and it’s all adjacent to the snow field - ensuring a short walk for little legs.
It’s cold on the snow even with exceptional blue skies, and the kids hands will get very cold if they start playing with the ice - so be prepared.
The rule of thumb for kids is two layers on the bottom, and four on top, plus mittens/glove and snow boots (gum boots will also suffice).
These items can be expensive, although at the tail end of the season you can grab some great discounts if you want to buy your gear or you can hire a pants and parka suit at Selwyn - $28 for adults and $19 for children.
Once the family are decked in their waterproof clothing, you’re ready to hit the snow! Access to the toboggan park is only $5, with toboggan hire an additional $5.
There are picnic benches for spectators and a covered area with some BBQs and tables, or if everyone wants to join the fun, there are lockers for hire for $15.
The toboggan park can get a little busy, and toboggans are fast, and can be hard to steer or stop, so following the rules of walking up the mountain in the designated areas is very important.
Regardless of the crowds, the kids will have a blast, as well as the parents!
When the children are hungry, there are coin operated BBQs (perhaps add some snags to the shopping list when stopping in Cooma), or there is a large lodge with tables, shop and café with many food options including hotdogs, angus beef burgers, sushi, and of course nuggets and chips for the kids.
If the kids have not tired themselves out by then, the toboggan park and most of the runs close at approximately 5pm, and you can start the drive back to your accommodation, once again enjoying that picture perfect view as the sun sets across the snow-capped mountains.
Selwyn definitely fills the void for adults missing the snow after having children, and wanting them to join in the fun.
Before you know it after a couple of years, and a few lessons, they will be able to join you on those black runs you so desperately miss.