Created in 1995 from the merger and lift-linking of Perisher, Blue Cow, Smiggins And Guthega this new 'super resort' rivals the best in the world in lift infrastructure, whilst offering twice the lifts and triple the 'above snowline ski terrain' of any other Australian resort.
The amalgamation of the four resorts of Perisher, Blue Cow, Smiggins and Guthega has made Perisher Blue, with one single bound, to become the largest ski area in Australia. And while quantity does not always mean quality, Perisher Blue really has plenty of good and interesting skiing for all standards, with 30 beginner runs, 65 at varying intermediate levels and a stonking 80 runs to entertain and challenge expert skiers. Snow cover is pretty certain - the slopes are south-east facing and in a good season (like 2000) the powder skiing is plentiful both above and below the tree line. (There are also 106 snow canons which can blast over 10% of the ski area). The local ski school employs 250 instructors from all over the world and so being taught in one's own language is a virtual cert. For cross country skiers there are over 100kms of groomed trails to explore.
The mixed snow terrain and the excellent facilities provided by the ski and snowboard school make Perisher Blue a good choice for families. There is plenty of skiing for every level and intermediates can ski downhill from every lift on the mountains (with the exception of the Olympic T-bar), so families can ski all over the resort together. The Children's Ski and Snowboard School has excellent programmes for children; starting with the Creche where qualified staff care for babies and toddlers from six weeks to three years. There is even a 'Nursing Mothers' service which pages mums when feeding is required - how's that for customer care?! The Junior Ski Kids teaches three to six year olds to ski while giving them the time of their lives with fun and games on the snow. Six to fourteen year olds can make friends and improve their skiing with the Explorers Club. There are also two hour group lessons available for six to fourteen year olds. The lack of non-ski facilities such as a swimming pool or ice rink is the one possible drawback to what is otherwise a great resort for a family ski holiday.
Dining out in Perisher is highly recommended. Most restaurants and cafes serve 'Australian' food which is a fusion of all of the cultures in the country's melting pot and in Oz the recipes benefit from the excellence of the regional ingredients. The pizza restaurant is not to be missed - Australian pizzas are said to be the best in the world. Should you actually miss slaving over a hot stove, the restaurant at the Perisher Valley Hotel allows you to barbecue your own steak!
At the end of your day on the snow. the villages come alive. Australians are known throughout the world for their dedication to partying and if proof were required, the bars and restaurants of Perisher amply demonstrate this national pastime. The resort leaves nothing to chance; all the main venues provide a variety of events including music, comedy, clubbing and wacky competitions like karaoke, snow sculpture and wait for it...pub to pub races - Alka seltzer, anyone? Of course, none of this is compulsory and for those who prefer a rather more low key night life, there are cosy pubs and restaurants where you can simply chill. The Sundeck hotel has an internet cafe where, if you feel the need, you can keep in touch with the outside world.
Australia has embraced snowboarding wholeheartedly and boarders of every level are welcomed at Persisher Blue. For a start, there's the good mix of terrain, plenty of easy to intermediate runs for cruising plus some of the most demanding advanced trails in Australia for the top bananas. There are four terrain parks - one with a superpipe above Perisher village next to the Happy Valley T-bar; another just below the summit of Blue Cow and reached by the Summit Quad. Finally, the nightlife in Perisher and the nearby (and somewhat cheaper) town of Jindabyne is excellent. One park is for children only.