Wildschonau is made up of four villages, three with separatre ski areas which are marketed together. Oberau is a tiny village close to the dense lift network of larger neighbours Auffach and Niederau, to which it is not lift-linked, A free local bus service links all three villages which also participate in the huge Kitzbüheler Alpen pass offering around 1000km of trails on one ticket.
The Wildschönau's skiing is a fragmented affair with the largest areas above Niederau and Auffach and half a dozen small separate beginner areas next to the villages themselves. A free ski bus links the various areas. Niederau has perhaps the most varied terrain, whilst Auffach, with largely intermediate category skiers, has the biggest vertical and highest lifts. Oberau itself has five parallel drag lifts next to one another along a road that runs out above the village. They serve about a dozen short beginner runs on wide sunny meadows beneath the forest. There is also one longer drag serving an intermediate descent. Niederau's skiing is the main attraction for advanced skiers with the three black runs all here, including an excellent mogul run beneath the new Markbachjoch gondola with a vertical drop of nearly 700 metres. Ski touring is another opportunity with a ski school guide. Auffach's two stage gondola accesses more than half a dozen reds and the most snowsure skiing in the area, including some above-treeline terrain where powder can build up that's pretty well absent elsewhere. Cross country skiers will find 50km (31 miles) of trails along the valley floor.
The Wildschönau ski school runs a kindergarten based in Niederau for children aged two to six years. It operates 9.30am to 4.30pm from Sunday to Fridays and includes lunch with a drink. This Mini Club has its own fenced in terrain park and a roundabout ski lift, as well as a friendly penguin mascot called Bobo. For under fives a 'test day' is available to see if your child and the kindergarten like one another. Run by the delightfully named Happy Ski & Snowboarding School, the mascot is a friendly dinosaur and the school lends out free helmets for small children as well as organising sleigh rides, tubing parties, races and even kids' discos. Indoor pools are open to the public in Oberau in the Hotel Angerhof, Tirolerhof and Talhof, in Niederau in the Hotel Austria and Sonnschein, in Mühltal in the Hotel Bergkristall.
The majority of the restaurants of the Wildschönau are hotel based and serve traditional Tyrolean meals. This is very much the case at the hotel Austria in Niederau where local specialities and fondues are on the menu. For Italian, the Pizzeria Ferrari in central Niederau is the place to go or the Pizzeria Italia 90 in Oberau. In Oberau the Hotel Tirolerhof serves international food as well as Tyrolean specialities. These include sweet and savoury pancakes and a unique Wildschönau Sturmlöda cake. The Riedlhof, up on the slopes and a 15 minute walk from the village, is famous for its enormous Wiener Schnitzel and its Tyrolean fry ups. The most atmospheric dining experience must be a meal in the 800 year old wine cellar of the Kellerwirt which refitted an à la carte restaurant and cosy bar in there recently. The Kellerwirt, formerly owned by the local monks of Seeon, also has an old Wirtsstub'n restaurant where local specialities and traditional Austrian cuisine is served.
Niederau is generally regarded as the liveliest choice of the three. The "Dorfstub'n" Fun-Pub there offers dancing and live entertainment every Sunday from 8:30 pm. The café at the Simmerlwirt is often lively as soon as the lifts closes and sometimes has live music. All of the villages organize music evenings several times weekly and the ski school in Niederau throws a snow party every week. Lively evening toboggan parties with glühwein and moonlit sleigh rides to fondue parties are the order of the day. The local brew is a version of schnaps made from turnips!
With a family feel, two thirds of the terrain graded easy and ninety per-cent of the terrain served by drag lifts, most of them T bars, Niederau and Oberau will not appeal to the hardcore 'boarder. There are plus points to the area however, including a fun park with half pipe at Auffach which, along with Niederau, has top to bottom gondola access. Niederau has some fun terrain with natural terrain features on the long fast black down from the gondola, so if you approach the place with an open mind, you can have a lot of fun. There's also a Race 'n' Boarder Arena in Niederau.