Insider guide to Perisher: Tracy Thew

Tracy Thew calls Perisher home and has done for almost thirty years. This makes her our local who Snows Best on the inside. She runs the Australian Golf Club Ski Lodge and works with both the Perisher Chamber of Commerce and The Peak Festival.

Why Perisher?

I came to Perisher in 1985 for a season at historical Sponar’s Chalet, I was about to turn 21 and had never seen snow in my life. I fell in love with Perisher and here I still am. I love being snow bound for winter, digging your steps, your vehicles and sometimes your doorway out means it’s a good day on the slopes.

Now that I’m a mum I love that my son gets to ride a skidoo to the school bus each morning and can build a snowman or get together with the other kids to create a fort for a snowball battle with the neighbouring lodges after school.

Tracy's winter home
Tracy’s winter home

Perisher has so much to offer, every level of skier/snowboarder is catered for even those who just want to go for a walk can do so on snowshoes or if you want to get a workout equal to a run try cross country skating. There are 4 different resort areas and access between them is easy with options to ski between them, use the Skitube or the shuttle bus depending on where you are headed.

No matter what the weather is doing there is always an option, for example on windy days when chairs are on hold we have plenty of t-bars to get us around and extensive snow making ensures a good cover when mother nature is not in the giving mood.

We have all this and are only  a couple of hours drive from Canberra and the beautiful South Coast when we need a change of pace. Most of all though I love the community that is Perisher, the friends I have made here and continue to make, the life that I have here with my family and the amazing people I meet every season.

Where do you recommend to stay?

It is hard to recommend just one. Families will love the kids club and convenience of both the Smiggins Hotel and the Man from Snowy River Hotel. Most properties here are ski in ski out or easy access to the lifts.

I have run The Australian Golf Club (a club lodge) for over 20 years which would of course be my number one pick but you must be a member.

Best breakfast

I don’t really get out at breakfast but Aldo’s in the Perisher Skitube building fuels up a lot of the locals who work on the mountain with their great bacon and egg rolls

Best coffee

Brunelli’s in the Perisher Centre, Bruno knows just how I like it and it’s always a social occasion.

Ski in for time out

There are lots of great spots for time out but if I’m with my son he loves a hot chocolate at Mid Station and if I’m skiing with friends it’s usually Eyre Hut for one of Steve’s great burgers washed down with a Peroni.

Sundeck is also a great ski in lunch on a sunny day, there’s a great spot for the kids to slide around while you fuel up with a gourmet sausage and salad bar. If the weather calls for an early finish and a cocktail then it’s an easy ski in to the 1720 bar at Perisher Manor.

Favourite place for dinner

The White Spider with my 2 favourite boys. The service is always great and we love to enjoy a family meal while watching the fireworks display on the Front Valley, which never disappoints.

Apres

Depending on the day either listening to some music or catching up with friends at the White Spider (at the Eiger Chalet) or dancing to some tunes with Venus at the Man from Snowy River Hotel (the Man), both provide great entertainment, a good selection of après drinks and excellent company. Smiggins Hotel is also a good option for a great band on Wednesday nights or some sunny après on the deck.

Your favourite event of the season

Peak Festival (formerly Snowy Mountains of Music) held long weekend in June. An amazing variety of music and entertainment, over 130 concerts throughout ten venues in Perisher, Smiggins and Guthega, it’s a great way to celebrate the opening of the season.

Where do you take newcomers to Perisher to show off the terrain?

I like to show off all 4 different resort areas, each has something special to offer, dependant on the level of skier a day can be well spent cruising from Perisher to Smiggins, onto Blue Cow then hopefully a stop at Guthega Pub for lunch with an amazing view before returning for a few runs on Mt Perisher to finish the day.

Favourite run on a powder day?

Wide of Eyre T-bar on Mt Perisher, I can get there quickly and even if I’m not on the first lifts I can still get some great powder turns in.

What can you get at Perisher you can’t get anywhere else?

I love that from my front door I can cross country ski and skate on perfectly groomed trails, I can click into my downhill’s and be on a lift in a couple of minutes and if I feel like removing myself from the world I can strap on some snowshoes and wander off into the wilderness for awhile, all this is possible between cooking breakfast and dinner.

Favourite non snow activity available at Perisher?

A long lunch at Snowgums in the Perisher Valley Hotel, there’s a great view of the half pipe and its always entertaining watching the littlie’s in the children’s beginner area, I also highly recommend a massage with Carol Lee at PVH if you need some TLC.

How can you tell a Perisher local?

They’ll be collecting their stores from the freight shed in their ski boots with skis strapped to the side of their skidoo! Juicing every minute out of their day in this amazing place.

Where would you find the Perisher locals if you were new to the mountain?

Waiting for the Eyre or North Perisher t-bars to open on a powder day, lunching at Aldo’s after a great morning riding or enjoying a beer at the Man or the White Spider when they have some down time.

Are you heading to the snow in Australia or New Zealand? Check out our Insider Guides from Locals in the Snow.

Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.

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