Reggae Ellis is a Thredbo institution – former Triple M Snow reporter, current Chill Factor publisher/editor, and owner of the Rip Curl flagship store in Thredbo and Jindabyne. Reggae has been skiing Thredbo since 1989 and is a year round local who clearly Snows Best.
Well, it’s an awesome place to live for a lot of reasons, both winter and summer. In winter the variety of off piste terrain is hard to beat, including some great in-bounds bowls, tree-skiing and 600 metres vertical. It also has the longest groomed runs in Australia, 90% of which have the latest automated snowmaking so even in a low snow year it there’s always some great skiing on piste.
Thredbo also offers easy access to some of the best back country skiing in Australia. Then there’s the village which is unique as it is genuine year-round Alpine town with a myriad of good restaurants and bars and a variety of retail all within an easy walk.
Where do you recommend to stay?
I reckon the original central village is the go – amazing views, a few minutes walk to bars, restaurants and lifts and a variety of accommodation and a great atmosphere.
For self-contained apartments try Kasees for a an authentic mountain lodge and Cees (Kasee) and Anne Komen are great hosts who have been here pretty well since the place started and Kasee will regale you with some epic stories around the lodge fire. If you are after a taste of contemporary luxury at a good price, try the Snowgoose apartments.
If you don’t want to be cooking, there are plenty of bed and breakfast options but take your pick from three Thredbo originals – Benrtis, Candle Light and the Black Bear – which are cosy , mid-price range with fun bars, good food and great customer service.
Central Road, in the Village Square for it’s killer breakfast burritos. It’s only new this summer but the owners Paul and Gosia are locals and have been in Thredbo for plenty of winters, Paul chefing at other restaurants, most recently at Berntis grill, and his food is always very good.
Central Road or Cafe 42 both make good strong coffees.
Ski in for time out
I usually have to be off the hill by lunch, so it’s mid-morning stops for me. On a nice sunny day you can’t go past the deck at Frostbite at the top of High Noon. Good coffee, great breaky rolls or burgers at lunch.
If the wind’s howling or it’s snowing head for Black Sallees – old school feel, and my kids favourite on-mountain stop. If I’m doing a lunch I head for Eagles Nest, good variety and great views.
Favourite place for dinner
Knickerbocker: Jean-Michelle Gerst’s French inspired food never disappoints and the restaurant has a great vibe, located on the banks of the Thredbo river with uninterrupted views of the mountain.
Bernti’s Grill: As the name suggests, this is about great steak and they source the best meat available. Berntis grill is also renowned for its oysters, sourced from Tathra on the nearby south coast.
Where do you think the best apres is?
Poolside at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel, or the Apres bar at the Denman, it’s always pumping with live music every arvo.
Favourite event of the season at Thredbo
The One Hit Wonder big air – some of Australia’s best skiers and internationals hitting the biggest jump in the southern hemisphere and there’s always a good party happening around it.
Where do you take newcomers to Thredbo to show off the terrain?
Everywhere if the terrain is 100% open. Start off on Kosi Chair, head west and then ski as much of the off piste terrain as possible – including the tree runs around Snowgums and Gunbarrel chairs – from the western boundary rope above Golf Course bowl across to the eastern boundary rope at Stanley’s Gorge.
Favourite run on a powder day
Plenty to choose from here, but in-bounds my favourite is from the Bluff cornice into Cannonball and then under the old Ramshead lift line through to the bottom of True Blue
What can you get at Thredbo you can’t get anywhere else?
Six hundred metres of vertical and incredible dry light wind-blown powder when the wind is strong from the WNW.
Favourite non snow activity available at Thredbo?
In winter I just ski and work, but the leisure centre with the Olympic pool, waterslide, gym and squash courts is a great alternative. In spring it’s worth hitting the Thredbo Valley mountainbike trail.
How can you tell a Thredbo local?
They’re the ones who don’t care if the lifts are on wind-hold during a blizzard as time isn’t an issue and they know a good day is just around the corner …. and they have a blue residents sticker on their car.
Where would you find the Thredbo locals if you were new to the mountain?
On mountain – in the trees, Golf Course Bowl or out around Boundary rider. Off mountain – the Bistro, Berntis or Black Bear.
Most useful tip for first timers to Thredbo?
Make sure you don’t get stuck just skiing the Supertrail, Merrits and High Noon as there’s a lot more to Thredbo than those main runs. If you don’t know the mountain meet up with a Thredbo ski host at the top of Gunbarrel chair at 10am and it’s free. If you’re adventurous, grab a map and head for some of the less obvious trails and runs up around the t-bars and head off piste.
Are you heading to the snow this winter? You need our Insider Guides from locals in the snow for Australia and New Zealand.