Locals That Love Thredbo – Bianca Bott

Bianca Bott manages Thredbo YHA, and is one of the few locals that live in the village 365 days a year. This is her love story.

I’m a coastal girl, from Wollongong originally, so it’s still a surprise to me that I now live in the mountains. I was unsure if I could ever live so far away from the water, however after I saw snow for the first time I was blown away. I had never seen the landscape turn from green to white before, or known how beautiful snowflakes are up close, or experienced such serenity.

I had tried a few jobs in Sydney but found commuting hard. My fiancé had spent a winter working in Thredbo and persuaded me to give it a go. We travelled together to Jindabyne, driving up to Thredbo and Perisher every day so I could learn to snowboard.

I quickly found a receptionist job in Jindabyne, however my dream was to live in Thredbo. A friend introduced me to a couple running a members lodge, and while the interview was happening, it started snowing – in December! I was hooked, and have been here for 8 years since.

Bianca's head of snow hair
Bianca’s head of snow hair

I’ve made Thredbo my home and worked 3-4 jobs all year round to stay here, until I landed my dream job, managing the only youth hostel here – the YHA. Every day I get to meet new people (quite often I see them again.) In that time, I’ve made life-long friends and come to love the fresh air and unique landscape of the Snowy Mountains.

I love that every morning the mountains have a different colour. I love how the mist and fog can engulf the mountain so you feel like the village is floating. I love the ever-changing colour of the snow gums, from the brightest greens and yellow to the richest of reds, yet also always a cool grey.

I love that in summer you can walk anywhere and experience nature’s beauty, from the Alpine flowers to the cool rivers and streams. There’s also thrill-seeking and adrenalin-pumping all year round, with out-of-your-comfort-zone mountain-biking, and of course the wonders of winter.

Thredbo is a great place to recharge. I often like to stop off at the snow-making ponds and admire their beauty and glass-like reflections. To stretch my legs in the middle of the day, I head to the riverside for trout-spotting, watching the water rush over the rocks into deep pools. In the evenings, I like to watch the sun set from the top of Dead Horse Gap.

If I feel the need to leave town I always stop at the Wild Brumby Distillery to walk around the gardens and try the local schnapps. For a caffeine hit, I visit Central Road, and in winter when the lift-line is long, I pop into Avalanche Café at the chair-lift base for a loaded hot chocolate.

I’ve had some of the most memorable times of my life here, including serving Torah Bright on her first date with Angus Thomson (her now husband). I consider it an honour to have experienced what I have in such a short time, and to have been so encouraged by the whole community in Thredbo.

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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