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.
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.