Will Victorian ski resorts open before New South Wales this season?

Thredbo, Australia. Pic from Thredbo Media.

We’re all itching to go skiing and snowboarding, right? But we also want to do the right thing so we don’t have to end up in isolation forever, also right? 

We count the days down to the snow season and then with each public health announcement weigh up when the actual season will start, if we get one this year at all – or more importantly, if we have a job left to fund our snow love. Oh Rona, you are a challenging beast.

Of course the resorts, and the businesses that rely on the ski season, all want us to go skiing and snowboarding too and we want to support them even more after the bushfires. You’ve got to feel for them, they are working hard to come up with innovative solutions to conditions and parameters that, quite frankly, change daily, while also trying to keep both their staff and potential guests safe.

So, where are we at now? It’s April 2 and things have shifted somewhat in New South Wales in the last 48 hours.

The public health order that came into play on March 31 means all residents of New South Wales must remain in isolation at home, though we are allowed to leave for essential purposes including work, exercise and grocery shopping. This order is in play until June 29, unless it is revoked earlier (which it can be).

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However this isn’t great news for a June long weekend ski season opening at New South Wales resorts. 

Thredbo have already updated their COVID-19 information page.

“In compliance with the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order dated 30 March 2020, unless there is a reasonable excuse for travel to Thredbo we are legally unable to accept your reservation request at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel or a Thredbo Resort Centre property up to and including 29 June 2020 unless the Order is repealed at an earlier date.

All guests who have booked accommodation at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel or a Thredbo Resort Centre property for dates prior to 29 June 2020 will be contacted and arrangements made for a credit or a refund.”

Clearly the ski season won’t be starting until after June 29 in New South Wales, unless the order is lifted early.

In Victoria the “Stay at Home” direction that the state is currently under commenced on March 31, however the compulsory direction to stay at home is, at this stage, in play until April 13, though that too could change and be extended.

But even if they could open the resorts in time, the Federal Health Department also has restrictions on public gatherings and has limited non essential gatherings to no more than two people. 

Which brings up back to a watch and wait alert.

No one can go skiing until the government tells us we can and that will be when they deem it safe. Though we all still hope for a later start to an awesome season filled with mega powder and no virus, right? 

For now, we’ve listed some ways you can support the snow industry locally and globally now, while we wait. 

In the meantime we can all watch inspiring snow documentaries, chat with other snow lovers in our Facebook Groups, join the Keeping the Snow Dream Alive group for deals when they come to hand and give back where we can.

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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.