My devilish duo love snow. Though, if I’m being honest, until last ski season, and our visit to Perisher, they’d spent more time falling in it, playing in it and eating it (they do know to avoid the yellow variety) than they had skiing on it or, in fact, spending more than a few consecutive minutes upright in it.
But Perisher knocked our thermal socks off from the moment we arrived to gently falling snow.
In fact, my wee weirdos were so impressed that we hadn’t even checked in to our digs, the family-friendly Perisher Valley Hotel, before they were rolling in snow, tongues out like a pair of deranged mutts lapping at the sky because according to the smaller of my two nutters, “snow tastes like sky-flavoured granita”.
This has to be one of Australia’s best spots for skiing with kids. The ski-in, ski-out hotel is located right in the heart of the action and our comfy tri-level suite is spacious enough for us to hide from our insane offspring for a minute or two. It also offers us glorious views over Perisher’s Front Valley.
And there’s a spa, sauna and in-house masseuse for the use of guests who aren’t accompanied by small rabid children as well as a games room for normal families to relax and play in after a busy day on the slopes. Clearly, that would be other families because there is nothing even remotely normal about this one.
Perisher Valley Hotel is the perfect location for a family ski holiday because along with directs snow access, the hotel also offers internal access to all of Perisher Centre’s facilities. These include a shopping arcade, restaurants, ski hire, the Snowsports School, and Snowy Daycare (for children aged six weeks to three-years old) where Sugarpuff spent her day eating paint, making friends and terrorising the lovely staff, while we took a Michelin-man impersonating Raffles off for lessons at Blue Cow, just a couple of minutes by ski-tube away.
Blue Cow, one of four village bases at Perisher Ski Resort, offers challenging runs for those inclined but has excellent beginner slopes perfect for kids… and uncoordinated parents. That would be me.
As Raffles took off for his lessons he implores Mr Eats World and I not to worry about him as he’ll be ready to hit the black runs by the time we get back. So we left our slightly over-confident son to his dreams of world ski domination for a morning of racing each other down the slopes, giggling like a pair of naughty school kids all the way. There may also have been a stop for a bevvy or two, but don’t tell. The kid-free hours were fun, though my ankles felt like they’d been savaged by pit bulls, and I confess to having fallen over so often that my arse had more bruises than James Packer after a kerbside catch up with an old mate.
By the time we returned our little powder pup wasn’t quite ready for those black runs but we were quietly slack-jawed at his progress.
My awesome little dude was flying down the slopes and riding the magic carpet with a grin frozen to his gorgeous face… and by frozen I mean that I could quite literally see icicles forming around his eyebrows.
Despite the chilly temperature and looming frostbite, Raffles was enjoying himself far too much to leave and had to be dragged off the slopes so we could make it back to Perisher in time to collect our other little snowflake from childcare where, judging by the fact that she had managed to paint herself all the colours of the rainbow, she’d also had a lovely time. Luckily, the yellow and pink stripes she sported on her forehead coordinated beautifully with the multi-coloured snowsuit we stuffed her into in readiness for some frosty family fun.
Snowballs were flung, angels were made and an epic snowman was constructed by Raffles while Sugarpuff played with her best friend, Johnny, a plastic pineapple from Hawaii, and ate the snowman’s face… sometime’s it is just safer not to ask – about her choice of friends or the Hannibal Lectrette impersonation.
Following our frosty frolic there’s still just enough time to dry off and clean up for an amazing dinner at Snow Gums Restaurant where, exhausted, we watch the sky light up with fireworks before tucking our weary kids, and a plastic pineapple, into bed to do it all over again the next day.
Now as we don’t like to visit the same place twice, usually because the second time is only to apologise we need to decide which ski resort our little snow bunnies can wreak havoc in this winter…