Mountain climates are known for their cooler temperatures and the Snowy Mountains are no different. Celebrated for their winter snow fall which makes the ski resorts of Perisher, Thredbo and Charlottes Pass a haven for skiers and boarders, the Snowy Mountains also have long months of warm sunshine over summer so you can make the most of the mountain activities at any time of year.
Here is our guide to what you can expect from each season in the Snowies:
A gorgeous time of year when the snows start to melt and the sun starts to peak through the snow clouds once again. As with most high-altitude climates, it can feel as though spring is late to arrive to the Kosciuszko National Park. Snow fall lasts sporadically throughout September and often is even still drifting down in early October. This means you can keep on skiing halfway through spring while enjoying great snow and warm sunshine. Whilst temperatures do start to warm again, it takes time for the build-up of winter snow to melt significantly enough for the summer season to officially begin. Late October is typically a quiet time for the mountains before the trails thaw enough to open the mountain biking and hiking season in mid to late November.
We LOVE summer in the Snowies! Not only is it significantly cooler than the rest of sweltering NSW (you can expect days anywhere from 14 degrees up to the early 30’s), but the cooler climate means you can enjoy outdoor activities pretty much everyday without having to hide away in the air conditioning. December and January are the perfect time for a hike up Mount Kosciuszko where the wildflowers are in full bloom and the lakes and rivers of Kosciusko National Park are warm enough for swimming and kayaking until the end of February. Nights can still be quite cool, especially if you are camping at altitude, so it is always best to bring extra layers and prepare for temperatures to fall as low as zero.
This is an exciting time of year in the Kosciuszko region. The long sunny days have started to wane and the cool change brings the promise of fresh snow and another winter season. Autumn is my personal favourite season and the best time to go on an overnight hike. I love the cooler weather which means I’ll be comfortable with an extra layer or two and unlikely to drown in my own sweat. The nights are not yet too cold so you can enjoy sitting out under the stars at night, I also think Autumn has the best sunsets and moon rises of the year. Mountain bike trails generally stay open until late Autumn, or until the rain and snow fall makes the trails too slushy to continue. Weather can turn quickly in the mountains, so if you are heading out make sure you have prepared for rain and sudden temperature drops.
And finally, the season most people have been waiting for all year long. Winter in Kosciusko National Park is dominated by snowfall, covering the region almost in its entirety and making way for a new set of adventure activities. Namely skiing and boarding which are widely pursued at the resorts of Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. Snowfall levels can vary widely each year but should be expected consistently from June through to August. Particularly late July and early August can see some heavy snow storms which can blanket the region all the way down to Jindabyne. While the ski resorts are heavily regulated and generally very safe for skiing, those wanting to head out into the backcountry should do so with extreme caution and some level of safety training and experience. Weather here can be extreme and unpredictable, combined with sub-zero temperatures and often poor visibility, you will want to make sure you know what you are doing. We recommend hiring a backcountry guide or joining a tour for the safest way to get the most out of the backcountry.
A word on Weather:
The weather in Kosciuszko National Park can be wildly unpredictable no matter what time of year you’re going (last year we had snowfall in December!). The best thing you can do is to be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions. Always pack enough warm clothes and shelter items to allow for a cool change or sudden rain storm (or wind, or hail or snow!) and always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.