Good backcountry skiing locations can be found in the alpine regions of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The season can start in early winter (mid June) and often extends to late spring (late November).
It is uncommon for the temperature get lower than -5C during winter. Temperatures are higher during spring - usually above 0C during the day. Rain can be encountered sometimes.
Avalanches do occur, particularly on higher wind-loaded slopes.
Some huts may be available for self-catering groups, but groups should always be self sufficient and equipped for snow camping.
Kozcuisko National Park, New South Wales
Kozcuisko National Park includes the highest peaks in Australia that are also referred to as the Main Range.
Serious avalanches occur in this region and there are numerous large cornices along high ridges.
Very strong winds are common - a high quality four season snow tent is essential and care should be taken to select a sheltered campsite. Much of the high ground is very exposed.
Popular access points for backcountry skiing include:
Catching the lift up from Thredbo ski resort
Charlottes Pass (road is only open in Spring)
Dead Horse Gap
Popular skiing locations include:
Mount Kozcuisko (2,228m Australia's highest mountain)
Mount Townsend (2,209m)
Mount Twynam (2,196m) and Watsons Crags
Carruthers Peak and Mount Lee
Little Austria and Lady Northcotes Canyon
Bogong High Plains, Victoria
The Bogong High Plains has rolling terrain with some high peaks including Mount Nelse (1882m) and Mount Nelse North.
There are cross county ski trails (usually groomed) marked with snow poles next to the Rocky Valley Storage and along Heathy Spur that can be used to access backcountry areas.
Rustic huts available for public use include Wallaces Hut, Ropers Hut, Edmonsons Hut, Fitzgeralds Hut. Johnston Hut and Cope Saddle Hut.
Shelter is available in groves of snow gums.
Access is via Windy Corner at Falls Creek ski resort.
Mount Feathertop and the Razorbank, Victoria
Mount Feathertop (1,922m) has very steep ski runs and a large cornice that can be very dangerous. This is for experienced skiers only.
Federation Hut is located at the top of Bungalow Spur. MUMC Hut is located on the North West Spur.
Caution is required to avoid falls on icy slopes, avalanches and the large cornice. Some falls on icy slopes and by skiers have resulted in deaths.
The Razorback is a dramatic undulating ridge with steep slopes between Mount Hotham and Mount Feathertop.
Access is usually via:
Bungalow Spur (from Harrietville)
North West Spur (much steeper)
The Razorback (from the Mount Hotham Road)
Mount Bogong, Victoria
Mount Bogong (1,986m), the highest mountain in Victoria, is a popular location for backcountry skiing and split boarding.
The mountain has a long ridge with numerous good snow slopes and gullies leading off it, from the West Peak to the Long Spur.
There are some easier slopes in Cairn Gully and close to Cleve Cole Hut.
Access is via:
Staircase Spur, past Bivouc Hut
Eskdale Spur, past Michel Hut
Granite Flat Spur, joins Eskdale Spur.
The tops of the Eskdale and Staircase spurs are steep and get very icy, making them dangerous for less experienced groups.
Mount Stirling, Victoria
Mount Stirling (1749m) is located near Mount Buller and has a network of cross country trails, some of which are groomed. The trails start at the road head at Telephone Box Junction. There is an active ski patrol.
There are some good steeper slopes in the vicinity of Stanley Bowl below the summit. Slopes suitable for less experienced groups can be found along the summit ridge and leading down to the access trails.
Mount Hotham and Mount Loch, Victoria
Mount Hotham (1861m) is a downhill ski resort that has a variety of backcountry skiing terrain easily accessible from the resort.
Mount Loch (1865m) can be accessed by a short ski from the Mount Hotham Resort and has some good slopes and commanding views across to Mount Feathertop and the Bogong High Plains. Derrick Hut is located to the south of the summit.