A date with snow

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Travel -

SUN, rain, sun, rain. The cy­cle can get dreary.

So, it was with de­light that I headed for a win­ter es­capade in New South Wales where tem­per­a­tures at the Snowy Moun­tains had dipped be­low zero. And don’t dis­count the wind chill fac­tor.

Snowy Moun­tains, billed as Aus­tralia’s only true alpine wilder­ness, has four ski re­sorts. My date with snow (not Jon) was at Thredbo and Per­isher.

It started in Thredbo, with a 20-minute chair­lift ride, of­fer­ing stun­ning snowy views of Mount Kosciuszko. De­spite wear­ing gloves, my fin­gers were frozen, yet some in my group whipped out their phones to cap­ture the sights.

Ear­lier, we had rented wa­ter­proof jack­ets, boots and snow pants for our snow shoe ac­tiv­ity. K7 Ad­ven­tures of­fer ad­ven­ture ac­tiv­i­ties in Snowy Moun­tains, and notes that snow shoe­ing does not re­quire skills and is suit­able for all ages and all lev­els of fit­ness.

Still, I was a dropout. It was snow­ing, the wind was strong, and not want­ing to slow down the rest, I opted out af­ter about 20 min­utes into the walk. But I was keen to con­tinue at my own pace. Aca­cia, the K7 guide, gra­ciously ac­com­pa­nied me for an­other walk on a shorter trail.

That is the most beau­ti­ful thing I found Down Un­der – the friendly Aussies. Through­out my trip, ev­ery­body whom I en­coun­tered was help­ful and charm­ing. One K7 guide even helped to dry the socks of a par­tic­i­pant when she re­turned from snow shoe­ing.

Put to­bog­gan­ing on your fun list of fun at Per­isher, which has the largest to­bog­gan area in Aus­tralia. For lazy bums like me, it was ex­hil­a­rat­ing to slide down the slope as the only thing I needed to ex­ert was my mouth – for squeal­ing and laugh­ing.

Truf­fle hunt­ing is re­lax­ing, too. We vis­ited Tu­ralla Truf­fles, a 30-minute drive from Can­berra air­port. We watched owner Damian Robin­son got on all fours with his feisty Jack Rus­sell named Frizbee to search for the truf­fles.

Robin­son and his wife Lind­say spoke pas­sion­ately about their farm, invit­ing us to their home where they served light meals us­ing truf­fles.

Af­ter all that food, what’s next? Wine tast­ing, of course, as this is an es­tab­lished wine grow­ing re­gion. Our stops at Lark Hill Win­ery, Clon­akilla, and Wild­brumby Dis­tillery for schnapps tast­ing, were filled with com­ments like “gor­geous tex­ture” and “soft­ness to the palate”.

Need a kan­ga­roo fix? You will en­counter them as we did on our jour­ney back. For some­one used to see­ing cow sig­nages along the high­way on drives back to my Ipoh home­town, it was a kick see­ing signs cau­tion­ing about kan­ga­roos and deer.

Don’t let the freez­ing cold put you off win­ter. The sun still comes out. In fact, a tube of SPF 50+ sun­screen was the first thing that Jim Tan, my host from Des­ti­na­tion NSW, handed me at the start of the trip. Add the warmth of the Aussies and it’s the per­fect an­ti­dote for your frozen state.

— MIKE ED­MOND­SON/K7 Ad­ven­tures

Snow-shoers en­joy­ing the view of the 440 mil­lion-year-old Ramshead Tors, which is part of the Snowy Moun­tains.

— ARIFF SHAH SOPIAN/AirAsia X

Go to­bog­gan­ing at the Per­isher Ski Re­sort as it re­quires min­i­mal ef­fort.

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