What The Antarctic Vortex Means For Your Winter Holiday

13 July 2015

Baby, it's cold outside. Call us a bunch of whingers and whiners, but the Antarctic chills that have swept over much of eastern Australia are a bit of a shock to the system.

It's the biggest cold snap we've copped in 15 years, but it's brilliant news for holidaymakers and last-minute school holiday hangers-on at the ski fields.

Snow fell as low as 700 metres in New South Wales on Sunday, with a light dusting up to the Queensland border and even into South Australia. If you're keen to strap on the skis or perhaps have your first snow encounter in Australia, read on.

Our forecast, snowballs predicted!

A photo posted by Perisher (@perisher_resort) on

Snow day for New South Wales

Winter is in full swing in the Alpine and Central Tablelands regions of New South Wales. It's a boon for the state's ski resorts, with snow set to continuing falling through most of the week.

Lithgow, Bathurst and Orange were all turned white overnight, while the Perisher and Thredbo ski fields received a nice coating of fresh powder (25 and 22 centimetres respectively).

Snow is forecast across the Great Dividing Range, Southern New South Wales and the Northern Tablelands, with the possibility of extending into the Illawara. The closest snow to Sydney's CBD is expected to be in the Blue Mountains.

We do heel clicks when there's fresh snow #ThisIsMyBuller A photo posted by Mt Buller (@mt_buller) on

Feeling the chills in Victoria

Many a snow angel has been seen on Victoria's ski fields after the Antarctic Vortex delivered on its promises. Snow bunnies have been shredding it at Mount Buller and at Falls Creek north of Melbourne, with hundreds lining up at the ski lifts to take advantage of the fresh powder.

Capital city Melbourne had a rather soggy day yesterday. Coupled with the frigid air outside, heaters around the city were cranked to Spinal Tap proportions, leading firefighters to remind residents to be safe when toasting their tootsies.

The cold spell dubbed the 'Antarctic Vortex' has also seen snow scattered across the Grampians and Mount Hotham in the Victoria Alps, which enjoyed 13 centimetres of fresh powder overnight.

A photo posted by Amanda Newman (@amanda_j_n) on

Snow in Queensland? It could happen

The icy Antarctic gusts still pushing their way up the east coast mean holidaymakers are crossing their fingers for a chance of snow in the Sunshine State.

So far there has been a light dusting of the white stuff in Eukey (teetering on the New South Wales border), with a 'reasonable chance' of snow drawing thousands of visitors to the Granite Belt region over the weekend.

If you're willing to try your luck catching a snowflake or two in Queensland, Applethorpe and Stanthorpe are your best bet. It's a balmy, blue-skied day right now in Brisbane, but the capital is tipped to reach a low of just 4°C overnight on Wednesday. Four degrees? In Brisbane? This is madness!

It's snowing! #perisher A photo posted by Perisher (@perisher_resort) on

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Let's not forget with snow comes great responsibility. Blizzards, sleet and gale-force winds have forced the closure of some roads in snow-prone areas and emergency crews are on high alert. Keep an eye on road conditions and be aware of icy surfaces. Stay warm, stay safe and ski hard, good people!


Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on ski holidays in Australia.


Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg