When we were planning the first leg of our trip, most people thought we were crazy. Whilst the vast majority of the caravanning world headed north for the sunshine and swimming holes to ESCAPE the cold, we left sunny Queensland and headed south, straight TOWARDS it.
Why? Let’s face it, even though it’s cold, snow is FUN! And Miss 4 desperately had her heart on going to the snow, building a snowman and throwing snowballs at her daddy! It’s one of those “bucket list” items for kids and adults alike, I reckon.
Jindabyne was the destination, at the foot of the Snowy Mountains, NSW. I highly recommend staying there, mostly because it’s a few degrees warmer than up IN the mountains – and it was cold enough as it was!
If I had to give tips for travelling to the snow with kids, these are what they would be:
- Powered site. Self explanatory, really – though there were people camping in tents…brrrrrr…..We loved our heater though! We have a little $20 fan heater that heats our van up quickly and is compact and lightweight.
- Plastic bags. If you don’t have snowshoes/gumboots, and don’t think you’ll get use out of them or don’t have enough room, you’re welcome to use our hack. We just reused some plastic grocery bags we had, popped them over the kids’ socks and then they wore their sneakers. Yes, their shoes got wet, but all that meant was that we had to leave them in the sun to dry (and our caravan park actually had a drying room if we needed). When it’s only for a matter of days, it’s just not worth the space and expense of buying, or even hiring.
- Layers. Even though the snow itself is obviously very cold, the air isn’t always as cold as you’d expect. The first day we went up, Miss 9 had a t-shirt, and her jacket. No in-between. She got HOT in her jacket, but it was too cool in just her t-shirt. So having multiple layers so each person can adjust to the conditions is highly recommended!
- Snowman decorations. Don’t forget them – like us (eyeroll). Ever since Tasmania 2015 we have sworn we would make a “proper” snowman, with carrot nose and all. But do you think we ever remembered the damn carrot??? If you need to improvise like we did, using your own sunglasses for eyes, and beanie/scarf, at least makes it look somewhat like a snowman…..
- Sunglasses. The reflection from the sun on snow is SO bright, like eye-burning bright. So sunnies for everyone is a must! (I should really take my own advice, see squinty photos below).
While there’s a lot of things you COULD buy or hire to have the “proper” gear, most of it really isn’t necessary for short term, once-in-a-lifetime snow visits. Particularly buying, as it can be bulky, and by the time you next get to the snow it’ll likely have been outgrown. We did buy some waterproof gloves on sale, only because their normal cotton gloves got soaked VERY quickly, and much of what we wanted to do involved snowmen and snowballs! Also, Aldi has snow sales most years, so keep an eye out in the late Autumn/early Winter months!
Here are some photos from our snow trip – it really was great fun!
- finally building a proper snowman (sans carrot nose)
- going for a stomp around in the snow, and the giggles from the kids who ended up buried thigh-high!
- having snow FALL one magical morning, and catching it on our tongues and in our eyelashes – SO MAGICAL!
- tobogganing was a hit for sure, we had to go back and do it again since everyone had so much fun! The big kids went straight for the high slope, Milly was quite the daredevil too but Daddy didn’t want her going right from the top. I tobogganed for the first time in my life – initially I was terrified, but it really was loads of fun (just really really fast)
- meeting Kate across the road from our site – she was like a big kid (she has worked as a nanny) and the kids adored her. She dyed the girls’ hair, and taught all the kids to ride a skateboard
While it was cold (which I don’t mind, myself), it was WORTH IT!