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Corin Forest – ‘the snow’ just on Canberra’s doorstep

Amanda Whitley

Do you wanna build a snowman?

I don’t like being cold, so I usually put ‘going to the snow’ in the too hard basket, especially since my memories are of extensive and expensive preparation, stressful drives in not-great-conditions, and hordes of people. But, as I discovered a couple of years ago, Corin Forest, is a brilliant option – and less than an hour from the centre of the city!

In case you’re not familiar with it, Corin Forest Mountain Resort is located near Tidbinbilla, a 45-minute drive from central Canberra. It’s not just a winter playground, either – in summertime, visitors can bushwalk, mountain bike, ride on an awesome Alpine Slide that descends through the forest or enjoy a picnic. But when it IS chilly, there is a 2500-square-metre snow play park for people to enjoy a real winter experience, and also a custom-designed beginner ski slope for skiiers and snowboarders featuring a 75m long conveyor belt ski lift, 5000m2 of gently sloping terrain and the latest snowmaking technology.

I share our impromptu trip to Corin from a couple of years ago so you know what to expect!

What to take

I was utterly unprepared for a trip to the snow. Good intentions are one thing, but actual clothing and stuff? Hadn’t even thought about what we would need. Luckily, the Corin Forest website had some practical and sensible advice on this front. They advise to take: warm clothing, waterproof pants and jacket, gloves, water resistant boots, and a change of dry socks and clothes for your trip home. A quick trip to Anaconda had us sorted, but you can also hire snow boots, jackets and pants onsite.

corin 3


For some naive reason, I thought it would be relatively quiet at Corin. Yes, it was school holidays, but surely not everyone had the same idea. Ha! After a leisurely 45 minute drive in the hilly countryside with barely another car spotted, we turned a corner and CARS! PEOPLE! ‘Well, I guess we’re here,’ I said to the girls.

Once you arrive, you’ll want to kit up and then go and grab your tickets. Snowplay Tickets are $15 per person (everyone who enters the area must have a ticket) and Toboggan Hire is $5 per session. You can supply your own toboggan but they must be of moulded plastic design without ‘sharp edges or protruding object’.


There are three sessions daily: Morning from 8:30am to 11am, 11am to 1:30pm, and 2pm to 4:30pm. The resort works on a ‘first come basis – only 100 people are allowed to be on the snow at any give time, and sessions reach capacity quickly. If you don’t want to wait, your best bet is to get there right at the start of the session time.

We flukily arrived about half an hour before the start of our session, had a bite to eat from the lodge, and then headed up to the Snowplay area. Be prepared to wait in line for up to 40 minutes in busy periods if you don’t get there at the start of the session, because once kids get a taste of tobogganing, they won’t want to stop.

Tip: it’s a good idea to keep an eye on Corin Forest’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for information on current capacity and conditions.

Things to do

Basically, you can toboggan or you can play in the snow. It may not sound like a wide range of activities, but trust me, it’s more than enough to keep everyone – kids AND adults – amused for HOURS. I had to drag mine away after two hours, because my  feet had turned to blocks of ice and I’d had enough of trying not to fall on my butt every time I moved. Note to self: next time, invest in some cheap snow boots with grippy soles and wear some uber thick socks (or hire them!).


You can also now ski or snowboard (this is a new activity for 2016). There are onsite ski rentals and a ski school, with instructors to teach you the skills you need to build your confidence on the snow.The capacity of the ski area is limited to a maximum of 150 persons per session so advance bookings via the Corin website are strongly recommended.

Because of ice build up, the Alpine Slide wasn’t open on our visit, but it looked like awesome fun! A lift delivers you to the top of the 1.2 km track and you descend at your own pace as you take in the beautiful surrounds of Corin Forest. Prices range from $10 for a single ticket to $50 for 10 rides (tickets can be divided amongst your group). Kids have to be aged at least eight years to ride solo, but younger kids can ride free of charge with a paying adult.

Food and drink

The Lodge is warm and offers some good basic food and drink options, think: egg and bacon rolls, sausage sandwiches, chips, cookies, banana bread and a range of hot and cold drinks. If you’re looking for salads and healthy options, best to bring an esky.

Oh, and you can also buy marshmallow packs for the kids to toast on the open fire in the centre of the room.

The last word

We had SOOOOOO much fun! Yes, I was cold and there was some initial stress about getting us all sorted, but that was mainly due to my own lack of planning. We can’t wait to go back with Mr HerCanberra in tow…

the essentials

What: Corin Forest Mountain Resort
Where: 45 minutes from Canberra, near Tidbinbilla
When: Open all day from 9am – 4:30 pm.
Contact: Email [email protected] or call  6235 7333


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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