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Thredbo’s History

“I was looking for a place where ski runs would be long and challenging, easily accessible and where you could establish a modern winter resort” – Tony Sponar

In 1955, Tony Sponar had a great vision to transform the mountains into a ski hill. Sponar had been a ski instructor at the renowned St. Anton Resort, Austria from 1941 to 1948 and saw Thredbo as the Australian equivalent, with good vertical terrain and buzzing ski village atmosphere. Sponar states that “I was looking for a place where ski runs would be long and challenging, easily accessible and where you could establish a modern winter resort”.

In 1956, Thredbo transformed into a skier and snowboarders dream with the first chairlifts and lodges being installed. In 1957, the syndicate was incorporated as Kosciuszko Thredbo Limited and the company was granted a lease by the NSW Minister for Lands which gave it various rights to developing Thredbo. 1957 marked the first time skiers were riding a tow from a launching point near Lovers Lap to Kareela, a distance of about a kilometre. The first ever chairlift, Crackenback, was formally opened in 1958 for skiers to enjoy alongside the tow.

The next 20 years saw Thredbo grow as a world class ski resort with the mountain and surrounding village expanding each year through the implementation of new lifts and lodges. In 1987, Amalgated Holdings Limited (now EVENT) purchased the head lease of Thredbo and began to invest significant capital into the resort, creating a bigger and better ski resort experience for all skiers, snowboarders, beginners and families in Australia and abroad.

Fast-forward to 2022 and Thredbo is Australia’s best ski resort, having won multiple awards:

  • Best Australian Resort at the 2022 World Ski Awards
  • Best Australian Resort 2022 by Snowsports Industries of Australia (SIA)
  • Best Family Ski Resort at the 2022 Out & About with Kids annual Readers’ Choice Awards

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Making History: Thredbo's Ambassadors Soar At The 2022 Winter Olympics

In 2022, six of Thredbo’s talented ambassadors represented Australia in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Valentino Guseli, Tess Coady, Jarryd Hughes, Ben Tudhope, Abi Harrigan and Josie Baff all competed in different disciplines ranging from Snowboard Halfpipe to Freeski Slopestyle.
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30 Years Of Gravity

In 2020, Thredbo celebrated 30 years as Australia’s Premier Mountain Bike Park.

To celebrate 30 years of mountain biking, we created a three-part video series looking back at the progression of mountain biking over the past three decades, featuring some of the country’s iconic personalities of the sport.
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60 Years of Kareela Hutte

Kareela Hutte has become the number one on-mountain destination to indulge in long champagne lunches, experience luxury dining, and take part in some classic Thredbo après. Developed in 1959, the European inspired destination quickly became a hot spot for skiers and snowboarders from all walks of life to party, eat, and mingle, traditions that still carry on today.

In 2019, Kareela Hutte turned 60, marking the momentous occasion with Starlight Dinners, a unique dining experience for its guests.
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60 Years of Stoke

In 2017, Thredbo celebrated its 60th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we took a look back at the different periods that have shaped it into the amazing place that it is today.

The ’60 Years Of Stoke’ video series captures the early years of Thredbo through the eyes of the late Olympian and Thredbo resident Frank Prihoda, the era of hotdogging, après and the iconic World Cup with freestyle skiing legend Randy Wieman and what’s in stall for future generations with Olympic Gold Medallist Torah Bright.
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Thredbo Community Bell

In honour of its 60th year, Thredbo installed a commemorative ‘2037’ bell at the top of the highest lifted point in Australia, the top of Karels T-Bar. The Bell, placed at 2037 metres above sea level, is a great addition to the standard ‘selfie’, allowing skiers and snowboarders to announce that they have reached the top of Thredbo, the highest lifted point in Australia.


Memorial Walk

On 30 July at 11:40pm a landslide in Thredbo caused the destruction of buildings and tragic loss of lives. In memory of this event, the Memorial Walk will take you through viewing areas of the collapsed site, ending at Thredbo Community Centre.
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Thredbo Alpine Museum

To learn more about the amazing history and heritage of Thredbo and the Snowy Mountains, head to the Thredbo Alpine Museum.

There’s a comprehensive collection of winter sports memorabilia plus displays on the history of skiing and snowboarding in Australia to check out. Thredbo Alpine Museum is dedicated to sharing inspiring stories from the Australian snow sports and adventure seeker community as well as showcasing the unique Snowy Mountains.
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Thredbo Profiles

Frank Prihoda
Tommy Tomasi
Tim Robertson
Frank Prihoda

Meet Frank Prihoda, the late Australian Olympian and Thredbo resident. Frank saw Thredbo grow over the past 60 years into the world-class ski resort it is today.

A few years after the end of WWI, Frank was born in Czechoslovakia in 1921. In 1948, Frank emigrated to Australia where he started one of the first ski-lodge businesses in Thredbo. Frank also competed for Australia in the Winter Olympic Games as an alpine downhill skier in 1956.

Frank was full of wisdom and knowledge and happily shared some of his fondest moments that have become frozen in time. Sharing a true love and strong spiritual connection to Thredbo and the mountain, that so many of Thredbo’s guests do…this was Franks’s perspective of Thredbo during its early years.

Tommy Tomasi

Tommy has lived a full and enthralling life. He was born in 1926 and grew up in the mountains of Northern Italy, where, by the age of 4 he had already developed a love of skiing. Things changed in 1943 for Tommy, when war arrived upon his doorstep. Only 17 at the time, he had one of two options ­– either join the forces of Hitler and Mussolini or head into the mountains and fight alongside the Italian partisans. Not favouring the fascists, Tommy’s Father handed him a gun and pointed him towards the hills.

Tim Robertson

Skiing is a leisure activity for many. For Tim Robertson, it’s a lifetime love affair that has taken him around the world, introduced him to his wife and been passed on to his son. Recently celebrating 40 years as a ski instructor at Thredbo, Tim’s passion for skiing and the mountain community remains as fervent as ever.

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Whether you ski, snowboard, hike, mountain bike or are visiting for the first time, our app is your companion to Australia’s Premier Adventure Destination.

Thredbo sits on the traditional land of the Monero – Ngarigo people who have looked after this land, water and community for over 60,000 years. We thank them for all they have done and continue to do to look after their country, a special place which we all love and respect.

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