27 September 2023

Canberra’s only distinctive Corin snow experience

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By Rama Gaind.

“Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man’s ingratitude.”
– William Shakespeare

For many who
don’t often see snow – a visit to a winter wonderland is pure enchantment – especially for young children. The closest place to see snow near Canberra is Corin Forest Mountain Resort, located near Tidbinbilla.

Corin Forest, just 45 minutes from the heart of Canberra, relies on snow guns for most of the winter to get snow cover!

Then, of course, there are the Snowy Mountains, Kosciuszko National Park, which is approximately two-and-a-half-hour’s drive from the nation’s capital.

In winter, Corin Forest provides Canberra’s only snow experience. Often overlooked, Corin is a 45-minute drive located in the Tidbinbilla Mountain Ranges. Surrounded by tall forests in a secluded mountain valley, it offers a fine, year-round alpine adventure.

Now nostalgia reigns as memories flashback to what is a byone era. Those were the days when we used to regularly visit Corin Forest – be it summer or winter – when our children were young several years ago. I can still hear the squeals of delight when they spotted dazzling white patches of snow among a forest of green. Wonders of nature!

Now it’s their children (our grandchildren) who will get to revive some of those memories for us as they head to Canberra on their first visit, and to Corin, during the July school holidays. Can’t wait!

Corin Forest has the distinction of being a ski resort where it rarely snows. They rely on snow guns for most of the winter to get snow cover! There are usually about six natural snowfalls every winter with an average of five-to-10cm per fall. It’s snow time now, and not surprisingly, we often forget how close we are to Corin Forest … only 25 kilometres from the southern suburbs of Canberra.

Corin Forest, surrounded by tall forests in a secluded mountain valley, has the rustic Corin Lodge, a unique venue in the region.

Luckily it’s a very cold place with temperatures as low as -10 and this means, snow can be made throughout the winter. Once the temperature falls below -2 Celsius, then the snow guns are turned on. Through the wonders of modern technology snow is brought to Canberra’s backyard!

The goal at Corin is to provide an affordable and fun (sometimes first) snow experience. From throwing a snowball to learning how to ski, every effort is made to make one’s snow experience a memorable one.

As Aristotle said: “To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold”. When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.

Whatever you do, rug up and get set for beginner skiing or boarding, with lessons available from trained instructors. There is a snow play area where you can toboggan or just play in the snow, make snowmen or have snowball fights. Afterwards, warm up with a hot chocolate by the roaring open fire in the Corin Lodge.

Snow technology

There are many different types of snow guns. ‘Fan gun’ technology is used at Corin Forest. This is when water under high pressure is mixed with compressed air and ejected from the gun by a very powerful fan that blows the very small water droplets high into the air. As the droplets descend to the ground, they freeze creating snow. No chemicals are added in the process; it is 100 per cent water.

During winter Corin Forest provides Canberra’s only snow experience.

Snowmaking takes place usually in the middle of the night when temperatures are coldest. It requires a lot of patience as the wait is on for the conditions that are needed. In an average winter, Corin Forest gets about 400 hours below -2 and that can create a snow cover up to 2.5m deep.

After the snow is made, grooming machines are used to move the snow across the hill and prepare it with a smooth surface that is safe and easy to ski and ride on. In 2019, Corin Forest invested in all-weather snowmaking technology as part of its strategy to mitigate against a changing climate. I’m told making snow for the Easter holidays proved such a hit, there are plans to do this every year!

Many activities

Corin Forest, on Corin Dam Road, has a variety of activities to keep the family entertained all year:

  • Corin Forest is 50 kilometres from Canberra CBD
  • Small alpine resort at 1,200 metres altitude
  • Snowboarding, skiing, tobogganing and snow play sessions
  • Beginner lessons available
  • Night skiing/snowboarding
  • Open daily during snow season
  • No gate/National Park entry fees
  • Café open daily during snow season
  • Camping available nearby
  • 2 kilometre-long alpine slide bobsled open during non-winter seasons

Corin Forest is a small alpine resort at 1,200 metres altitude and only 25kms from the southern suburbs of Canberra.

Corin Forest is accessible by car via Point Hut Crossing or the Cotter. It does not have accommodation and a village like most resorts, but it attracts visitors year-round for a range of high country activities and experiences on Canberra’s doorstep.

Happy recollections also come to mind of adventurous summertime rendezvous taking in the spectacular views of the nation’s capital, with Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve right next door. Ride on the exhilarating alpine slide that descends 1.2km through the forest. Nearby Square Rock, Gibraltar Falls and Tidbinbilla also made for a great day trips, with barbecues and picnic tables available.

John Steinbeck, the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature winner, was right when he said: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness”.


Corin Forest Mountain Resort

1268 Corin Dam Road, Paddys River, ACT



Tel: (02) 6235 7333

Email: [email protected]

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