Most people who visit Australia's classiest ski resort, Thredbo, wouldn't describe it as a quiet village. That's because most visit in the ski season or the summer school holidays, when the place is packed. However, if you visit in the off seasons, Thredbo is the epitome of a tranquil mountain village.
In winter, snow draws skiers and snowboarders, and the youth hostel where I stay runs a ballot system to handle the demand for bookings. The hostel can also be full in summer - all the money spent on developing and marketing Thredbo as a summer destination seems to have worked very well.
Late spring is a different story. Once the ski season finishes (by early October), and until the summer school holidays start (around Christmas), it can feel like you've got the village to yourself. Facilities are still open, but the crowds are absent and the atmosphere is relaxed.
I spent a few weeks in Thredbo one November and had plenty of room to move in the youth hostel, which was about 10% full and felt friendlier than when busy. You can't get lost in the crowd when there's only a handful of you! Getting a table at any of Thredbo's numerous eateries was no problem, and the village's residents and staff seemed to engage more with visitors - a task made easier by more manageable numbers.
The quieter periods in the village also correspond to the most pleasant walking conditions in the surrounding alpine areas, which are easily accessed using a chairlift which runs all year. Summer hiking can be beautiful, but spring hiking has great wildflowers too, plus fewer march flies. Another plus is more snow remaining on the higher peaks - not enough to interfere with walking, but enough to enhance the views or play around in. Autumn in Thredbo enjoys the same relaxed quietness as spring.
So if you're looking for a peaceful mountain village to unwind in, far from the bustling crowds, don't dismiss Thredbo ... as long as you avoid the madness of ski season or summer holidays, tranquillity can be found.
Thredbo village website
Thredbo YHA hostel