The Apex Children’s Chalet

The Magic Castle

“A symbol of hope for all the under-privileged children of Australia”

– Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia

Play Video

Our Chalet is a magical 24-bed retreat intended for rest and play, just a stone’s throw away from Mt Kosciuszko.

We welcome underprivileged, disadvantaged, chronically ill, and disabled children, together with their families and carers, to the Chalet for the trip of a lifetime.

This retreat is perfect for keen adventurers and restful souls alike, with plenty of potential for exploring the surrounding bushland in summer and frolicking in winter snow.


“To an underprivileged child, the Snowy is a magic area”

— Berry Waterman

Over 40,000 kids have enjoyed the delights of the Chalet since it was built in 1979. Here’s a little bit of the Chalet’s wondrous history...

It all began with the dream of one hard-working Sydney social worker named Berry Waterman, who had been taking underprivileged children on holidays to the Snowy Mountains for years. When the cost of doing so became too prohibitive, Apex Australia stepped in to help.

In 1978, Apex National President Graham Salter was given the task of finding a suitable site for a holiday retreat in the region.

Once a site was found in Smiggin Holes and a lease granted by the NSW government, the work on “Operation Magic Castle” could begin.

Building this magic castle in a nearly inaccessible site within a tight 8-month schedule was no easy feat, given that the cost would be near $125,000 and that it would be difficult to rally the number of Apex members needed to bring Berry Waterman’s dream to life. But rally they did, especially with former builder Ian French on board as full-time project organiser.

Construction officially kicked off on the 13th of November 1978. With the help of over 530 volunteer Apex members, many of whom travelled thousands of kilometres to donate their time, labour, and resources to the project, construction on the Chalet was completed in July of 1979.

In October 1979, the International Year of the Child, the Apex Children’s Chalet was officially opened by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, who also pledged $50,000 towards the upkeep of the “Magic Castle”.

Today, the majority of maintenance work on the Chalet is carried out by current and former Apex members on a volunteer basis.

Bills for Beds

As our oldest Apex retreat, the Chalet needs continuous support from the community to keep serving disadvantaged children and their carers.

Here’s how your donations could help:


Booking Information

During the ski season (from the 1st Monday in June to the 1st Monday in October) preference will be given to recognised organisations (e.g. registered charities, schools and service clubs) that are providing services to those who fall into one or more of the categories set out in the Trust Deed.rpose by the Foundation Director responsible for this Trust.

From 1 March each year the Chalet Committee will consider booking requests for the upcoming ski season that are not from a recognised organisation provided the booking is in respect of individuals, families and carers, with or without their chronically ill and disabled children, and persons wishing to take adults with intellectual disabilities.

Requests by others may also be given consideration by the Chalet Committee but will receive no priority over the groups identified in the Trust Deed.

0493 171 870

Ski Season

from the 1st Monday of June until the 1st Monday in October

4 nights (Mon-Fri)
$ 0 *
3 nights (Fri-Moni)
$ 0 *
7 nights (Mon-Mon or Fri-Fri)
$ 0 *

*Total cost includes $200 non-refundable deposit and an additional bond payment of $750 is required.

Non-Ski Season

If not previously paid, a bond of $750 is required. Any shortfall in the bond amount must be topped up.

per night
$ 0 *

*Total cost includes $200 non-refundable deposit and an additional bond payment of $750 is required.

Important Information



and Events