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Best Ski and Snowboard Destinations for Aussies  

It can be tricky choosing the perfect ski resort. From skiing in Australia to enjoying Japan's snow season, the options are overwhelming for the most advanced skier. To help you decide, Cover-More has put together a list of popular winter destinations, including key factors for beginners to consider.

Australia

More than a tropical paradise, Australia is the perfect destination for novice skiers. With ten ski locations spread across three states, the Australian ski season is a great place to start learning. Lasting from July to September, enjoy the snow-capped mountains of your backyard. Despite the shorter season, Australia has world-class facilities and fantastic ski schools.  This includes Perisher Valley - the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. With relatively low altitudes and a lack of peaks, slopes are well suited to beginners. Even better - the low elevations reduce the risk of alpine sickness.


Perisher

Nestled in Kosciusko National Park lies the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. Combining four smaller ski resorts, Perisher is suitable for beginners to seasoned pros. Renowned for its superior ski schools, learn from world experts and take on intermediate slopes by week’s end. While offering ski lodge's on the slopes, many visitors choose to stay in nearby Jindabyne. This charming town in southern New South Wales is the perfect place to relax after a hard day's skiing.

Thredbo

On the other side of Jindabyne lies Perisher's little brother, Thredbo. Although smaller, Thredbo has the highest lift in Australia. For that reason, it's no surprise that it is home to the longest ski run in the country. Although less geared towards beginners, Thredbo still has a dedicated beginner’s section and ski school. Although, what makes Thredbo remarkable is its charming village vibe. With a fantastic apres ski scene, reward your efforts with a drink at one of Thredbo's many bars.

Falls Creek

If you want to stay in the midst of the mountains, then Falls Creek is for you. In July and August, the village is entirely ski-in-ski-out. That way, you can get up, put on your skis and explore the magical mountain surrounds. With fewer crowds and gentle slopes, Falls Creek attracts beginners and intermediate skiers. With wide-open ski fields, try your luck with a cross-country ski adventure. Hidden in the north-east corner of Victoria, explore Falls Creek for your Australia snow holiday.

Mt Buller

If mountain roads put you off a snow adventure, then Australia’s most accessible ski resort might be for you. Just a three-hour drive from Melbourne, Mt Buller is popular with day trippers and holiday goers alike. Catering to all ski levels, take on the slopes while taking in the village views below.

New Zealand

New Zealand is a world-class winter sports destination for beginners and experts alike. Lasting longer than the Australian ski season, slopes are open from early June to October. While offering many ski fields, visitors usually base themselves in Queenstown or Wanaka. Being an hours' drive away from each other, choosing which place to stay is a matter of personal preference. Consider Queenstown the flashy, confident big brother to Wanaka. If you're looking for a quiet and more subdued après-ski scene, then Wanaka might be your best choice. Both locations have buses to ski fields, rental gear, and great restaurants.

Cardrona

A favourite amongst locals, Cardrona is situated halfway between Queenstown and Wanaka. Perfect for beginners, Cardona offers plenty of easy slopes - the main having a spectacular view of the Crown Range. For experienced skiers, the mountain has plenty of intermediate and advanced runs, too. If you’re into flips and tricks, it has a halfpipe of dreams. 

Coronet Peak & The Remarkables

Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are both a part of the NZ ski group. Even better, you can buy a pass that allows you to ski at both.  Being an easy drive from Queenstown, buses run regularly from the centre of town. Suited for beginners and advanced skiers alike, choose these two fields to please everyone. Coronet Peak also opens Friday and Saturday night. Head there if you’re looking for a nighttime ski followed by a nice, warm nightcap.

Treble Cone

The largest ski resort on the South Island, Treble Cone is known for long runs, well-kept slopes, and exquisite views.  As most ski runs are intermediate and above, it's not as suited to beginners. If you're a confident skier and love a good view, choose Treble Cone. Much closer to Wanaka than Queenstown, you're best situating yourself in Wanaka. 

Japan

Japan offers ultimate ski adventure with a cultural twist. With the ski season lasting from December to April, trade the Australian heat for the Japanese snow. Its powder snow is world famous and is suitable for all levels. Despite the language barrier, ski resorts such as Hakuba and Niseko are perfect for international visitors. Offering high-quality ski schools, learn from the best and take in breath-taking views. After shredding the Japanese powder, soak in a traditional ‘Onsen’ hot spring and enjoy the authentic Asian delicacies on offer.

Niseko

Niseko is the most popular ski destination for Australians in Japan. With a large number of visitors each year, you'll be easily understood and have food options you're familiar with. Beyond the food, you will experience classic, powder snow Japan is famous for. With a cluster of seven ski areas, take on the slopes with a single ski pass. Receiving more snowfall than any other ski resort in the world, choose Niseko for a winter sports holiday you’ll never forget.

Hakuba

With the largest foreign populations in Japan, Hakuba is becoming the go-to ski destination for international visitors. The Hakuba Valley hosts nine ski resorts, suiting people of all ages and abilities. The most popular are Happo and Goryu. Both consist of wide open runs, steep slopes, and beginner-friendly areas. If spectating is more your style, Hakuba has a cafe accessible by chairlift. Here, customers can enjoy hot matcha tea and observe the pros from a comfortable setting.

Shiga Kogen

Shiga Kogen is located on the main island and is a special treat for avid skiers. With a collection of 21 ski resorts and 71 different tracks, Shiga Kogen is the place for everyone. Hidden among its many ski fields are several different villages. Pop into a different one each day for a well-earnt sashimi or gyoza.

Canada

Have a friend who's recently moved to Canada? With world-class facilities, bountiful snow and gorgeous mountains, it's easy to see why. Whether you want to follow suit or simply visit, the Canada ski season will not disappoint. With a ski season lasting from September to May, it's a perfect getaway for an Aussie summer. Home to some of the friendliest people in the world, feel welcomed by the Canadian hospitality. The two most popular resorts for Aussies to visit are Whistler and Banff. Located in two completely different provinces, make a trip to the one that suits you best.

Whistler

Home to the biggest ski resort in North America, Whistler has enough ski runs to suit all levels.  So, if you’re looking to go for an entire season, this will be the perfect way to track your progress. With more visitors than any other ski resort worldwide, it is definitely essential for your bucket list!  

Banff

Located in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain, Banff has a more relaxed, village feel. Much more of a quintessential Canadian feel than Whistler. In comparison, it has smaller crowds (they’re still big by our standards) which gives it a slightly more chill pace for the luxury traveller. If you’re set staying all season there are also some great hikes to experience, it’s not just about the snow!