The best ski resorts in Australia and NZ
THE SNOW will be falling on some of our mountains and that means winter holidays. Whether you are a top skier or a beginner or you just love to sit back and enjoy the apres ski fun, there is something here for you.
Ann Rickard gives her top picks in Australia and then hops over the ditch for couple more
Mt. Hotham, Victoria
In the Victorian Alps, this is one of the country's most popular ski towns and has mid-week deals in the season making it senior friendly. Clinics and programs, great slopes and 18 bars and restaurants. Way to go.
The name has been synonymous with Australian skiing for as long as an old Aussie snow-skier can remember. In NSW's Snowy Mountains, this pretty place has all the hallmarks of an alpine village. Fourteen chairlifts will get you to the top quickly and comfortably. Good retail outlets and plenty of restaurants to keep you content once off the slopes.
Mt. Buller, Victoria
A three hour drive from Melbourne and a popular resort village. Great downhill runs and good for cross-country skiers. There is also hiking and mountain bike riding. The Village Square Plaza has free WiFi and is open from early morning until late.
In the Kosciuszko National Park, this is a big one. Seven mountains, slopes for all levels from beginners to professionals. An extensive range of properties in the Perisher Valley lets you choose from budget to super-fancy.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Yes, we know it is not in Australia but what would a Top Ten Ski feature be without mentioning this iconic destination across the ditch? The spectacular beauty of Queenstown is more than worth the three hour flight. With modern chairlifts, big runs, four ski resorts, heart-stopping views and a place known for its café society and night-life you have it all - even if you never put on the ski boots.
Falls Creek, Victoria
Good cross country skiing and home to Australia's National Cross Country Ski Team but there's more than just skiing here: street parties, fireworks and plenty of entertainment. A massage at the day spa will soothe that thigh-burn and have you ready for the slopes again.
Charlotte Pass, NSW
The highest resort in the Snowy Mountains and with the highest annual snowfall of any ski resort, this is a reliable one. No big crowds adds to its appeal. The Kosciusko Chalet Hotel or one the 12 lodges? Package deals include lift tickets, ski-hire and group lessons.
Mt. Hutt, New Zealand
Back over the ditch again, but it's an easy flight into Christchurch where the mountain range offers magnificent slopes. An hour and a half drive from Christchurch gets you there. Good children's facilities if you want to take the grandkids. The nearby town of Methven offers plenty of accommodation in a charming country town environment.
Mt Ruapehu, North Island New Zealand
Staying over the ditch but in the North Island, this is a pretty alpine destination in a World Heritage National Park. More than 54 runs to explore.
Mt. Mawson, Tasmania
Low cost, no crowds, the Mount Field National Park, an hour and a half drive from Hobart, four kilometres of slopes, beginners well looked after...that's a lot to love about a ski resort in the Apple Isle.