Even if you live in the Northern hemisphere, there’s no need to say goodbye to the ski slopes come mid spring as by this time the Southern Hemisphere is just gearing up for its ski season.
With a bit of forward planning, a southern hemisphere summer skiing trip needn’t cost the earth, even if you have to travel half way around it to enjoy it.
The southern hemisphere certainly has a wide variety of ski destinations worth travelling for, so check out our guide to the best ski resorts in the southern hemisphere to make sure you are firmly in the know about the best winter sports locations, wherever you are on the planet!
Located near NZ’s adventure capital Queenstown, Coronet Peak is the South Island’s most popular mountain resort. Stylish new facilities including high speed chairlifts, extensive trails, several restaurants and a heated deck, attract skiers and snowboarders of all age ranges and ability levels. There are also retail facilities and snow sports schools.
First Tracks and Night skiing also mean Coronet Peak offers more time on the snow than anywhere else in New Zealand, while snow machines ensure there is always plenty of the white stuff over the course of the season.
Queenstown itself is something of a party town, so great for a night out, with thousands of tourists looking for all manner of extreme activities.
Also located near Queenstown, The Remarkables, where scenes from the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed, is actually owned and operated by the same company as Coronet Peak. There are therefore combined packages available for both sites. The Remarkables is generally the more snow boarder friendly of the two locations and features a large terrain park.
The Remarkables is generally the quieter of the 2 and is not overly commercialised, so is in some ways better suited to families. There are a variety of slopes from wider, gentler slopes for beginners to the bigger more advanced slopes, including some good black runs.
Ski learning packages are also available and there are many special events organised from mini park battles and eating contests to music gigs on the slopes.
Located in the state of Victoria, about half way between Melbourne and Canberra, Falls Creek is easily one of Australia’s finest ski resorts. The slopes are suitable for beginners and advanced skiers, with almost 100, ski runs catering for a wide variety of experience levels, as well as 21 cross country trails, with around 50 miles of piste altogether. Falls Creek is Australia’s free ride and free style capital.
The resort is comprised of four distinct areas–Village Bowl (with the principal slopes), Sun Valley, the Black Diamond Maze Area and the Terrain Park, but lacks Alpine like runs.
Being a 'ski-in ski-out' resort, you can ski/board from the door of all lodgings, which makes for a lot of fun!
Thredbo is another one of Australia’s premier ski resorts. It is located approximately 280 miles outside of Sydney within the aptly named Snowy Mountains. There are 40 runs, 12 lifts and Australia’s biggest vertical drop–2,205 feet.
State of the art computerized snowmakers keep the powder coming and though not super challenging, Thredbo is highly recommended for beginner skiers.
Bariloche in the Argentinian region of Patagonia is a huge resort with 42 miles of trails and 38 lifts. The slopes are suitable for a variety of skill levels from adventure skiers to novices. There are plenty of ski schools too.
The resort actually has something of a European vibe to it, and despite being in Patagonia the nightlife, hotels, bars, clubs and restaurants are more similar to Buenos Aires than a snowy wilderness!
The resort of Portillo, built around a frozen lake on a high plateau, with the spectacular vista of the Uspallata Pass as its backdrop, is about a 2 hour drive from the capital, Santiago. The management have a policy of deliberately limiting the numbers of skiers allowed on the slopes in any one day, so it’s never too crowded.
There is a range of terrain for a variety of skill levels but Portillo is a firm favourite as a training centre for national ski teams, so will certainly appeal to dedicated skiers.
After hitting the slopes, almost everyone retires to the grand Hotel Portillo for après-ski. The food at the resort is always amazing, while each Friday night there is a beautiful torch-lit parade performed by students of the local ski school.