Solid snowfall in the first half of this ski season has sent Aussies into a ski frenzy. With snow falling as far north as Tenterfield in the Northern Tablelands, it’s not surprising to see snow bunnies heading to Australian slopes to enjoy some fresh powder, but data from global travel search engine Skyscanner, shows Aussies are turning their gaze to New Zealand, with a 49 percent increase compared to last year.
A favourable exchange rate, affordable airfares, cut price accommodation and car hire topped off with consistent snowfall makes New Zealand the ultimate destination for a last minute winter getaway, especially if you want to stretch your travel dollar that little bit further.
Skyscanner suggests six weeks in advance as the best time to book a NZ trip so there is still plenty to time to get a great deal to the land of the long white cloud before the season’s end.
Here are Skyscanner six NZ snow escape picks:
With direct flights from Sydney, Queenstown is the ultimate destination for a quick getaway. This iconic ski destination offers a choice of mountains, including the iconic Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. From the quality piste and big backcountry, to heli-skiing and fantastic nightlife, Queenstown has something for everyone.
Situated on the stunning Lake Wanaka, you are spoilt for choice with three world-class ski areas to choose from. Make sure to pick up a flexi pass to enjoy both Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone. For those looking for something a little different, Snow Farm is NZ’s only commercial Nordic Skiing area with over 50 kilometers of groomed trails.
With a name like that, Mount Olympus has a lot to live up to but with the country’s best snowfall, powder and small crowds, it certainly doesn’t disappoint. Providing the most diverse terrain on offer, Mount Olympus is the perfect destination for first timers to seasoned pros.
MOUNT COOK AND THE GLACIERS
If bigger is better, look no further than Mount Cook and the Glaciers. As NZ’s highest mountain, Mount Cook is snow capped all year round and for a truly unique ski experience you can ski NZ’s largest glacier.
Only a one-and-a-half hour drive from Christchurch, Craigieburn is the ultimate destination for experienced boarders and skiers on a budget. Don’t expect any resort frills, as Craigieburn is not run for commercial gain. However, the lack of chairlifts and groomed runs is more then compensated for by dynamic powered terrain for the ultimate ski and board experience.
For a truly unique experience try skiing on an active volcano! Mount Ruapehu is home to the only ski areas on the North Island and a single pass grants you access to both Whakapapa Ski Area and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts. The treeless terrain has good diversity for beginners as well as the more experienced, and remains its quality into October and even early November.