Australia and New Zealand have always had a long-standing rivalry. From claiming the credit for many of each other’s famous exports (think Russell Crowe and the Pavlova) to beating the pants off each other in sport, Australia and New Zealand frequently go head to head. When it comes to ski holidays, Australia does offer some you beaut ski fields, but the ski options in Queenstown are choice as bro.
Although Australia is home to the largest commercial ski field in the Southern Hemisphere, Queenstown ski fields take the title with more annual snowfall, offering deep, untracked powder and plenty of freshies. Queentown’s Treble Cone receives an annual snowfall of 5.5m compared to just 4m at Australia’s Falls Creek. Better still, the higher peaks and lower temperatures of Queenstown result in better powder.
Heli-skiing and heli-boarding are popular ski options for adrenaline junkies, however neither of these heart-pounding experiences are permitted in Australia. Better yet, if you’re looking for a break from the slopes Queenstown offers some extreme adventure activities including white water rafting, jet boating, parapenting and bungy jumping or take on the triple challenge.
"If you’re looking for a break from the slopes Queenstown offers extreme adventure activities"
Aside from the novelty of skiing in Middle Earth, Queenstown skiing is more visually spectacular. The mountain ranges of Queenstown are unparalleled in beauty and are also higher than Australia. In terms of rewards for reaching the top, the view out over the valley from Queenstown ski fields is truly remarkable. When it comes to wow factor, Queenstown wins hands down.
"Aside from the novelty of skiing in Middle Earth, the mountain ranges of Queenstown are unparalleled in beauty"
Thanks to the favourable exchange rate, a Queenstown ski holiday can often be on par with or even cheaper than the cost of an Australian ski holiday, depending on where you live. With lift passes and gear rentals often working out cheaper in Queenstown, you can enjoy all the excitement of an overseas trip for about the same price, particularly when booking Queenstown ski holiday packages, which offer substantial discounts.
Running from early June to early October, the Queenstown ski season is longer than winter itself and is actually one of the longest ski seasons in all of Australasia. For families, this offers the added bonus of giving you two sets of school holidays to choose from when it comes to Queenstown ski holidays.
"The Queenstown ski season is one of the longest in all of Australasia and is actually longer than winter itself"
Compared to the fewer options of the off-mountain Australian ski scene, the stunning lakeside resort of Queenstown is home to 130 bars and restaurants in just 1 kmsq and is a real foodies paradise. Not to mention it’s home to the famous Fergburger and although you may need to line up around the block to sample their delicious creations, it’s absolutely worth the wait. For those who love nothing better than some après-ski after dark activities, Queenstown is a mecca for night life and is all kinds of spectacular.