3 Countries You Definitely Need to Go Skiing ASAP

Snowboard Feature

Do I have any keen skiers or snowboarders out there? If so, you’ve probably heard of these awesome places, and if you haven’t been, you better get them on your travel list ASAP! This post is definitely not just for the pro’s, because if you remember my last attempt at snow sledding, I nearly flew off the edge of a cliff… feel free to read that embarrassing story here.

Winter has definitely arrived in the Southern Hemisphere, and we’re all freaking out because we get 9+ months of heat every year. However, there are always those crazy people who just can’t get enough and need to head to the snow. Wait, THAT’S ME! That’s right guys, I’m heading back across the ditch to one of my favourite destinations, NEW ZEALAND, to attempt snowboarding again, photograph the Milky Way and chase the elusive Southern Lights (the lesser known cousin of the Aurora Borealis). I’m also excited to announce I’ll be visiting Tasmania as well! So keep your eyes peeled for amazing photos on Instagram!

So if you’re awesome and love a bit of a snow adventure, you better get yourself to at least one of these destinations this year!

1. CANADA

Canada Ski

Okay, so most of my friends have deserted me at some point to go work on the ski fields in Canada – and with good reason! Canada is ridiculously stunning in any season and there’s just so much to explore. From thermal hot springs in the Rocky Mountains and spectacular Lake Louise, to endless bike trails and bustling metropoles, there is something for everyone. Here’s a quick run down of the ski fields and why you should visit:

Whistler: The largest ski resort in North America, incredibly varied terrain for all skill levels, great for first-timers and awesome off-slope activities.

AWARDS: Best Overall Terrain, Best Advanced On-Piste Terrain, Best Off-Piste Terrain, Best Expert and Extreme Terrain, Best Infrastructure, Best Terrain Park

Banff: Vibrant nightlife, varied terrain, and phenomenal views.

AWARDS: Best Nightlife, Best Restaurants, Best Shopping

Silver Star: Charming village, great snow, caters well for families and beginners, and has heaps of runs for intermediate/advanced skiers and snowboarders.

AWARDS: Best Family Ski Resorts/For Kids

Big White: Mostly ski-in/ski-out accommodation, great for families, overall targeted at beginner/intermediates.

AWARDS: Best Beginner Terrain, Best Intermediate Terrain, Best Family Ski Resorts/For Kids

 

2. JAPAN

Japan Gondola Snow

Japan is renowned for having some of the best powder snow in the world, with an average of 10-18 metres of snow per season! You might already be hyped up on Japan from last week’s post about my Top 5 Must-Do Experiences, so make that Top 6 and head out to one of these ski fields for your next snow getaway:

Hakuba: Quite family-orientated and well suited for beginners to intermediates. Easily accessible from Tokyo via bullet train/transfer.

AWARDS: Top Rated Ski Resort

Niseko: The world’s powder playground! Incredible terrain to suit all skill levels. Fly from Tokyo to Sapporo and transfer.

AWARDS: Best Ski Terrain, Best Skiing in Japan, Best Powder, Best Off-Piste Terrain, Best Easily Accessible Backcountry, Best Overall Resort in Japan

 

3. NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand Snow

Having been an Aussie travel agent in Queensland for a few years, it was interesting to see that a lot of the time, it was actually cheaper to fly to Queenstown and hit the slopes in NZ, than it was to head down south to the snow in our own country! Although I had an awesome time at Perisher back in the day, I’m super excited to get back over to New Zealand (this weekend!) and try out Cardrona. Here are some of the many great ski fields in NZ and the Powderhounds Awards they’ve won:

Cardrona: A good all-round ski field, especially for families and beginners/intermediates

AWARDS: Best Beginner Ski Resort, Best Terrain Park, Best Family Resort

Coronet Peak: The most popular ski field on NZ’s South Island due to its proximity to Queenstown – great for intermediates

AWARDS: Best Intermediate Terrain, Lift Infrastructure Award

Treble Cone: Fantastic terrain (45% for experts), longest vertical drop and spectacular scenery out across Lake Wanaka and Mt Aspiring

AWARDS: Best Overall Terrain, Best Overall Ski Resort

Remarkables: Impressive Terrain Parks – great for freestylers

AWARDS: Best Terrain Park

 

There are heaps of amazing ski destinations around the world, have you been to any of the above? Have something to add to this list?

*Images for this post are from Shutterstock (time for me to get back out snowboarding and take some of my own!)

3 Comments

  1. October 24, 2016 / 11:33 am

    We were just at Cardrona last month! My snowboarding *finally* came together, after very sporadic practise sessions over the past 10 years, but not falling over all the time made it SO much more fun and less tiring. As you’d expect. 🙂 My 7yo had his first go – pretty much nailed it – and my 5yo tried skiing for the first time and nailed that. I don’t think it’ll take them as long as it did me to start ripping those slopes.
    Japan is at the top of our snow holiday bucket list – Niseko sounds amazing. Is there a lot of Japanese culture there too, in the way of local, non-Westernised dining and shopping, and temples and shrines to visit?

    • October 25, 2016 / 8:43 am

      OMG this made me laugh out loud! Why are kids just naturally good at this stuff?! When I was in Switzerland over Christmas 2 years ago, I decided to go tobogganing because I was travelling solo and didn’t want to kill myself snowboarding… I followed the 6 year olds so I could find the “easy” run. These kids were running to start, and going head first. I literally nearly died by almost going over the UN-FENCED edge… Note to self: Follow the adults, not the kids, to find the “easy” run.
      Japan is one of my favourite destinations – it’s such a beautiful and varied country and the rail system is so easy to navigate. There certainly are lots of cultural activities – depending on what you’re into, there’s classes for Japanese calligraphy and cooking, restaurants tend to cater for both western and traditional meals, but if you search around, you’re bound to find some classic Japanese restaurants. Don’t know too much about shrines in that area, but there are plenty dotted around the country, so see if you can do a multi-destination flight to capture both worlds 🙂 If you’re heading over in ski season, see if you can line up with Kutchan Yukitopia Festival. It’s a snow festival with heaps of awesome events and there’s a free shuttle bus too! Also, don’t forget to try out an Onsen! If you’re not keen on baring your bum to the world in the traditional way, some ski resorts have them in your own private room too. If you haven’t already, sign up for Jetstar’s alerts – their 2-for-1 flights from the Gold Coast to Japan are GREAT!

      • October 25, 2016 / 4:31 pm

        A snow festival would be AWESOME. Is that the one with all the ice sculptures? Yes please! And onsens are definitely on the list. I went to quite a few as an exchange student – lots of bum baring! :’D But a nice private one with hubby sounds fabulous too – especially if it has an outside view! And yes, I’m on Jetstar’s pester list – they have some unbelievable fares. If I didn’t have a family and responsibilities I’d’ve dropped everything and headed back over ages ago! #oneday

Leave a Reply