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Skiing in July 2017 - NZ or Australia?

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#1 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 16 October 2016 - 05:40 PM

As the topic says, which one? It will be DH, DD (6yo) and me. All of us pretty uncoordinated and never skied before. We will be going in school hols (middle week of July) and I'm worried that an Australian ski holiday at that time could mean no snow at all!

What do people suggest?

And of course, interested in any recommendations re location, accomodation, anything else we should know!

#2 opki

Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:30 PM

We went skiing in NZ this year in August. We stayed in Queesntown and skiied at Coronet Peak and the Remarkables. You can use a ski pass at either of those locations- both around 30 - 45 mins from Queenstown. They were both really good! The Remarkables had a few more beginner runs but was a bit further away. We had our 3 and 5 year olds with us and they did skiing lessons. For your 6 year old they have "Kea Kids" which is all day group lessons for kids- lunch is provided. My 5 year old did this and enjoyed it- he even had one on one lessons for an afternoon, because there was no one else in the group. This was the first time skiing for the kids and it went really well- all the instructors were friendly and great with kids. I hadn't done much skiing either and found the lessons really good and the instructors supportive.

As for accommodation I would recommend booking early as Queenstown books up pretty quickly, especially around school holidays. I think in terms of price it's pretty similar, but the NZ scenery is amazing and Queenstown is an awesome place to experience. I would recommend it over skiing in Australia (though I haven't been to any of the Victorian resorts). There are also heaps of other fun things to do in Queenstown if you want a day off from skiing!

#3 QuisbySchmoo

Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:38 PM

I've posted this before on EB before, but our go to accommodation in Queenstown are the Platinum Villa's.

We've stayed there a number of times now and cannot recommend it highly enough.


#4 halcyondays

Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:41 PM

I love nz, because I can only go during school holidays, and need to put my leave in 12 months in advance. Guaranteed snow in nz, possibly not in aus in July. If timing doesn't matter too much to you, you could wait til June, see how the season seems to be starting and make plans from there.
There is also more to see and do in Queenstown and surrounds than in, say, Thredbo.

#5 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:44 PM

Thanks Opki, that is all really good to know. Did you drive to the snow each day or catch the shuttle bus?

#6 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 16 October 2016 - 06:47 PM

Foogle - those apartments look fantastic. Will definitely add them to our list.

halycondays - I'm not really willing to wait until June, partly because the best accomodation will all be taken. So it sounds NZ is probably the way to go for us.

#7 opki

Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:25 PM

We drove ourselves to the snow each day but the shuttle busses looked like they were easy to use and ran quite often. Queenstown is quite small if you stay right in town so you wouldn't need a car. But we were driving around the country so had a cheap "road trip special" from Apex Car Hire which worked out well!

#8 fr0g

Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:32 PM

FTR, we just returned from NZ last week - Coronet Peak had just closed & Mt Hutt was still open.

Beautiful snow everywhere!!

#9 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:34 PM

 Fr0g, on 16 October 2016 - 07:32 PM, said:

FTR, we just returned from NZ last week - Coronet Peak had just closed & Mt Hutt was still open.

Beautiful snow everywhere!!

Hmm, September holidays, that's always an option. I was hoping to cut down the options, not increase them! LOL!!

#10 Moukmouk

Posted 16 October 2016 - 07:54 PM

 Foogle, on 16 October 2016 - 06:38 PM, said:

I've posted this before on EB before, but our go to accommodation in Queenstown are the Platinum Villa's.

We've stayed there a number of times now and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Foogle, that's where we stay as well! Shhhh, don't tell everyone. I much prefer skiing in NZ, as there is actually snow, the runs are good, and queenstown has great accomodation, food and wine. The trek up the mountain is annoying though, and the road up to the remarkables is ..... Interesting. The ski school is great at the remarkables. We've also been in September school holidays and it was beautiful - 1.5 m base of snow and sunny. But, if you have never skied before, maybe it is easier to go somewhere you can stay on site, then branch out later.

Edited by Moukmouk, 16 October 2016 - 07:54 PM.

#11 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 17 October 2016 - 05:20 PM

Is there anywhere you can stay on site in NZ? Or do you have to drive to the slopes with all the ski fields?

#12 kidwrangler

Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:04 PM

We had the a similar discussion this year for the Sept hols and ended up crossing our fingers and booked in Australia for a few reasons (and it was a great trip, lots of snow!).

Ski insurance: you will need travel insurance if you ski NZ, and it will be more expensive because skiing isn't covered under normal policies. If you or the kids break anything, it's going to be potentially a big issue with flights and returning home.

En piste: we preferred to be on the mountain as we were taking the kids on their first ski trip and no way did I want to be factoring in trying to drive a hire car with our gear or timing things around a bus/ train/ lift. There are a lot more on the mountain options we could find in Australia that didn't involve trying to co-ordinate kids and gear.

Luggage: we chose to drive down rather than fly over so we could take all the extra luggage required for skiing/ winter sports. My husband took time off to drive down with us, but then flew home to return to work while the kids and I had a bit more holiday fun travelling home again.

If you are looking in Australia, we stayed in Thredbo (at the Lantern Apartments, also stayed there on an Easter holiday to climb Mt Kosciuszko). Loved the fact the chairs run from the village, as it meant we could come and go off the mountain as the kids wanted without any stress. There's also a heated pool in the leisure centre for other fun.

My advice is check the snow graphs for the last few seasons to better judge if you'll have good coverage in the July holidays or not. As beginners, you'll want to make sure there's enough coverage on the lower runs.

All the best with the fun of planning :)

#13 dad2two_

Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:44 PM

Australia s very hit and miss when it comes to snow and the "mountains" (hills) aren't particularly high, so relatively small runs and the need for snow machines. Cost of ski hire and ski passes is very high, one of the highest in the world, not sure about cost of accommodation. It can get very crowded too. I would opt for NZ over Australia or consider somewhere like Japan, guaranteed snow and cheaper.

Be careful who you speak to as well, when I was looking into Aus vs NZ I was getting some people giving rave reviews about Australia, so I had to do a bit of research first and formed my own opinion. I think if you get a decent snowfall, anywhere can be good, so if you've skied in Australia and got good snow, you're going to rave about the place. But that's a big if. There are places that are still OK with not much snow e.g glacier skiing in Europe, snow all year round, just the lower slopes will be slushy, but Australia and NZ (to a lesser extent) aren't like that. No/little snow = no skiing. The only way I'd consider Australia is a last minute holiday when they've had a decent snowfall or have a plan b to do something in case of no snow.

Posted Image

Europe summer skiing with zero snowfall
Posted Image

#14 dad2two_

Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:02 PM

Also for snowboarding, fresh, deep snow is very easy to learn on, great for beginners. Slush or hard packed snow/ice is a nightmare and painful. Not sure about skiing though, can a skier confirm?

#15 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:25 PM

Yeah, I was wondering about the 'not staying on the mountain' issue with NZ. Maybe a Sept plan in Australia would be better. Gah! So hard to know what to do!

#16 opki

Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:29 PM

I don't think driving to the snow fields each day is a big problem. In NZ you get all your gear on the mountain and they will store it for you so you don't need to get remeasured each day. So you don't have to worry about driving with equipment.

#17 dad2two_

Posted 19 October 2016 - 01:33 PM

 opki, on 19 October 2016 - 01:29 PM, said:

I don't think driving to the snow fields each day is a big problem. In NZ you get all your gear on the mountain and they will store it for you so you don't need to get remeasured each day. So you don't have to worry about driving with equipment.

Yup, no worries at all. In Wanaka we were a short drive to Treble Cone and same with Queenstown, it's not a big mission.

#18 Not Escapin Xmas

Posted 19 October 2016 - 06:56 PM

OK, that's good to know. I must admit, I've been leaning towards NZ for exactly the reasons you mention dad2two_. Going on the big snow adventure only to find there isn't any doesn't sound like fun!

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