Surfing skills certainly help if you are thinking of starting snowboarding. As does skateboarding. It’s a question of balance and if you start with the advantage of understanding your balance it won’t take you long to conquer snowboarding.
The snow season is beginning to hot-up down there in the southern hemisphere – hot-up did I say? Perhaps i should say ‘cool down’. The Aus resorts open in 16 days, though in some places they are already churning out artificial snow so that the slopes are ready – apparently cut prices on passes are being offered in some resorts for the first few days…
Another great pre-season snowfall has covered Mt Hotham over the weekend, with around 20cm falling in the village. The cloud has cleared this morning leaving bright blue skies, and spectacular alpine views with snow down to about 1000m. However, incase you are suspicious as to whether it snows or merely pretends to in Australia, here’s a fairly conclusive few-second clip of the chairlift at Mt. Hotham:
- Falls Creek High in the Australian Alps in North East Victoria.
- Mt Buffalo Ski Resort
A small personal resort, ideal for learning to ski or improve your skiing ability. 320km north of
- Mt Hotham
Victoria’s highest alpine resort. 350km from Melbourne.
- Mt. Buller
Australia’s premier mountain resort, located 3 hours from Melbourne. Includes trail maps and ski report.
- Perisher Blue
Australia’s largest ski area covering 1,250 hectares.
- Selwyn Snowfields
Wide open groomed terrain near Cabramurra, Australia.
The highest skiing and longest runs in Australia. 5.5 to 6.5 hours from Sydney or Melbourne.
- Thredbo Ski Resort
In the heart of Kosciusko National Park, 31 kilometres from Jindabyne, Australia.
New Zealand generally opens around June to October, but this varies considerably, as you can imagine, from one ski area to another. It is one of the most popular places for skiing and snowboarding in the southern hemisphere. Browsing around a forum earlier it seems that the Aussi slopes are more tame than New Zealand – although I stand to be corrected on this moot point as I have never skied in Australia or new Zealand.
The most extreme location I have ever skied in
The furthest South I have ever skied is the Atlas Mountains, Morocco. not a place one would normally associate with skiing, but it was so off the beaten track we just had to try it! It was an unforgettable experience!
The road up was terrifying – a narrow crumbled tarred strip clinging precariously to the edge of the mountain abounding in blind corners and gut wrenching drops. The amount of times we met a lorry hurtling down, clinging obstinately to the middle of the road, forcing us into the mountain – happily not over the edge – were too numerous to keep count of.
We were wrecks by the time we got to the ‘resort’. And ‘resort’ is a bit of a misnomer. There was one shack at the bottom of the slopes where you could hire the kit. The skis weren’t quite wooden planks but they were jolly close to that. The sticks had massive buckets on the end. The bindings wrapped round our legs it seemed a thousand times, and, being early April, the snow was heavy and slushy and there was only one piste open. This didn’t deter a determined group of guys at the bottom shouting “guide, guide, tu veux un guide” !!!
New Zealand is one of the most popular places for skiing and snowboarding in the southern hemisphere. It varies considerably from one ski area to another. Snow-making machines assist nature when necessary – as they do in every ski resort in the world – when necessary.
South Island has some of the best commercial ski fields in New Zealand – Coronet Peak & The Remarkables in Queenstown, Cardrona & Treble Cone in Wanaka and Mt Hutt in Methven.
North Island has one of largest ski areas – Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park. Whakapapa has 30 groomed runs and 23 lifts. Around the other side of
CORONET PEAK SKI FIELD: Queenstowns Coronet Peak is the South Islands most popular ski area and with good reason. Diverse terrain, fantastic views and a cosmopolitan ambience create a superb winter experience for every level of snow sport enthusiast.
THE REMARKABLES SKI FIELD: Queenstown’s true alpine ski area. The emphasis is definitely on joining in and having fun, whether beginner, intermediate or looking for serious adrenaline.
MT. HUTT SKI FIELD: Nestled high inside the eastern rim of the Southern Alps is Mt Hutt ski area, which receives some of the deepest, lightest, driest powder in Australasia.