Early snowfall in NSW and Victoria means a longer ski season for 2022. And that means plenty more opportunities for your family to enjoy the snow. Here are a few tips to consider when planning a family ski trip this winter.
Currently, domestic and international borders remain largely open, which means New Zealand is a great option for families wanting to branch out a little further. Just to be safe, we recommend checking the latest New Zealand travel advice before booking your trip.
Pick a family friendly destination
Before packing your bags, there are a few things to consider for your family ski trip.
Does the accommodation suit your entire family?
Are there ski slopes that suit everyone in your family’s ski level?
If you don’t have your own gear are there rental options (including for children) available?
Does the resort or destination have a ski school?
Do you have a backup plan if the weather doesn’t cooperate? Such as other activities nearby?
Is there a kid’s club?
Family-friendly places to ski in Australia
Here’s a shortlist of some great family-friendly ski resorts and ski fields in Australia and New Zealand.
Generally, the best time to book a ski holiday down under is from June to October, though many ski resorts opened earlier than expected due to huge pre-season snowfall.
Nestled in the New South Wales Snowy Mountains, Thredbo has the longest ski runs in Australia and over 50 runs to choose from. The resort also offers a wide range of activities both on and off the slopes for people of all ages and experience.
Mt Buller, Vic
Located 3 hours from Melbourne, Mt Buller has over 300 hectares of skiable land to suit a range of skill and experience levels. To keep the little ones on their toes, there are also two toboggan parks and equipment can be hired from the mountain.
Falls Creek, Vic
Although 60% of the runs at Falls Creek are designated as intermediate, the remainder are evenly split between beginners and advanced. So, it’s a good option for groups with mixed abilities. The resort also offers other ways to enjoy the snow such as bocce, snow tubing and a fun snow dragon show for the kids.
You can read more about these resorts here.
Places to ski in New Zealand
New Zealand has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the best ski destinations in the world. The best time to visit (weather and border restrictions permitting) is also between June and October.
Cardrona Alpine Resort, Wanaka
Cardona has New Zealand’s most extensive beginner terrain and features a great childcare centre that has several activities on offer for kids including private and group lessons. Children under 6 also ski free and lessons for those under 5 include free rental equipment.
Mt Hutt, Christchurch
Frequently voted as one of New Zealand’s best ski resorts, Mt Hutt is a great choice for families and features a special enclosed beginner’s lift and a wide, gentle beginner’s area which is perfect for kids just starting out.
The Remarkables, Queenstown
Perhaps New Zealand’s most famous ski field, The Remarkables has some of the widest, smoothest beginner runs of any NZ family ski resort. That said, it doesn’t offer childcare for kids under the age of 4, so keep that in mind.
Find more about New Zealand travel destinations.
What to pack?
If you’re a passionate skier, sharing your love of the snow with your children can be a memorable family experience. But if the kids are cold and wet, or you’re forced to pay resort prices for items you forgot to pack, your holiday can become memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Before heading off, it’s important to do your own research and have a proper idea of what you’ll need to take with you. On top of your ski gear (whether hiring or bringing your own) here’s a list of the basics.
- Ski hat, gloves and goggles.
- Protective head gear (check if the resort provides this as part of their ski hire).
- Plenty of warm socks.
- Bathers (if the resort has a pool).
- Lip balm and moisturiser as the cold air can be tough on your skin.
- Thermal underwear for under your ski clothes.
- Clothes for the resort and activities other than skiing.
- Appropriate footwear for both indoor and outdoor (non-skiing) activities.
- Snow chains for your vehicle – many ski resorts will require you to carrying a set of snow chains for your car. Many service stations near ski resorts generally hire them out, and can even install them for you.
And just in case…
No matter how well you plan your trip, sometimes things go wrong. And unfortunately, travelling down a mountain carries a little more risk than sitting on a beach. That’s why you should consider adding ski and snow cover to your travel insurance policy. In fact, if you don’t add winter sports cover you won’t be covered for any accidents or expenses related to winter activities.