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australia vs. new zealand

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
i skiied a fair part of the european
and nort american skiresorts. this year i'd love
to try out some of the new zealand and/or
australian resorts.
where to start?
can anyone compare skiing in australia
to new zealand in "european terms" (or north american)
(as new zealand is like chamonix (i.e. vail in north american), while australia
compares to german resorts (in na: jay peak)? )
thanx for your help.
post #2 of 24
I have not skied in Aussie, but have visited their mountains in summer for hiking. I have not been to Europe so can't compare there.

Australia have tree skiing, New Zealand don't. Skiing in NZ is all above tree line, big open bowls and faces.

In NZ you have to drive us access roads to get to the mountains, little or no on mountain accomodation not enough flat are, and not allowed for environmental reasons). Usually a 30 minute drive form a nearby town. In aussie you can experience the mountain village at places like Thredbo.

The New Zealand resorts apparently get better snow - I base this on the number of aussies who come to NZ to ski instead of staying at home - the snow is better and it is cheaper for them.

If you get to NZ, I would skip the North island ski areas and come straight to the south island.

Web site has info on the 22 ski fields in the south island, trail maps etc. Many of these are small club fields with rope tows, but are open to the public. If you like staying on the mountain and going back country then the club field are excellent and cheap for this.

There is no worries with altitude sickness, nothing is high enough in either Aus or NZ. because we are so far south it is still plenty cold enough for snow.

You can ski out of bounds in NZ and you will be rescued by ski patrol or police serach and rescue. Unless you were totally negligent they won't charge you.

I cannot compare the NZ fields to any of the Canadian ones I have been too because they all have trees and we don't have any. Don't miss Treble Cone, NZ, if you make it down under. Has the most vertical out of all the fields and is our favourite for variety of terrain.
post #3 of 24
Alice - Can't comment on the skiing, but both countries are well worth the trip, from wherever you call home.

Kiwis are open friendly people, always kind to strangers, and friendly as all get out. Their country is BEAUTIFUL, no two ways about it. See the whole thing while you're there. If any regulars know Marilyn (Mal) Scott or Paula Jenkins (names 25 years ago!), from Auckland, tell them Jim from Canada says hi.

Aussies are a bit more boisterous, but just as friendly. Just don't make a comment, even in friendly jest, about the convict settlement history. They're a little touchy on that one. But they're happy to see you, and will show you a good time. There's a girl I met on the train from Cairns to Brisbane...... (I'm not as good a story teller as Ott, and it's a different story!). I'm a gentleman, so I won't tell you her name, but she was an accountant.

There's a place called Shark Bay, out by Perth. Probably a bit far from any ski areas, but I hear the wild dolphins used to come in and swim among the swimmers regularly. That would be worth the trip, all by itself.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
thanx for the help.
still haven't really made up my mind.
seems like treble cone is a must-go. the remarkables definitely live up to their name.
but, i could no problems get a working travel visa for oz. so, given the fact that i want to stay for 2 month it seems more sensible
to ski & travel & work ...

but, eitherway, i make sure to say hi from jim to everyone i encounter down under!

post #5 of 24
My vote would be for Australia. They have a much healthier attitude towards snowboards as the follow article shows:
post #6 of 24
Alice - I appreciate it. Have a great time.

post #7 of 24
To add a couple of comments, I've never skiied NZ, for a couple of reasons, but I have plenty of friends/family who have.

What stops me I guess is the lack of on-snow accommodation - I don't fancy a 45 min (apparently life-threatening) drive to ski every day. As mentioned, NZ mountains have very few trees, and are therefore subject to high winds, which can close down the entire resort. Mt Hutt is referred to as 'Mt Shutt'.

As to snow quality - let's not forget last year: a bumper season in Aus, but a true shocker in NZ.

NZ offers heli-skiing, Australia doesn't (to my knowledge).

Australia has some nice little resorts - ski in ski out accom, nightlife etc. I'll be working this season in Perisher Blue, the biggest (easy 6 hour drive from Sydney).

Check out and have a look at the resort pages, they'll give you all the statistics etc on both Australian and NZ mountains.

Don't come to Australia just for the skiing, there is an awful lot more to do and see.

And Jimmy, I don't know where you got the idea Australians don't like being reminded of our past. Having convict ancestors has a certain amount of social cachet - rather like Americans boasting that their ancestors came over on the Mayflower!!
post #8 of 24
Cherry Ripe - You're right, 99% of Aussies I've met are good people.

We were in Tahiti at Club Med several years ago. In the lunch line, an older American woman was chatting with a young Aussie girl. Pleasant chat, smiles all around, until the older lady mentioned, nicely I thought, about the convict settlement of Australia.

The younger girl gave her best impression of a Tasmanian Devil, and just ripped into the little old lady. I have NEVER seen anyone turn downright mean so fast, for so little.

Fortunately, there were other Aussies in earshot, who put the young lady in her place, in typical, "gentle" Aussie style. They showed true Aussie class and spirit.

I'd go back there in a heartbeat. New Zealand too.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by Jimmy P (edited May 07, 2001).]</FONT>
post #9 of 24
Aussie have better cabs, Shiraz and reds.
NZ have better Sauvignon Blancs..

oops, wrong forum...
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
wrong forum, but right address.
something to consider

post #11 of 24
Welcome aboard. I see you are only about 1 Month into our little corner of the world.
Let's see.. Germany, that would be good crisp dry rieslings?
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
i'd go for the beer instead.
post #13 of 24
Ok here is my take on it....having skied and lived in both.

- the scenery is truly mind blowing...simply amazing...
- the snow is normaly way better than Aust, more chance of Pow
- the dollar is slightly weaker against $US than Australia.
- no on mtn accomodation ( but that just adds character to the place) there are regular shuttles
- If you are looking for a party Q'town, NZ is the place to be. Kiwis are very very friendly people and sure know how to party.
- You can also bungy jump, jet boat, heli ski, horse ride etc, etc.
- If you are looking for less of a party town but some great pubs and locals try Wanaka, closer to Treble Cone and Cardrona.

- On mtn accomadation lends itself to the party life and ski in/ ski out
- You can also go nth and check out the great barrier reef etc..go surfing...etc
- The beer...hmmm the beeerrrr...

Then again why not do both ! Either way you'll have a blast.

post #14 of 24
I think there's no question that New Zealand offers superior skiing, simply because the mountains are bigger!
Australian resorts have had to install extensive snowmaking, because they're in a fairly marginal situation snow-wise. However, Thredbo is a pleasant place with probably the most extensive terrain in Australia, but you'd be bored after a couple of days' skiing there.
For my money I'd definitely agree with the previous post, and head for Queenstown NZ.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
from the pictures i saw: my heart is set
on nz. allthough i was told that
the mountains resemble too much of the alps
and are disappointing therefore. but,
i can't remember skiing a vulcano with a view
to the pacific in switzerland...

the only thing that troubles me, is the
money aspect, as i do hold a work & travel visa for australia.

anyway, thanx for the all comments & suggestions.
post #16 of 24
maybe you should apply for a work and travel visa to NZ ? I imagine it is similar to Australia.

Great choice though...NZ would win hands down in my book. If you go to Q'twn make sure you get a chance to see Milford Sound...its spectacular.

Enjoy !!!
post #17 of 24
What Jane said.
post #18 of 24
If you want to see what our alps look like, go see the movie 'Vertical Limit', it was filmed in the South Island.

Our scenery can also be seen in the upcoming 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy which was filmed throughout NZ. The series Hercules and Xena are also filmed here but in the North Island - the better scenery is in the South.

Skiing in the North Island is not as 'reliable' as the South Island. Their weather is less settled, and the mountain does get closed due to volcanic eruptions - it is not a dormant volvano!
post #19 of 24
Saw Vertical Limit on the plane back from the US. No wonder there was so many Kiwi and Oz actors in it!!! Seeing Tameura whatsisname being a Pakistani chopper pilot was the best though.

The US dollar goes miles in both countries: the Oz dollar is two for one US dollar, NZ you do even better, approx 3 kiwis to the greenback.

Oz skiing is best compared to the mountains of New England, without the bitter cold. The mountains are quite rounded, the snow is wetter, we get a fair bit of ice and slush, but there's tree skiing and bad weather doesn't have such an impact. The worst weather for us is rain. We NEVER get the New England Freezing Rain however.

The Kiwis have big huge rocky alp-type mountains. They need more snow as they are rocky. They're above the treeline, so wind and whiteouts are a consideration. But it is "big mountain" skiing.

Ultimately, you are going to enjoy wherever you go, remember that!
post #20 of 24
It has started snowing in New Zealand. 25 cm in the last few days.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
summer season started in europe
& my friends think i'm nuts to go skiing
instead of enjoying the sun...
but. i can't wait to get to nz!

post #22 of 24
This URL has links to 4 recent photos at Coronet peak. The two images of the valley are taken from the skifield looking out at the valley view. The lower area does not normally have snow settling all winter, just for a few days every now and then over winter.
post #23 of 24
For my 10 cents worth, I would go to the South Island of NZ (as I am in 3 weeks)and ski as many of the fields as you can. Don't miss out on Treble Cone (The steepest) or Cardrona (to cruise) and Queenstown to party. Each field has something unique to offer.
Coronet Peak has opened (and looking better at this early stage than at any time last year that I can see) while Oz is still waiting for anything that looks like snow.
Anywhere there is snow it is good fun, just come on down
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
i booked the flight to nz days ago.
just couldn't resist after all the pictures
i saw ....
see you there, A.
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