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Australia & NZ skiing, travelling

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm planning my honeymoon for next summer (big day is July 5...immediately following the end of Independence Day!).

I'm thinking of going to Australia and New Zealand. Quantas has a pretty good deal on flight passes (about $2,000 each), and it includes three domestic flights.

My question is where to ski? I'm sure the fiance will only allow a few days of skiing, so I...errrr...we need to make the best of it. The only place I've really heard of is Treble Cone.

Incidentally, here's a cool link to Google Maps satellite image for Treble Cone, showing some nice tracks in the snow!
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...=h&z=1 8&om=1
post #2 of 11
Treble cone has absolutely GLORIOUS skiing IMO I recommend it immensly
post #3 of 11
I went to NZ about 15 years ago and Treble Cone was my favorite of all the places we went (Hutt, Remarkables, Coronet)
post #4 of 11
TC is the best chair accessed resort. I hated Hutt and Coronet- too flat.

If you really wanna get romantic, hit up a club field (broken river, olympia, cragieburn, etc...) You will both have to be at least upper intermediate skiers though to handle the rope tows.

back in 2000 and 2001, AirPacific (PacificAir?) had a free extended layover in Fiji that came with your NZ ticket. One could extend the gas stop upto a week and catch a later flight out of Fiji for no additional charge. When I booked my tickets, they asked how long I wanted to hang in Fiji. I had originally planned a week after my 6 weeks skiing in NZ, but being as Fiji was in the midst of a Civil War as their Government had been taken hostage, I changed it to seven hours. Still managed to get in a joint on the beach with Moses after eating awesome curry, though. Quite frankly, that seven hours was more of a story than my 6 weeks in NZ.
post #5 of 11
Early July could be a bit problematic for snow depending on the season. You may want to consider travelling in Australia then and planning the NZ ski segment for later.
post #6 of 11
Treble cone is the pick of the bunch in that area as far as terrain is concerned imo. You may or may not be aware that you cannot stay on the mountains in NZ. I.e you will have to drive up & back each day. Wanaka is the closest town to TC with Queenstown a bit further away.
Could I suggest the following; fly into Christchurch, which is a beautiful little city. Hire a car and head south, stopping at Methven for a ski at Mt hutt (if its open-nickname is mt Shutt) then head down to Lake Wanaka or Queenstown for a ski at TC, the Remarkables and/or Coronet Peak.
NZ is great ski/drive destination and as mentioned a variety of club fields along the way.
As a word of warning though, the access roads in NZ are not for the faint of heart.

Australia has some good ski hills as well with on snow accom.
Checkout the www.ski.com.au forums for any info you may need.

NZ and Aus snow relaiblity can be tempramental.
post #7 of 11
Ohau - Beautiful, romantic, isolated, perfect (www.ohau.co.nz)

Chill Pass - 11 ski fields - steep and deep and cheap (www.chillout.co.nz)
post #8 of 11
Last fall I posted one of the most bloated TR's in the history of the universe - largely to pass on some of this kind of info. Note that we were there at the tail end of the season though...


Use the search function here and TGR to find much additional info. For obvious reasons, Julie's ("julie from nz") posts are golden.

If your fiance skis at all - and I mean at all, do the Tasman Glacier ski trip together. While you are at it, make sure to sneak in a day with Harris Mountain Heliski...
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Last fall I posted one of the most bloated TR's in the history of the universe
When I saw the post title I was going to add that some place on here there is an EXCELLENT TR about NZ.

Spindrift, that is a great TR and has sold me on visiting NZ. Beautiful work!
post #10 of 11
Probably get shot down but I'm going to push the Aussie ski angle.

I have never skied at Treble but I have skied other NZ four times. If I ever do it again it's club field or bust. But..

Downers-no real on snow accom, 40 min radical drives every day. All above tree line, so if it's windy it's either shut or hang on. Technology-come on guys get serious-too much to say and really it's carp. Food-honestly hot dogs do not fulfill food groups. Fellow gapers-Jeans and rear entry boots are no longer a protest-in fact I don't even know what that is about.

Uppers-Snow is usually better than Aus and that is all.


Pretty good mountains, pretty good infrastructure, great restaurants, nice tree lined terrain, snow gums-I lurve them, thredbo and Falls are really nice, very cute on snow villages, world class snowmaking.

Downers-Snow, yes it will always be there in season but it might be very carp, $$$ -are they kidding-I mean really $94 a day for a lift ticket plus around $23 for car entry-this is a serious rip off. Saying that I do many days per year cause we are choiceless
post #11 of 11
Because it is early in the season it may be a matter of stopping off to ski where the best snow is. Assuming that you are here to see the scenery, you should be going by many of the mountains the ski areas are on, cause if you don't you will be missing the best parts of NZ.

Does your future wife ski?

Treble Cone is my home mountain, has the most varied terrain and most vertical of all the commerical areas. And it has snow making so there will be at least one run open. If your 'wife' does not ski, it also has the best scenery, great food and coffee, generally an all round nice place to sit for the day looking out over the lake. And if she is lucky the keas (snow parrots) will have realised the ski season has started and will be hanging around looking for humans to amuse them, or cars to trash.

I generally don't bother going skiing before mid July unless there has been an exceptional early dump. Suggest you rent skis, the ski areas and shops in town have 'exec' rentals. Our weather patterns have been up the pole lately, in 2007 we got our best snow falls during October after the ski areas had closed. So who knows what will happen this season, I had one my best powder ever one year on July 17th.

The club ski areas are an option, and would be a unique experience but you need to know how they differ. My favourite club area is Craigieburn. The pros are that there are not many people, you can stay on the mountain, the staff will probably introduce themselves to you and you have access to a back country experience. I really love the clubs, but you need to be aware of the 'cons' - no snow groomers, only rope tows, intimidating roads, no rental, and you need to be fitter than you need to be for a commercial area. For some like Broken River (20 mins) and Temple Basin (1 hour), you have to hike up to the lifts, there is a good lift but you expend energy you could be using skiing. Riding 3 rope tows for a vertical of 1,000 ft is tiring then there is no crisy groomer tog get down. If you have not skied for a few months, you may not find it a nice experience. And if your wife goes, unless she skis, she cannot access some of the day lodges (Craigieburn, Broken River).
For info on club areas ww.chillout.co.nz

If you are both experienced back country skiers, then the club areas are for you. Stay away from club areas if you are on the snowboards, the rope ows are very dfficult unless you have left foot forward. I have seen many snow boarders exhausting themselves just trying to ride the first rope tow.

So I suggest to make the most of your 3 allowed days and stick to a commerical area that is going to give you a lot of vertical for your day.

Treble Cone is in Wanaka, South Island

It does require a 35 minute drive from town to get to the mountain each day but it is a drive along what I think is the most beautiful valley in NZ. And if you ski around to the 'Viewpoint' at the top of the 6 seater chair, you can see right along it. Driving to the mountain is part of the ski experience in NZ.

To inspire you on what you can see in the south Island of NZ, check out the photos on my partners web site

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