5 Best Places for Snowboarding in Australia and New Zealand
When you think of world-class snow resorts and slopes, Australia and New Zealand aren’t always the highest on the list – we get it; it’s tough competition against the likes of Japan, Canada and Switzerland. But as anyone from the great south would know, these two countries have a great range of mountains to choose from when the winter chill hits and the unique landscape of both countries provides for some of the most gripping and enjoyable mountain experiences one can have.
Snowboarding in the south is no different to anywhere across the globe, your snowboarding gear list doesn’t need upending, other than perhaps coming prepared with a good pair of sunnies for a solid blue bird day.
So if you’re itching to find out where to go snowboarding in Australia and New Zealand, we have put together a neat little list of some of the best mountain resorts to hit up in the Northern Hemisphere off-season. And trust us, these locations are well worth the lift ticket and provide some of the best snowboarding in Australia.
1. Perisher, New South Wales
One of the biggest places to snowboard in Australia, Perisher houses a great depth of runs for those looking to expand their boarding capabilities or gain confidence if it is their first time skiing. With over 110 runs spanning across this mammoth mountain, Perisher is a popular choice for snowboarders due to its wide and expansive runs that encourage speed, shred and skilful flair. Perisher’s drawcard is the sheer amount of runs, where many mountains across Australia lack in the shortness and limited number of runs – this is not the case here. A week away at Perisher Resort will be plenty of time to explore all the different nooks and crannies.
Perisher’s snow park is not for the faint of heart, with swooping jumps, big rails and the Playstation half-pipe that is one of a kind in Australia; 18ft vertical and over 300ft of pipe gives those willing to push the limits of their air skills to the max. For those that prefer their board on the snow, the front valley at Perisher is always a great spot for night skiing and is truly an experience like no other. If you are looking for the best place to snowboard in Australia, we believe Perisher could be the start of a great journey.
2. Mount Hotham, Victoria
You can’t say snowboarding in Victoria, Australia, without saying Hotham. Victoria’s prime snowboarding location, Hotham, is regarded by many as the “serious snowpark”, but we believe it’s one of the best all-around experiences you can get in the South! Australia snowboarding can often get some criticism for its more ice-packed slopes than actual quality powder snow; this is rarely the case for Hotham. Regardless of the season, Hotham always gets a good dumping of snow and is a haven for those that love good, cruisey snow-ploughed runs while the sun begins to set across the horizon.
And yes, 72 runs spread across 14 lifts may not have the same level of diversity as Perisher or Thredbo, yet these runs are LARGE and provide enough track to keep avid tricksters entertained for weeks. No half-pipe, but the slopestyle terrain and snow park at Hotham is a boarder’s dream with world-class facilities to lose yourself in on the daily. Something we love about Hotham is that the snow doesn’t mind sticking around into September and sometimes even October. If you’re looking for a cheaper session as the months grow warmer, there are always great deals as spring rings in and the snow stays packed.
3. Mount Buller, Victoria
If you find yourself further south in Melbourne and wondering where to snowboard in Australia, Mount Buller is a perfect choice! Just 3 hours out of the CBD, Buller is beloved and regarded as a great mountain for best value amongst many keen and seasoned boarders. Home to many Australian royalty like Scotty James, Buller has a great atmosphere on a blue-bird day with a great amount of diverse runs and a cracking snow park that keeps avid snowboarders on their toes. The charm of Buller, unlike many Australian counterparts, is that it is a great option for a day trip if you’re looking for easier travel, has great prices for lift tickets and hosts a wide range of hiring options for first-time boarders.
Buller is a great family option because of this, but it is also perfect if you’re just starting out and want to get a good grasp of the snowboarding basics. Bourke St is the main run at Buller and, on a busy day, can be a nightmare to carve through, but on the more quiet days, it is a beginner’s paradise. Buller offers a wide range of snowboarding lessons, hire options and has a great nightlife for those looking to stay on the mountain. We couldn’t recommend it more as a holistic snow experience.
4. Cadrona, New Zealand
Cadrona is such a great mountain experience in New Zealand; in true New Zealand fashion, it has some of the world’s best snow and offers beginners and experts alike fresh opportunities to expand their skills and capabilities across rich, albeit condensed, landscapes. Cadrona is a smaller mountain if we are talking options, with just the 7 lifts (5 of which are chair lifts) – but it has absolutely everything you need when it comes to slopestyle boarding, with 7 different terrain parks to choose from and almost averages a solid 3m of snow each season to comfortably give your board a good thrashing.
Cadrona being a smaller mountain, also allows for a unique snowboarding experience that is unlike anywhere really in the southern hemisphere; it feels tight-knit, low-key and almost like you’ve stumbled upon the goldmine of snowboarding freestyle. Seriously, you could lose yourself for hours on their terrain parks and the ski-in, ski-out option of some of the mountain resorts offer you a great stay in New Zealand.
5. Mt Hutt, New Zealand
The last of the mountains to check out in Australia and New Zealand is Mt Hutt. Voted the NZ’s best ski resort for 8 years running, we feel like Mt Hutt is almost like a right of passage if you’re planning on snowboarding in New Zealand. There is honestly something so breathtaking about owning the morning’s first tracks here, an experience that is unlike any other across Australia and New Zealand. The morning sun dipping over the horizon as you plough through fresh powder is a bucket list item for many who tackle the Hutt.
Hutt’s snow quality is unmatched, coupled with incredible snow parks and a great range of cafes and accommodation options, and you have the complete New Zealand snow experience. To cap off a great day at Mount Hutt, they also offer moon skiing at night – which makes for the perfect bookend to a day of skiing if you’ve started from sunrise to sunset.
Eiger Chalet is a family-owned and operated, traditional Swiss-Style, on-snow Chalet with a German/Austrian influence and one of the original boutique ski Chalets in Perisher. We have an array of rooms and apartment options to host your next stay as you explore one of Australia’s most stunning locales.
Planning a trip to Perisher this ski season? Stay at Eiger. With a wide range of activities and fine dining options, Eiger Chalet is the perfect place to rest for the night after a big day of snowboarding before waking up and doing it all again.