School Ski Trip: Australia VS New Zealand

Where to go on a school trip

22 Feb School Ski Trip: Australia VS New Zealand

Comparing Australia and New Zealand is a sore topic as a rivalry between the two countries has been going on for years. But when it comes to where is the better place to take a school ski trip, is there really any rivalry, or does one already take the cake?
Let’s look at the main factors that make up a school ski trip and then you can make up your own mind.

#1 Culture & Education

Both Australia and New Zealand are very rich in culture and there is plenty to learn. However when it comes to converting that culture into tourism, museums and education, that is also close to the ski resorts, New Zealand is superior. There are Maori shows, museums, gold rush villages, arts and crafts markets, hiking trails and much more, all within 1 hour of some of the best ski resorts. Canberra and the parliament house or war memorial is often a part of the educational side of the ski trip when visiting Perisher or Thredbo. Most of Australia’s history and culture is centred around the city areas and is worth a visit either before or after skiing.

#2 Expenses

When it comes to accommodation, ski passes, day trips and ski lessons, New Zealand is about 30% cheaper. Primarily this is due to the fact that the Australian dollar is doing better than the New Zealand dollar. You get more bang for your buck in NZ.

#3 Easy Slopes For Learning

Both Australia and New Zealand have resorts with slopes for learning. Australia has Falls Creek, Mt Buller and Perisher earmarked as great beginner mountains. Mt Hotham and Thredbo are better if looking for more challenging terrain but both these also have great beginner slopes. New Zealand has The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Treble Cone. However for an experienced ski school camp, New Zealand has more vertical skiing than Australia, but Australia’s Perisher Resort has the largest skiable terrain.

#4 Consistency of Snow

New Zealand Resorts are higher up and therefore receive a more consistent snow season. On average NZ resorts receive 4 meters of snow coverage through winter, whereas Australian resorts receive 3 meters. Quite often when Australia is getting great snow New Zealand is missing out… and vice versa. The beauty with snowmaking (which all the resorts now have) is the season is longer and most resorts are now operating from June through the September school holidays with acceptable snow cover and ample runs open.

#5 Ski School

Both Australia and New Zealand have some top of the range ski schools. So whether your ski school group wants to learn to ski or board they will have the opportunity. Both boast high-quality instructors that are professional and put safety first. New Zealand ski schools however seem to be a bit cheaper than Australia’s. Group lessons are by far the best value for money when learning to ski or snowboard.

#6 Travel time

It usually takes between 5 and 10 hours to get to the snow for either Australian resorts or NZ. From Melbourne, you have Mt Buller about 3 .5 hours drive. Mt Hotham and Falls Creek are around 5-6 hours. From Sydney to Jindabyne is approximately 5.5 hours plus the extra 45min to get to Thredbo, Perisher, Selwyn or Charlotte’s Pass. If you are coming from Perth or Brisbane, you would add flight times or a long bus ride!

New Zealand works out to be similar travel time once you transfer to the airport, wait around, fly land and transfer to Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch or Mt Hutt.

Now you know some of the main differences and similarities between New Zealand and Australia ski resorts. Now the choice is up to you!


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