Tips for Planning and Booking an Affordable Family Ski Holiday

family ski holiday

ITC has put together an amazing team of local experts to help make your life in Lane Cove (and beyond!) just that bit easier. Our travel guru, Adrienne Witteman from Trendsetter Travel & Cruise Centre shares some ideas for planning and booking a Family Ski Holiday.

“Adrienne, with all this incredibly warm weather it’s hard to turn my mind to a skiing holiday but the family is desperate for plans. Help!”

Each year in April, we get similar enquiries and the questions and answers go like this.

Australia Zealand, which is best?

That depends. What are you looking for and when do you want to go?

The June/July school holidays …..

The South Island of New Zealand to Queenstown or Mount Hutt because you can rely on good snow whereas it can still be patchy in Australia.

skiing holiday

But that will be more expensive surely?

Not necessarily. Because there is a much greater range of accommodation and you are not locked into a 2/5/7 night plan as you are in most ski villages in Australia, you can pick to suit your pocket. And lift passes are generally also more cost effective. A week including flights often costs less than a week at Thredbo, if you get in early, and isn’t flying somewhere always more exciting? Plus with more mountain space the crowds are generally less, except perhaps at Coronet.

I’ve heard that accommodation in NZ is off the mountain. Isn’t that a pain?

One field, Cardrona, does have limited accommodation on the mountain but it’s pretty lonely up there! Queenstown in particular is a great place to stay as it offers lots and lots of other things to do, apart from skiing, and good restaurants and nightlife. So I personally prefer this option. If you base yourself there, you have access to 4 ski fields, at least 2 of which will always be open. There’s also the smaller lakeside town of Wanaka.

Do I have to drive and how far is it then?           

If you prefer not to drive then there are buses to all the fields but driving is pretty easy, especially if you get a 4WD vehicle (this minimises the need for chains) and the steeper roads now have fences in deference to the tourists worried about driving off the edge!

3 of the 5 of us are still learners while my husband skis blue and our son likes snowboarding. Where would you recommend?

Near Cardrona there is the Snow Park just for boarder so your son could enjoy a day there while the rest of you try Cardrona. Treble Cone is probably good for your husband but devilishly taxing for beginners. The Remarkables offers something for everyone and Coronet Peak will be gentle on your legs!

Queenstown Ski Area coronet peak
Queenstown Ski Area Coronet Peak Image Source Queenstown Tourist Info Photo Credit: Genevieve King

What else do I need to budget for?

Insurance. Although there is a reciprocal agreement between Australia and New Zealand, insurance is a must to cover for any unforeseen event.  Make sure your insurance covers snowsports.

Skis/poles/boot hire needs to be factored in and there are plenty of places on and off the mountain to do this for skis and boots. Clothing is best purchased second hand prior to departure so you get something you like and fit properly before you go. Or if this is your first ski holiday rent or borrow clothing in case you decide skiing is not for you. Unlikely though as ski holidays are a fabulous way to bond.

When should I be booking?


Adrienne Whittman Trendsetter Travel Lane CoveAdrienne Witteman from Trendsetter Travel & Cruise Centre

Trendsetter is a “small but successful travel centre, with a mission to do the best by our clients”

Trendsetter Travel & Cruise Centre are one of ITC’s Foundation Sponsors. Without their support our website would never have been possible. #itcfoundationsponsor

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