With over 500 ski resorts to choose from and arguably the best snow on the planet thanks to the winds that blow in from Siberia, Japan is becoming an extremely popular skiing destination for Australians. The skiing experience in Japan is like none other with snow monkeys and onsens (a hot thermal pool where people bathe after a day in the snow) at most resorts. Team that with a unique culture and friendly locals and you have yourself an unforgettable skiing holiday. Two popular skiing regions in Japan are Hokkaido and Nagano, each with over 80 resorts within their regions.
Just a short hop across the Tasman Sea is New Zealand. Because of its close proximity to Australia and cheap flights it’s a popular destination for Australians looking for a skiing holiday. The unrivalled scenery, uncrowded slopes and unique wildlife are just a few of the reasons why New Zealand rubs shoulders with the big guns on this list. The most popular regions for skiing in New Zealand are Queenstown and Otago, located in the South Island as well as the Central North Island where you can ski on Mt Ruapehu – an active volcano. The best thing about skiing in New Zealand is after you’ve finished on the slopes for the day there are an abundance of other activities to enjoy right on your doorstep.
Canada is home to some of the most famous ski resorts in the world including Whistler, Lake Louise and Big White. The snow in Canada is often referred to as Champagne powder because of its light, dry and smooth qualities making it perfect for skiing. As well as the excellent snow quality, Canada is also famous for challenging terrain, spectacular scenery and quaint mountain villages. Backcountry skiing is also popular in Canada, which means veering off the beaten track and exploring some of the most remote areas in the country, but you need to be experienced to attempt it.
When you think of France you might think of the Eiffel Tower, snails and champagne, but France is also one of the top skiing destinations in the world. With incredible lift systems, a huge number of high altitude resorts and several ski regions, there is no shortage of fun to be had. The main skiing regions in France are the Pyrenees and the French Alps with some resorts linking to others so you can ski from one to another. It’s no wonder that in peak season at Christmas time, the ski fields can get extremely crowded so travelling in January/February is your best bet, but be sure to avoid school holidays.
The United States has hundreds of ski resorts from as far west as California to as far east as Maine, but one of the most popular areas to ski is in Colorado which has some of the largest and most visited resorts as well as some of the best powdery snow in the country. Aspen, in the Rocky Mountains, is one of the most famous ski resorts in Colorado and not only does it have incredible skiing, it’s also home to picturesque mountain chalets, museums, galleries and high-end shopping. Utah and California follow closely behind Colorado as popular areas for skiing and if you’re looking to ski in the summertime then Oregon has well-known Mt Hood, only closed for two weeks each year.
Image via bluepowder.com.au