Best Ski Resorts in the Southern Hemisphere

Best Ski Resorts in the Southern Hemisphere

You’re flipping through your best snow adventure hi-res shots as you sip a cool drink.

In one of the photos, you admire the powder fluff you kicked up during a carve turn. You also wonder how you managed to take that perfect selfie while schussing down a slope.

As you fetch more ice cubes for your warming beverage, you catch a glimpse of your ski gear in storage.

A sense of longing hits you, but all you can do for now is reminisce about last season’s snow adventure for the next six months.

But what if you didn’t have to wait that long?

As temperatures rise in the North, the Southern Hemisphere winter steadily sets in, giving skiers and snowboarders a perfect winter getaway. Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand have world-class ski resorts that make great alternative destinations.

At Brealpa, we know you’ve spent top dollar curating your winter sports gear and getting in shape. For that reason, we’ve compiled a helpful list of top destinations for southern winter thrills.

So get ready to embark on epic antipodean alpine adventures. As you enjoy fantastic après-ski, be sure to explore the rich southern cultures.

1 Perisher Snow Resort, Australia

The Perisher Snow Resort is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere, covering a staggering 1,245 hectares.

It features 47 lifts that service its 113 trails. In addition, it has Australia’s highest chairlift that ascends over 2 kilometers.

Avid skiers looking to ski or snowboard all year round can acquire the Australia-Epic Pass. This gives them access to Perisher and select North American ski fields, including the Park City-Canyons Resort.

The ski field is located within the Kosciuszko National Park, nestled within the Snowy Mountains. It is about 5.5 hours from Sydney and 2.5 hours from Canberra. It is a ski domain consisting of four interlinked ski areas: Blue Cow, Smiggin Holes, Perisher Valley, and Guthega.

For more details, our Perisher Snow Resort guide has more information, including transfer options, accommodation, and resort opening and closing times.

The resort is a favorite among skiers and snowboarders because of its great terrain, which favors thrill-seekers of all abilities. In addition, snow lovers get treated to scenic views of Perisher’s distinctive eucalyptus trees that line the landscape.

Perisher’s Blue Cow ski area has advanced terrain that intermediates and expert skiers love. Smiggin holes, on the other hand, has gentle terrains for families and novice skiers.

Perisher Snow Resort

2 Thredbo Alpine Resort, Australia

Thredbo has held the World Ski Award for the best ski resort in Australia for six years in a row. This makes it the most popular snow field in the country.

The resort is also the highest in Australia, at 2,037 meters above sea level.

Its sheer height gives rise to New South Wales’s steepest vertical runs. Among these is the Supertrail, the longest in Australia at 3.7 kilometers.

Expert and intermediate thrill-seekers love Australia’s longest trails, the “Big 5”. These trails vary in difficulty, with each spanning over three kilometers.

Like Perisher, the resort is also located within the Kosciuszko National Park, about a six-hour drive from Sydney. The nearest airport is Canberra which is about 2.5 hours from the resort. Visitors arrive through the Canberra airport and get shuttled to the snowfield.

Thredbo is an excellent resort for a fun-filled family day out. It has terrain that suits different abilities, from expert black runs and backcountry trails to gentle slopes with activities for all family members. It also has excellent skiing and snowboarding training from qualified and experienced instructors.

Thredbo Alpine Resort

3 Treble Cone Ski Resort, New Zealand

Treble Cone is South Island’s largest commercial skiing and snowboarding resort covering 1400 acres. It has New Zealand’s second-largest vertical drop at 700 meters.

Skiers and snowboarders get treated to spectacular views of Lake Wānaka and Mt. Aspiring.

Getting to Treble Cone takes about a 30-minute drive from the lakeside town of Wānaka. The access road is unpaved but passable by RVs and cars. Getting to the access road takes a 15-minute drive across the frozen surface of Lake Wānaka.

About half of the resort’s slopes are classified as advanced or expert. It also has difficult pitches and steep drops. This makes Treble Cone more suited to advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders.

The off-piste areas have deep, dry snow that favors experienced thrill-seekers who enjoy testing their limits. These areas also have many rails and jumps fit for freestylers.

Although there are limited runs for novices, the resort has a few green and blue runs for beginners. The added perk is that newbies ski for free.

The resort receives a modest seasonal average of 5.5 meters of snowfall. However, this is enough to ensure fresh powder throughout the winter season.

Skiers and snowboarders also love the pleasant weather, with the snow field experiencing fewer closures than its northern counterparts.

Feel free to view our Treble Cone Ski Resort guide for more information.

Treble Cone Ski Resort

4 Mt. Hutt Ski Resort, New Zealand

This ski field is the most popular in New Zealand and the counterpart to Australia's Thredbo resort. This is because Mt. Hutt has received the World Ski Awards for the best resort for six consecutive years since 2015.

The resort has wide-open terrain that delights skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. It offers a superb alpine experience to thrill-seekers and is a great destination for a family fun day. 

On clear days, the view from the mountain is spectacular, with sights from the Southern ranges to the Pacific Ocean. Skiers and snowboarders are also treated to the magnificent views of Mt. Cook and the Canterbury Plains.

The snowfield is located about 1.5 hours away from Christchurch. It sits on a 365-acre expanse in the Canterbury region of New Zealand, with well-maintained and groomed trails.

Mt. Hutt Resort has a fantastic all-rounder terrain that attracts many visitors. Its beginner slopes are ideal for families with kids. The resort also offers training for beginners, steered by expert instructors.

Advanced skiers and snowboarders crave the extreme thigh burn experience as they test their limits on Mt. Hutt's sheer vertical drops.

After a long and fun day on the slopes, you can find affordable lodges and dining at the resort's base. Be sure to check the weather forecast on Mt. Hutt beforehand, as the lack of a tree line exposes the snow field to occasional gusts of winds that may cause closure.

You can also check out our handy Mt. Hutt guide for more information.

Mt. Hutt Ski Resort

5 Ski Portillo, Chile 

Ski Portillo is the oldest ski resort in Chile, having celebrated its 73rd anniversary in 2022. In addition, it is the highest-ranked snow field in South America.

The resort is famed for its iconic yellow Hotel Portillo, which offers classy accommodation and dining.

Its terrain is more advanced, ideal for advanced skiers and snowboarders. However, there are a few gentle slopes for beginners and intermediates.

The ski field offers an exclusive experience by limiting the number of day lift tickets sold. So if you want to avoid crowds, this is the best destination. As you shred the powder on the steep terrains, enjoy the beautiful emerald surface of Lake Laguna del Inca and spectacular views of the Andes.

The ski field is located in the Valparaíso region of Chile, about 160 kilometers from the capital Santiago. Visitors land at the Santiago International Airport and take a shuttle or rent a car to the resort.

Skiers love the 23 trails that cut across 35 runs with 14 service lifts. The lifts are nicknamed “The Slingshots” because they are high above the tree line and the sheer vertical distance they cover.

The resort offers a fantastic family-friendly atmosphere with kids’ races, a ski school, and a torchlight parade.

Ski Portillo

6 Valle Nevado, Chile

This is the highest resort in Chile, towering above 10,000 feet in altitude.

The ski field is famed for its modern facilities and vast snow fields with great snow. In addition, it is popular due to its proximity to Chile’s capital, Santiago. The ski field also links to the neighboring El Colorado and La Parva resorts.

The resort’s architecture resembles Les Arcs in France, after which it is modeled. It was the first ski field in Chile to launch a Federation of International Skiing (FIS)-approved terrain park in 2001.

If you are an IKON Pass holder, you get a 10% discount on hotel services, ski gear rentals, and lift tickets.

Valle Nevado is about an hour’s drive from Santiago. Visitors arrive through the Santiago International Airport and take taxis, rent cars, or board shuttles to the resort.

The resort sits on an impressive 2,200 acres of skiable terrain with 45 trails serviced by 18 lifts. The slopes are broadly classified as intermediate, but there are a few beginner trails.

Skiers and snowboarders love Valle Nevado’s diverse terrain consists of steep drops and wide-open bowls. Rows of southern-facing slopes protect the bowls from the elements ensuring superb powder that delights thrill-seekers.

Valle Nevado

7 Las Leñas, Argentina

This resort has some of the most accessible ski areas in the world.

It is a popular destination for vacationing families, advanced skiers, and snowboarders. This is because the ski field has a diverse range of terrain, from extreme backcountry and off-piste trails to gentle beginner and intermediate runs.

Nestled within the Andes Mountain Range in Argentina’s Mendoza Province, the ski field has about 7,500 hectares of skiable terrain. It is far from any major city, with the nearest being 5.5 hours away. The resort is situated above the tree line giving spectacular views and excellent snow.

The star attraction, the Martes Chairlift, transports expert snow lovers to the highest point on the mountain. From there, they can access pristine powder-covered slopes with terrain suitable for freeriding.

Apollo is the most popular trail, and when it combines with Neptune and Venus, it forms a 4.4-mile run that is one of the longest trails in the world. Skiers and snowboarders get treated to scenic views of light brown ridges extending up to the Andes ranges.

The resort offers excellent accommodation options for families and avid skiers.

As you plan your trip to Las Leñas, check the weather forecast around the ski field. This is because the mountain is known to have unpredictable weather patterns that can sometimes lead to the resort’s closure.

Las Leñas

8 Cerro Castor, Argentina

This is Argentina’s southernmost resort and also the most snow-sure. It also has the most extended ski season in the Southern Hemisphere, lasting from June to October.

In 2013, the Cerro Castor ski resort won the World Ski Awards title for the best ski resort in Argentina. It is closest to the Ushuaia port, which is popular with Antarctic cruises. The ski field is also Argentina’s most exclusive, providing unique skiing and snowboarding experiences.

The ski resort covers a sprawling 600 hectares of skiable area, with 36 trails for all abilities and levels. In 2015, the resort became the first in the Southern Hemisphere to host the Interski Congress. This is an academic and technical event with an interest in the future of snow sports.

The snow resort is located about 26 kilometers from Ushuaia on the southern slope of Mount Krund. For visitors, the easiest way to get to the ski field is by flying into the Ushuaia Airport.

Cerro Castor has 29.1 km of slopes served by 12 lifts. Due to the prevailing cold weather during the ski season, the resort receives an impressive 54 inches of snow. It also has a fantastic après-ski with excellent accommodation and dining and a ski and snowboarding school.

Cerro Castor

Let Brealpa Help You Plan Your Next Southern Winter Skiing and Snowboarding Adventure 

As the snow turns to slush in the Northern Hemisphere, you don’t have to wait another six months to get your snow sports thrill fix.

Southern Hemisphere resorts offer alternative snow adventures during the Northern summer. From world-class ski resorts in the Andes to the serene mountains of New Zealand and Australia, you are spoilt for choice. In addition, the resorts offer top-tier services with well-groomed uncrowded slopes.

So if you are planning a southern winter getaway, our site is a treasure trove of information on:

  • Holiday inspirations
  • Flight, hotel, tour, and travel insurance bookings
  • Exciting activities
  • Top-tier accommodation options
  • Fun destinations

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Written by Brealpa

August 9, 2022

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