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Family Ski Trips: Australia and Beyond

  • October 13, 2015
  • By 50 Shades
  • 8 Comments
Family Ski Trips: Australia and Beyond
Coronet Peak, New Zealand

Coronet Peak, New Zealand

When our kids were young (and we were not so young), we would try to sneak away for a skiing trip every winter. I know this probably sounds a bit peculiar to those of you that live in the Northern Hemisphere, because Australia has a reputation of being hot and arid. However we do have a mountain range, called the Great Dividing Range, that stretches from Queensland to Victoria on the east side of Australia that does get snowfall during the winter months. This is where we’ve spent some family ski trips over the years.

Thredbo & Perisher Ski Resorts, Australia

Thredbo Ski Resort circa 2000

Thredbo Ski Resort circa 2000

During our skiing days we would travel by car down to the Snowy Mountain area of New South Wales and ski at either Thredbo or Perisher Ski Resorts. If there wasn’t enough snow the ski resorts would make it so usually there was enough snow to have a passable ski. Our ski trips were always a lot of fun because we went with a large group of friends with their kids and we all stayed at a lodge in Jindabyne, which is around 30 minutes drive from the skiing fields.

I had skied before when I was in my 20s at Mt Buller in Victoria, but was far from being an experienced skier. Most of the others in our group were experienced skiers so because they had heard that I had actually skied before they took me up on the chairlift on the first day and I slid down the entire slope on my backside!

Thredbo Ski Resort circa 2005

Thredbo Ski Resort circa 2003

So it was off to three days of ski lessons for us and although it was hard work and very strenuous physically, we all finally got the hang of it and were able to explore some of the more challenging slopes of Thredbo. Everything is a lot harder when you are in your forties! Skiing is probably a sport that you should take up in your youth. We had a fantastic time however and we survived the week without serious injury. Plus our kids had a fabulous time as well.

Our two adult kids snowboarding at Sun Peaks, Canada and Heavenly, Lake Tahoe, USA

Our now grown-up kids snowboarding with friends at Sun Peaks, Canada and Heavenly, Lake Tahoe, USA

New Zealand Skiing

Fast forward a few years and we decided as a family that we would fly over the ditch to New Zealand, south of Australia, to ski. New Zealand because of its more southerly location, normally has great snowfall during the winter months. We flew to Christchurch where we picked up a hire car and travelled to Mt Hutt, Wanaka (where we tried to ski at Cardrona ski fields but they were closed), and finally to Queenstown, which gives you a choice of skiing at either Coronet Peak or The Remarkables. They are both around the same distance from Queenstown and appeal to different genres of skiers or snowboarders.

Coronet Peak & The Remarkables, New Zealand

Coronet Peak & The Remarkables, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

Surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains and set on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is the epicentre of all things fun and adventurous on the South Island of New Zealand.

Queenstown is a sophisticated town with a fantastic choice of restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping.

But there is more! The Queenstown region is world-famous for adventure and is the birthplace of many iconic activities including bungy jumping and jetboating. Other activities guaranteed to get your blood pumping include white water rafting, ziplining, 4×4 off-roading, snowsports, paragliding and skydiving.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand Skiing Holiday

New Zealand Skiing Holiday

Canada Ski Resorts

In 2004 I took my Mum over to the east coast of Canada for a holiday to the city of Montreal to visit my sister. During that visit I skied at Mont Tremblant, north of Montreal, which was an incredible experience, followed by a day skiing at Whistler, on the west coast near Vancouver. This started a love affair with Canada that I still have today!

Mont Temblant, Canada

Mont Temblant, Canada

We decided as a family to return to Canada in 2006 where we skied at Whistler/Blackcomb, Big White and Silverstar ski resorts. Although at the beginning of the holiday it was raining (and not snowing), it soon turned into blizzard conditions and we got more snow than we could handle.

Whistler/Blackcomb,Canada

Whistler/Blackcomb,Canada

The experience of staying at a ski-in/ski-out resort, where you didn’t have to travel for kilometres to the ski fields was a great experience. It was also probably my first experience skiing in beautiful soft powdery snow which is a lot gentler when you fall.

Skiing in Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada

Skiing in Whistler/Blackcomb, Canada

My husband and I have returned to Queenstown in New Zealand and skied since and also hubby has gone on ski trips to the Snowy Mountains with his mates a few times. We have always talked about going to Japan to ski, but are beginning to wonder whether we might be getting a bit old.

Big White Ski Resort, Canada

Big White Ski Resort, Canada

Silverstar Ski Resort, Canada

Silverstar Ski Resort, Canada

The last few times we have skied we have walked (or should I say limped away), with a few minor injuries, like sore knees, shoulders and torn rib cartilage. Oh the joys of getting older!

I wonder whether any of my readers are skiers? Where is your favourite place to ski?

 

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By 50 Shades, October 13, 2015 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 8

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

8 Comments
  • Johanna
    October 13, 2015

    Wow, you are a super-experienced skier compared to me! We went a few times to France and Italy when the kids were little when we lived in Hong Kong … but I was useless and spent most of the time on my bum or trying to stay on the lifts (pull-up ones). It was a little sad watching my 7 year old son whizz down black slopes like a pro ;) while I dusted myself off on my third attempt to reach the top of the slopes! However, I’m glad we took them when they were little because as you say it’s much better to start young. I loved your pics and of course they have made me hanker for New Zealand, more for a road trip than the skiing maybe, as I think now my knees probably wouldn’t take too kindly to the intense bending. I’m sorry I’ve been a little quiet in the comments, but we’ve been away with family and I took as much of an internet sabbatical as possible.

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2015

      Super-experienced – no way! If you spoke to my kids they would tell you what a cautious skier I am! In fact they used to get sick of waiting for me because I was far too slow for them and I would also sometimes get a little afraid when faced with a steep ski run! I have always wanted to ski in Europe but have probably left it a bit late now. We really enjoyed our ski trips with our kids and I’m sure they will look back fondly on those times. New Zealand is definitely worth checking out. We are going again next year and hoping to get out to Milford Sound. Hope you had a great trip! :)

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    October 13, 2015

    Your family is so physically active Kathy! I’ve only been to the snow twice. Once to Thredbo and Perisher and once to Mt Buller. Both trips ended badly because I wasn’t dressed properly. I’m a hot climate holiday goer I think. Your photos are gorgeous and I really want to go to Queenstown!

    • Kathy
      October 13, 2015

      Yes we are an active family! I remember the first time we went on a ski trip, we begged and borrowed all of our ski attire. My husband wore this very ugly fluoro ski jacket that our kids thought was very uncool! I do really enjoy the snow for a change. I love the cosy little inns and ski lodges where you drink hot chocolate and sit around an open fire. You would love Queenstown. We are going there next May for a week and hoping to do Milford Sound. :)

  • budgettraveltalk
    October 14, 2015

    Hi Kathy. I am a complete failure at snow skiing. We went on one holiday to Perisher Blue Hotel (ski in ski out). It was a lovely place to stay and ski from. Our kids were 12 and 8 and went to ski school which while expensive was fantastic for them. They skied with kids their own age and had great instructors. They had 4 kids in each of their groups. From memory they were there for 6 hours each day and that is a lot of personal instruction time. Needless to say they were pros by the time they finished. Marty picks sporty things up very easily so he was fine. Me – I had my hour lesson every day for five days and was still hopeless at the end! Our son Matthew went skiing in Japan this year and loved it. He is going again next year. He also went skiing to NZ with school. He has actually only ever snowboarded. You are quite adventurous having so many skiing holidays!

    • Kathy
      October 14, 2015

      Both of my kids love the snow! Which is weird because they were born in Queensland. My son spent an entire season at Sun Peak Ski Resort in Canada and became a pro snowboarder. My daughter also loves to ski and has been all over the world skiing, including USA, Canada and Europe. I am far than a pro skier! I get a bit overwhelmed sometimes if I come across a particularly steep ski run. I think it helps being short (as I am) because you have a lower centre of gravity. I love to ski and Japan is on my bucket list. :)

  • moniquetheurbanmum
    October 22, 2015

    We love Japan for skiing and have a return trip booked for this December with my 73 year old father in tow – so maybe that answers your question about whether or not you are too old to ski…no is the resounding answer. Japan is gorgeous for so many other sights, so ski and culture in the one trip…Go, I think you would love it…Enjoyed reading your family adventures over the years too. xxx

    • Kathy
      October 23, 2015

      Thanks for the Japan referral Monique. We should definitely visit and see whether we can still ski! I would also like to visit Japan in spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming. :)

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