Australia and New Zealand ski season 2015: Who has the best snow?

Who has the best ski season – Australia or New Zealand? Photo: iStock Who has the best ski season – Australia or New Zealand? Photo: iStock
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Who has the best ski season – Australia or New Zealand? Photo: iStock

Who has the best ski season – Australia or New Zealand? Photo: iStock

How quickly we skiers and boarders forget once the snow finally comes in. A month ago Australian snow lovers were shaking fists at the snow god Ullr​ for favouring our siblings across the ditch with mega powder while leaving us devoid of snow.

It doesn’t seem that long ago, three weeks to be exact, that I was skiing on artificial snow because that’s all there was in the Australian ski-fields, artificial snow on a paltry few runs infested with school holiday skiers. Now thanks to a few steady weeks of snowstorms (including 80 centimetres of snowfall in Perisher this last week) we’re claiming “best powder day ever” with a collective amnesia that doesn’t recognise the last time we said “best powder day ever”, which truthfully was just last season.

It would seem Ullr loves us after all. But who does he love more just under two months into the ski season – New Zealand or Australia?

The challenge to that question lies in the snow depths and each resort measures these differently. Thredbo and Perisher use Spencer Creek’s snow depth chart which as of today is measured at a mere 58 centimetres despite resort measurements of 70 centimetres of snowfall in 48 hours on July 26. That snowfall is on top of already established snowmaking and previous weeks’ snowfalls in July.

Falls Creek and Hotham in Victoria use a combination of snowmaking and natural base measurements and claim 100 centimetres at Falls Creek and 93 centimetres at Hotham with Mount Buller doing the same and claiming 82 centimetres. But the truth is wind drifts create even deeper powder stashes.

In New Zealand they measure the lower base of the mountain and the upper base of the mountain. Mt Hutt near Christchurch says 75 centimetres for lower and 105 centimetres for upper, Remarkables near Queenstown is 100 centimetres and 150 centimetres and Coronet Peak also near Queenstown is 75 centimetres and 175 centimetres.

The really big numbers are towards Wanaka with Cardrona claiming a minimum of 70 centimetres and a maximum of 250 centimetres and Treble Cone saying 91 centimetres on Home Basin and 248 centimetres in the Saddle Basin.

We all know that numbers mean nothing if we’re talking about actual snow conditions. You can have metres and metres of snowfall but if the weather turns tropical warm and brings rain then cold the snow base is not going to be fun to ski. Lucky for both parties on either side of the Tasman that another storm is predicted with up to 40 centimetres of snow coming both our ways over the next week so clearly rain and ice is not our problem this season so far.

Not so lucky for Australian ski resorts is the Trivago杭州夜网m.au survey that revealed this month that New Zealand snow accommodation is 80 per cent cheaper than snow accommodation in Australia. The same survey did note that Australians can save over 50 per cent on accommodation prices by staying in a town just outside the resorts.

But I always think comparing ski-fields is like comparing apples and oranges, it all depends on which you prefer. If you like to stay in ski-in and ski-out accommodation in mountain villages then you can’t beat Australia for convenience and alpine living simply because New Zealand doesn’t generally offer that option across the board at their commercial fields.

Skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand require a car and an iron will to tackle the roads to the mountain but you will be rewarded with simply spectacular alpine and lake views plucked straight from Hollywood.

Though check the mountain status each morning as snowstorm skiing is not always possible due to the exposed nature of the Kiwi fields being high above the treeline. The good news in that is if you can’t ski that day no one else can so no one is poaching your fresh powder lines before you get there.

It is great to see Australian ski resorts finally back in the game this season. The start was far from pretty but there is no doubt from the videos and photos flooding social media that we are looking pretty spectacular about now, if we do say so ourselves. Instagram2Win a ski trip to Whistler

We’ve partnered with SkiMax this season for the annual #misssnowitall Instagram competition. You could win seven nights for two at the swanky Fairmont Chateau in Whistler, plus lift passes for two people at Whistler Blackcomb​ for six days and return flights for two from Sydney to Vancouver thanks to SkiMax.

Just tag your winter-inspired Instagram pics #misssnowitall #skimaxholidays to enter. We’ll publish five finalists each week, with one winner at the end of the season. See this week’s top entries in the gallery at the top of the page.

The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

Pro photographers can win a Sony 4k Action Cam with Helmet Side Mount and Board Mount worth $697 (they are not eligible for the Whistler prize) by tagging their pics #misssnowitall #skimaxholidays #pro. We’ll choose one pro shot a week as a finalist with one overall winner at end of season.

The Sony 4k Action Cam.

Click here for competition terms and conditions. See the latest entries below.

Follow on Instagram and Twitter @misssnowitall

See also: Ten ways to tell you’re a snow addict See also: What to wear (and what not to wear) at the snow

Follow on Instagram and Twitter @misssnowitall  

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