When you see the words “ski” and “Southern” together, you may automatically assume that the type of skiing being referred to here is that done on water. It may then come as a surprise to learn that the Southern Hemisphere is a great place for snow skiing. While the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing hot, sweaty temperatures from June through September, this is the ideal time to grab your skis and head below the equator.
During this time of year, many American ski enthusiasts are used to the snow and ice conditions of glacier skiing in the Alps. However, traveling into the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere provides completely different circumstances. Winter ski resorts in Argentina, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand offer favorable snow and ski conditions, and plenty of challenges of the experienced skier.
According to Matador Trips, the top 5 places to ski in the Southern Hemisphere are:
(1) Cardrona Alpine Resort, New Zealand– Cardrona lies in the center of New Zealand’s South Island. The ski fields here are open from June through early October. They include an extensive park for freestyle skiers, as well as well-groomed slopes that are designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. It’s also a great place for kids and families. For more information, please visit their website here.
(2) Queenstown, New Zealand– Queenstown is only about an hour drive away from Cardrona, so it’s easy to visit both in the same trip. Two major ski centers, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are both located in Queenstown, and contribute to the area’s reputation as New Zealand’s adventure sports capital. In addition to being an absolutely gorgeous place to ski, Coronet Peak is also a great place to go snow boarding. You can even board at night here, thanks to an excellent music and light system they have here.
(3) Falls Creek, Australia– Falls Creek is well known as one of the best ski resorts in Australia, famously featuring over 100 downhill runs and 21 cross-country trails. The beautiful mountains above the town of Mount Beauty, Victoria, have been attracting skiers for many years. However, it was not until the 1960s that the first ski lifts were built and the resort of Falls Creek was created. One really cool thing about Falls Creek today is that it is a “ski-in, ski-out” resort, so no cars are permitted. For more details, you can visit their website here.
(4) Bariloche, Argentina– The ski resort at Bariloche is known for providing a taste of the Alps within the heart of South America; it has a distinct European style and flavor. Here you’ll find large quantities of sparkling white snow, and very luxurious accommodations. In all, the resort is huge- it features about 62 miles of well groomed runs. You can get from one place to the next on a total of 39 ski lifts. That’s a lot of lifts!
(5) Portillo, Chile– Portillo is a 2 hour drive from the capital city of Santiago. It is the oldest and best-known ski resort in South America, and is therefore a very popular choice for skiing enthusiasts. There are nearly 16 miles of runs designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. Thursday is race day at Portillo, and all skiers, regardless of skill level, are encouraged to participate. Another popular attraction at Portillo is the torch-lit parade, which is performed every Friday evening by students of the ski school.