Skiing in the Eastern hemisphere shouldn’t be overlooked. Although countries like New Zealand and Australia are known for their rippling ocean waves, lovely weather, and pristine beaches, you should experience them in their glory of every season by switching up your beach bum holiday and taking a ski trip!
From the Great Walls of China to the steep mountains of South Korea and all the way across the sea to the fields of New Zealand, we picked some of the best places for you to ski, no matter where in the Eastern hemisphere you happen to be!
1.) Perisher, Australia
Australia isn’t exactly celebrated for its skiing, but it still exists! Although Australia’s winters don’t get nearly as chilly or snowy than many other parts of the world, Aussies do partake in winter sports. In fact, the Australian, Malcolm Mine, was the first non-European to win a World Cup for snowboarding!
Take your Australian ski trip to Perisher, the largest ski resort in New South Wales, Australia, within the Snowy River Shire. There is a lot of land here; four interconnected villages give you more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain! Before the resort came about in 1995, the massive land was home to “graziers” (people who herd cattle and sheep) in the summers. Some of the villages are humorously named accordingly:
Blue Cow village is named after… blue cows! These cross-bred cows have a blue coat. The slopes in Blue Cow are so intense that it’s nicknamed “Roller Coaster.” Visit Smiggins Hole, a bowl-shaped valley where cows made divots in the land while looking for hidden salt. Centre Valley is at the base of Perisher, proudly holding Australia’s only Superpipe. Last but not least, Happy Valley is perfect for intermediate to advanced skiers, and sounds like a fun place visit!
Perisher is family-friendly. It offers child care and has on-snow restaurants throughout the resort for whenever someone gets hungry. Keep in mind that if you head to Australia during Christmas time, expect to see Aussies splayed out in bikinis on the beach and Santa on a surfboard! The season to go skiing in Australia is during USA’s summer. Contact your Aladdin Travel advisor to get to Perisher when their weather is cold!
2.) Thredbo, Australia
To keep your options open on your Australia ski trip, why not check out Thredbo? It’s also located in New South Wales, about five hours from Sydney. Thredbo sounds like a blast during Australia’s summer, with golf, hiking and mountain biking, but its winters are filled with ski activities. Slopes and parks were created for skiers of all levels, and this resort is especially ideal for beginners. It made our list because of its Super Trail, the longest trail in Australia of 5.9 kilometers. Since the snow can be a bit like slush, at the base of the mountain is a village equipped with entertainment of all sorts: swimming pools, museums and spas. Thredbo has a European vibe and is ornamented with plush restaurants and bars to keep you regaled. Get in touch with your Aladdin Travel advisor to see a chunk of the land down under on your skis!
3.) Canterbury Fields, New Zealand
Whoever would’ve thought that the bright, beautiful, beachy New Zealand has plenty of skiing opportunities? There are actually NINE ski fields on the island New Zealand, but our pick is the Canterbury Fields. It is as charming as it sounds! The Canterbury Fields stretch from the mysterious dark blue ocean all the way to the snow-capped Alps. There are never any crowds, nor waiting in long lines. How delightful!
The Canterbury Fields have a few small resort clubs within, but head to Mt Cheeseman if you don’t want to bother using a nutcracker to pull you up the mountains, but rather a T-bar. Nutcrackers are ropes around your waist that pull you up the cliff, and T-bars lift you up, but you still need to hold on! The Canterbury fields have plenty of groomed trails, jumps, and back-country skiing available. The closest city to the fields is Christchurch, which is super artsy and mixed with nature throughout. If you want to mix some sun, salt, and sand into your ski trip, check out this itinerary.
4.) YongPyong, South Korea
With about ¾ of its land covered in mountains, South Korea definitely has space for skiing. On the East Coast of South Korea is YongPyong Resort, two hours outside of the popping city of Seoul. YongPyong is the largest ski area in South Korea. It’s about 10,500 miles long, and has around 30 different slopes covered in fresh, deep, powdery snow. With that many slopes and land, you’ll definitely find a spot for every skier’s dream!
To brag a bit more about YongPyong (even though it is already globally renowned), it held the World Cup Ski competition and the Asian Winter Games. Also, YongPyong resort has numerous luxurious amenities, from swimming pools, Western and local food restaurants, saunas, billiards, night skiing until midnight, and of course Korea’s famous karaoke. You’ll be amused at “Korea’s ski mecca” 24/7. To see a bit more of South Korea, use this itinerary as a guide and of course squeeze YongPyong in there!
5.) Hakuba Valley, Japan
Have you heard about the snow in the Japanese Alps? It’s fabulous! Hakuba Valley is located on Honshu Island, the main island of Japan. Its snow fall reaches about 500 inches annually, of luscious, soft, deep goodness. With over 200 courses of long, immaculately groomed trails, any avid skier would fall in love with this ski resort. Australians even take the six hour flight to get some incomparable skiing in here! Not only are there soft, swift trails everywhere, but there are lots of bumps that advanced and freestyle skiers would have the time of their lives on. Hakuba is a great place to try out the glamorous heli-skiing, too! Then, relax at the end of your day by soothing your muscles in a bubbling hot spring (onsen) with continuous spectacular Alpine views, which can be seen throughout the resort.
Happo is the main village nearby with plenty of restaurants. Spend an evening watching some insane ski jumping, and if you’re wild enough join in! Happo is filled with sightseeing stops…temples and castles. Culture shock won’t be a problem here – plenty of people know English! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in some wasabi and sake to get a true taste of the Japanese culture. On your ski trip to Japan, look out for snow monkeys, and ski your heart out.
6.) Xiling Snow Mountain, China
China is enormous, so saying Xiling Snow Mountain is the largest ski resort is a big deal. Also known as the “Oriental Alps”, Xiling Snow Mountain earned its name from Du Fu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty who said, “My window frames the snow-crowned western mountain scene; my door oft bids farewell to eastward-going ships.”
There are two simple sides of the Xiling Snow Mountain, the front and back, both homes to the giant pandas who have been roaming about for two MILLION years! The front side of the mountain is ideal for hikers. It is stunning during every season, with rushing waterfalls during the spring, bloomed azalea flowers in the summer, and vibrant red falling leaves during autumn. The back side of the mountain is perfect for all level skiers, and a fun spot to rent snow mobiles. The winters get bitterly cold, averaging below freezing. Throughout the year, the snow never melts from the mountain tops. A nearby city is Chengdu, where “the young shouldn’t come and the old shouldn’t leave.” I suppose the young have too much fun, and the elder should stay and enjoy themselves. Inside of Chengdu is Snow Pond, the highest peak that never gets a break from the pouring snow.