Winter is upon us, and some of Australia and New Zealand's ski resorts have already opened their doors. Whether your clients are looking to charge down black runs, or they are more interested in a glass (or two) of mulled wine, there's a ski holiday that is perfectly suited. Here's our rundown of the best of the bunch in Australia and New Zealand, and some handy selling points to help you decide which resort to pick.

Australia

Thredbo

New South Wales

With ski runs suited to all levels of ability and a classic village feel, Thredbo is ideal for those wanting to stay on the mountain. First-timers can hit Friday Flat, where there are gentle slopes and lessons available. More advanced skiers will want to head straight up the Kosciuszko Express chairlift where they’ll be able to visit the highest lifted point in Australia, before blasting back down Crackenback Supertrail – the longest single run in the country. In recent years, Thredbo has established its off-snow entertainment cred, hosting regular après-ski events, live music, long lunches and other alpine events throughout the season, perfect for visitors that are looking for the complete ski resort experience.

Big selling points: Nightlife, steeper terrain and on-mountain accommodation

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Perisher

New South Wales

While Thredbo will claim elevation and pitch, Perisher offers a large amount of skiable terrain – more than 3,000 acres across four interlinked resorts. Perisher also benefits from Skitube access – a train line that runs from just outside Jindabyne to the base of the mountain. This makes it a great option for those that are staying in Jindabyne and don’t want to take on the longer drive to Thredbo. With lower prices and more availability, this is a good option for families or first-timers heading to the mountains. Perisher has also built a reputation for its terrain parks, including an Olympic-sized halfpipe – but with the amount of terrain, this resort is suitable for skiers and boarders of all abilities.

Big selling points: Large skiable area, terrain parks, Skitube access

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Hotham Alpine Resort

Victoria

Because all ski resorts need something to claim, Mount Hotham takes the title of “Australia’s highest alpine village”. This happens to be a great title to hold, as the resort is at the top of the mountain (a rarity for ski villages in the southern hemisphere). The benefit of this is a ton of ski-in/ski-out accommodation on offer, plus some pretty spectacular vistas as you sip a hot beverage at the end of the day. Located just 4.5 hours drive from Melbourne, Hotham also has its own airport for those with deeper pockets. With 13 lifts, three terrain parks and a variety of runs (tending to the advanced), a trip to Hotham is better suited for those who have a little more experience.

Big selling points: Ski-in Ski-out accommodation, advanced terrain

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Falls Creek

Victoria

Just north of Hotham along the Victorian Alps is family-friendly Falls Creek. With the middle of the village limited to pedestrians, there’s a real European vibe here. On mountain, the ski runs are geared more towards beginner and intermediate, with limited advanced runs compared to Hotham. This, combined with a focus on ski schools, kids events and ski-in ski-out accommodation makes the resort well suited to families. The big kids will equally appreciate the bars and restaurants in the walkable village.  

Big selling points: Family-friendly, beginner and intermediate terrain, walkable village

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Mount Buller

Victoria

Mount Buller is closer to Melbourne than its two main competitors in the area, making it a great option for a quick weekend trip to the snow. Just 3 hours’ drive from the city, a day trip or weekend at the resort is more than possible. Buller has the largest network of lifts in Victoria, and the runs certainly offer more for the intermediate and advanced skiers than beginners and first-timers. Buller’s terrain parks are arguably the best in Victoria, with three dedicated parks ranging from beginner to advanced.

Big selling points: Proximity to Melbourne, terrain parks

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New Zealand

Coronet Peak

QUEENSTOWN

Just 16 kilometres from Queenstown, Coronet Peak is a short drive from downtown and gives visitors the chance to land at the airport and be on the slopes in an hour. This access makes it one of the most popular resorts in New Zealand, not to mention the stunning views back over Lake Wakatipu that bless almost every run on the mountain. The resort has terrain to suit all abilities, with the option for night skiing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as a great aprés-ski and nightlife scene.

Big selling points: Easy to get to from Queenstown, night skiing, nightlife

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The Remarkables

QUEENSTOWN

Within sight of Coronet Peak is The Remarkables, a resort that boasts a higher elevation than its neighbour (the carpark is the same elevation as the summit of Coronet Peak). This elevation, combined with fantastic off-piste terrain means the resort is the place to head on a powder day. There’s an expansive beginners area, plenty of runs to keep the advanced riders happy too, however intermediates may want to try one of the other resorts in the area.

Big selling points: Off-piste skiing, advanced terrain, beginners area

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Cardrona

WANAKA

Just over half an hours’ drive from Wanaka or an hours’ drive from Queenstown, Cardrona Alpine Resort should be the resort of choice for families looking for a New Zealand snow holiday. There’s a childcare centre for the young ones, and Ski Kindy for the toddlers, while the older kids will love the group lessons and Kids’ Snow Sports Club, where parents can drop them off and the staff will look after them for the day – including getting them ready for lessons and feeding them a hot lunch.

Big selling points: Excellent family-friendly atmosphere and ski school

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Treble Cone

WANAKA

Advanced skiers and boarders will flock to Treble Cone for its challenging terrain; long chutes, powder bowls and steep runs. Around 40% of the runs cater to advanced skiers, so beginners will prefer some of the other resorts in the area. Outside of the ski runs, the views from Treble Cone rival that of any ski resort in the country, so if your preference is to sit on a deck with a mulled wine, the scenery alone is worth the price of admission.

Big selling points: Longest vertical drop of all ski fields in the area, advanced terrain, spectacular views

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Mount Hutt

CHRISTCHURCH

An alternative to Queenstown, Mount Hutt is just under two hours’ drive from Christchurch. As a major gateway to the South Island, this may be a more cost-effective option for those that can’t access direct flights into Queenstown. There is no accommodation in the Mount Hutt ski area, but the nearby town of Methven offers plenty of lodging options, with access to the resort via car or ski bus. The resort has a good mix of terrain and offers a number of well-priced packages for first-timers, beginners and kids.

Big selling points: Access via Christchurch, wide range of terrain, good lesson packages

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