Our beginner’s guide to the world’s most desirable ski destinations.
From California, Wyoming, Utah to Colorado, skiing and boarding in the USA offers views over lakes, cowboy ranches and mining towns, huge terrain, tree runs, powder stashes, jaw-dropping couloirs, celebrity havens and casinos. The ski scene is as diverse as the powder’s vast. With charming towns and atmosphere both on and off the slopes, as well as après-ski activities ranging from dog sledding to cat skiing, guests benefit from world-class resorts with world-class facilities. Take advantage of complimentary snow host tours, cat skiing, and even hot drinks for post-powder warmth, or add on a stopover in an iconic US city, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or glitzy Las Vegas.
Everyone knows Canada is a haven for snow lovers, but why? The biggest wonder about skiing here is the diverse selection of resorts. From vast slopes to cosy ski-in ski out accommodation, rustic towns and areas with breath-taking scenery, there is a spot to suit everyone. Find gentle groomers, designated beginner areas, off-piste, tree runs and exhilarating heli-ski drops. More pros include free snow host and/or ambassador programmes in every resort, some of the best-recognised race training and children’s ski schools on the ski-scene, and a distinct lack of queues. And with direct flights from Auckland straight into Vancouver, Canada ticks a lot of boxes.
There is something magical about skiing in Japan. With over 600 resorts from the mainland of Honshu, to the Island of Hokkaido, small parks, knee deep powder, quirky resorts (some with amusement parks) and the charm of resorts such as Nozawa Onsen which are steeped in tradition and history, it’s also home to Niseko, one of the snowiest resorts in the world, with an enviable 16 metres of annual snowfall. On the mountains you’ll enjoy light, dry powder and off them you’ll find remarkable culture and Japanese cuisine. As NZ’s closest country for a Northern Hemisphere snow season, ski December through to April without suffering the dreaded jet lag.