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10 Ways to Ski on a Budget in New Zealand and Australia

Heading on a New Zealand ski trip? Or planing to stay and ski in Australia? Even if you book cheap flights and cheap hotels, skiing in New Zealand and Australia can cost an arm and a leg, but there are ways to keep the costs down.

When it comes to skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand or Australia, saving money usually comes down to where you stay and when you ski. Here is the Skyscanner top 10 guide to hitting the slopes this winter by keeping things cheap and not smashing your budget.

1. Avoid peak season skiing in New Zealand and Australia

Avoiding peak season goes for both New Zealand and Australia. The peak season runs from mid-July to the end of August in the New South Wales ski resorts of Thredbo, Perisher Blue, Charlotte Pass, or Selwyn, and the larger Victorian resorts of Falls Creek, Hotham, and Mount Buller, and the popular New Zealand resorts like Coronet Peak, Mt Hutt, The Remarkables, Turoa, and Whakapapa. Ski or snowboard in June or September and you can save heaps of money. Just keep your fingers crossed for snow in some of the smaller resorts, like Selwyn, in New South Wales.

Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ/flickr

2. Book cheap hotels (and more expensive ones) well ahead

Many resorts offer money-saving packages that can change a mid-range hotel into a cheap hotel if you well book ahead of time. For example, the ski resorts of Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, both near Queenstown, in New Zealand, offer a sale which usually ends by March or April. Hotel rooms can fill up fast in any ski resort, with cheap rooms going the quickest. Tip: well before heading to the snow, search Skyscanner for the best value rooms in ski resorts in New Zealand and Australia.

Image credit: Yun Huang Yong/flickr

3. Plan to ski or snowboard mid-week

Mid-week accommodation can work out much cheaper than staying on weekends, and the slopes are less crowded too, so you get better skiing and snow boarding. It can also be easier to find hotel rooms in very popular resorts. In Australia, for example, Thredbo accommodation and Perisher Blue accommodation is easier to find if you stay midweek, while in New Zealand, Coronet Peak accommodation is usually easier to find midweek too.

Image credit: Adam Selwood/flickr

4. Choose your ski resort wisely

Where to ski in New Zealand has a big impact on the overall cost. Some resorts are much more expensive than others when it comes to lift tickets. For example, you can find the cheapest adult one-day ski pass in New Zealand at Mt Dobson. It costs NZ$84. If you ski at Coronet Peak, it will cost you NZ$119 a day. In Australia a one-day adult lift ticket at Thredbo costs $135, whereas at Selwyn a one-day lift pass costs between $70 and $90 depending on which part of the season you ski. Sometimes you have to compare apples with apples though. More lifts might mean more money.

5. The more you ski, the less you pay

One day lift passes cost more than multi-day passes, so plan your trip with this in mind. If you plan to ski for more than seven days you should consider a season pass. Buy a season pass well in advance and you can save even more.

Image credit: taki Lau/flickr

6. Buy lift tickets online

Some resorts offer discounts if you buy your lift tickets online, especially if you buy them well in advance. For example, a peak season three-day lift ticket at Perisher in New South Wales costs up to $399 in peak season at the resort and $332 if you buy online. Savings can be even bigger outside the peak season.

Image credit: Ruth Ellison/flickr

7. Book a package

Ski packages include accommodation, lift passes and lessons and generally work out cheaper than if purchased seperately. But this isn’t always the case and it’s well worth hunting down hotel bargains through a comparison site like Skyscanner in a bid to create your own package.

Image credit: Bernard Spragg. NZ/flickr

8. Stay off snow

A place in the snow is romantic and convenient of course, but you can find much cheaper options in a supply town, such as Jindabyne in New South Wales.

Image credit: MD111/flickr

9. Pack your own lunch

Yes, a sandwich made at home can make all the difference to your already overstretched wallet. Often slope-side food is fast, just so-so, and expensive. A greasy burger and fries, with a can of soft drink, and bang goes more than $20. A family of four can easily go through $80 a day this way. Oh, and bring your own water in a refillable bottle.

Lunch and ski helmet

10. Bring it with you or rent offsite

Resorts make a lot of money from selling ski clothing and goggles, and renting out skis and snowboards too. Buy your clothes off season and in sales, and rent away from the resorts. There are often ski hire shops in supply towns and ski and snowboard hire can be much cheaper than up in the mountains.

Image credit: Mary and Andrew/flickr

With the ski season opening in June, book your flights now with Skyscanner to make sure you don’t miss out on one of these unique experiences.

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