Getting to the mountain is usually cheaper in Australia but that can either mean a bus which can take over seven hours from Sydney to Perisher, or self-driving. Australian resorts typically also have a number of add-on fees for parking and access. For example, the Perisher ski tube is $86 return and in-resort car-parking can be up to $45 a day partly due to their location in a national park. With return airfares to Queenstown starting from $350 (in August) for a three-hour flight from Melbourne and your accommodation a ten minute drive from the airport, you’ll be holidaying in the world-class lakeside resort before you know it.
Along with views of the snow-capped mountains and lake, the après-ski scene here is unmatched with over 50 licensed bars restaurants and clubs, mostly within walking distance of downtown Queenstown and beer prices starting from $4.50.
Once you’ve touched down for your Queenstown ski holiday, costs can drop noticeably if you do your research, partly due to the slightly stronger Australian dollar, but also drinks, meals and other ski holiday costs such as ski lessons are generally cheaper in New Zealand.
There’s a great mix of activities available to meet everyone’s budget, from high-end boutique experiences such as champagne and a heli-flight atop one of the surrounding peaks, to happy hour at Harry’s pool bar, a favourite with the seasonal staff and backpackers in the resort.
The large number of Queenstown hotels also means a great range to choose from especially if you plan ahead. With resorts like Cardrona and Coronet usually offering good snow until the end of September, there’s plenty of scope for hunting down a bargain ski package.
The best time to book for a budget ski holiday is six weeks in advance, typically saving you 6% and with more than 40 flights a week flying into the resort from Australia over winter, what are you waiting for?
Want to make your trans-Tasman ski holiday dream reality? Use Skyscanner Australia for the best deals on flights, hotels and car hire options.
Published 21 July 2016. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.