Winter is coming! How to save while you ski in 2019

As Aussies bid farewell to their beloved summer weather, the winter chill starts to creep closer which means that ski season is coming.

It’s around this time of year that people begin to wipe the dust off their snow gear and start to plan when they’ll head to the hills to shred up the slopes or just enjoy all the Australian mountains have to offer.

Families, casual skiers and devote seasonal snowboarders alike are spoilt for choice when choosing where to go on a holiday. But one major difference between resorts are the ski pass prices, which dictate how much time you spend on the mountain and can cost thousands if you’re travelling as a family.

Here are the 2019 online lift pass prices for an adult looking to ski at Australia’s top 5 locations:  

Falls Creek - Victoria                                                                      
Day TripNA
3 DaysFrom $258
WeekFrom $545
Season Pass$1,199
Mount Buller - Victoria
Day TripFrom $66
3 DaysFrom $320
WeekFrom $541
Season Pass$1,549
Mount Hotham - Victoria
Day TripNA
3 DaysFrom $258
WeekFrom $545
Season Pass$1,647
Thredbo - New South Wales
Day TripFrom $129
3 DaysFrom $285
WeekFrom $579

Season Pass$1,179 (Base) $1,219 (Premium)
Perisher - New South Wales
Day TripFrom $190 (with ski hire)
3 DaysFrom $285
WeekFrom $601
Season Pass (Epic Australia Pass)$859

Note: All Perisher lift passes 3 days or over come with a free ½ day pass – valid from 12pm the day before your first full day

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For you devout skiers out there, if a season pass at a singular resort isn’t enough there are other passes that can cover you in more than one place.

The Epic Australia Pass is great value at only $859, as it connects skiers not only to different Australian resorts but to other slopes around the world. Holders receive unlimited and unrestricted access to Perisher, Falls Creek and Mount Hotham for the 2019 season. Not only this, it gives access to resorts in Japan, USA and Canada during their snow seasons, so basically you could ski or snowboard all year round off the same pass!

So, how can you ski on a budget in Aus? 

Heading to the snow isn’t cheap but there are a few clever ways to lessen the price tag on what could be an epic ski holiday.

  • Avoid peak season: Prices change throughout the ski season, as more snow generally falls in the middle months of Winter. To avoid these price hikes, opt to ski outside of the peak season like in late August and even September. You’ll could end up saving hundreds of dollars.
  • Ski or snowboard midweek: While it’s more convenient to ski on the weekend, midweek skiing is cheaper in most cases. Some resorts, like Mount Hotham, even offer a 3-day pass for the price of 2 days if you ski from Tuesday to Thursday.
  • Book accomodation well in advance and stay off the snow: Like when you go overseas, the earlier you book your accommodation when you head to the snow usually the cheaper it is. It’s also usually more cost effective to stay off the mountain, like in Jindabyne (not far from Perisher and Thredbo), where there are still plenty of accommodation options. You will however need to organise transport to and from the mountain on the days you intend to ski.  
  • Buy tickets online: When you book your tickets online, many of the resorts offer discounts. Each pass has a different price and duration but generally, the more you ski the less you pay per day.
  • Pack your own food: For many people a snow holiday means endless hot chocolates and warm lunches between runs, but this may not be very cost effective. If you are looking to make savings anywhere you can, opt to bring your own food for lunch - food at the snow can be expensive so it can really save you a lot.

Looking to head out of Aus for a snow holiday?   

Many people argue that the best snow in the world is actually outside of Australia, and there are a stack of resorts overseas which can prove it.

So if you’re willing to wait a few months before you ski, and save a bit more to cover airfares, here are 5 of the best places to go for a snow holiday overseas:

  • Japan: Famous for powder, resorts like Hakuba Valley or Rusutsu in Japan are great places for keen riders who want to shred fresh snow unlike anywhere else in the world.
  • USA: With mountains resorts in Colorado, Utah, Lake Tahoe and more, the US is bursting with ski holiday opportunities for all levels from new beginners to extremely advanced skiers and snowboarders.
  • Canada:  As a big chunk of the country is covered in snow for majority of the year you can guess that Canada has a bunch of amazing ski resorts which attract Aussies every season, like the famous and extremely popular Whistler or Vail.
  • France: It’s one of the most favoured ski locations for both Europeans and non-Europeans, and has some spectacular mountains like Chamonix or Val-d'Isère that are both extremely picturesque and have plenty of thrilling runs to suit everyone.
  • Switzerland: Known for the snow-capped mountains that scatter the country like Zermatt, St.Moritz or Verbier, Switzerland is a one stop shop for alpine skiing and has some of the best snow in the world.

So if you think an overseas ski adventure is right for you, you’re going to need travel insurance, and if you want more info, check out our snow travel insurance guide.