Australian travellers infiltrate the world and no more so than the ski and snowboard industry. Some overseas resorts are just like skiing at home (well in the village anyway).
This semi arid island land mass, the sixth largest country in the world (known more for desert sand and tropical rainforest than blizzards and snowstorms) is responsible for the number one international inbound market for some of the biggest name ski resorts in the world including Park City, Aspen, Big White and almost every commercial ski resort in Colorado.
But this too comes at a price that isn’t always pretty from Whistralia to Nis Vegas.
Thanks to Canada and Australia's working visa arrangement (Australians aged 18 to 30 can travel and work in Canada for up to a year) and the convenience of non-stop flights from east coast down under to west coast Canada, Whistler is overrun with Aussie accents. My last trip I counted five before I heard a Canadian.
Australian dollars were equally responsible for putting Niseko in Japan on the world ski and snowboard map, and it shows with meat pie outlets alongside Aussie ski and snowboard retail brands on the main street. But none of that changes the impressive metre loads of dry Niseko powder and natural onsens you just can't get back home.
Don't get me wrong. There are times when only an Australian accent will do, like the time I was cliffed out at Red Mountain in Canada, waiting for ski patrol and furiously dialing my friends back home to keep my panic at bay. I would have given my right arm to be in Whistler with the familiar sounds of nasal twang then.
Australians get each other. Try telling the same wry joke to an American in Main Street Park City and see if they laugh out loud. Being the only Australian can, of course, rock but for only so long.
The novelty factor of being the sole Australian in a mountain lodge for a week in interior British Columbia and on a ski improvement course in Verbier Switzerland soon runs out; for me it was once I had exhausted the stereotype 'loud Australian' personality and simply wanted someone who got what I was trying to say. The closest thing I found was a British geezer working as a chef in the kitchen and a Kiwi pro skier who traded down under humour for free beer.
But the truth is it is hard to find a snow destination that doesn't have an Australian lingering somewhere. Yes, North America, Japan and New Zealand are infiltrated thanks to clever marketing. We are less prevalent in European resorts where Russians and Brits dominate, but we are definitely still there.
Aussies are intrepid travellers and early adopters. Head to Gulmarg in India, Bariloche in Argentina or Alyeska in Alaska, prepare to hear that Aussie twang at some stage during your travels.
If you love Australians, then I have listed the resorts for you in North America, Japan and New Zealand. You can be almost guaranteed those resorts are well serviced with an impressive customer infrastructure.
If you don't then head to some alternatives, also listed, before the rest of us do.
Whistler, Canada - direct flights to Vancouver and then two and a half hour drive to the mountain, over eleven metres of snow each season, 3307 hectares of skiable terrain and over 1600metres of vertical.
Big White, Canada - developed by former owners of Mt Hotham, voted Canada's favourite family resort, over three thousand hectares of skiable terrain, 777metres of vertical, night skiing and a ski in ski out village.
Park City, Utah USA - historical silver mining town that services three impressive resorts - Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort and The Canyons. Home to the Sundance Film Festival in January, a thriving apres scene and some of the driest powder snow around. Plus half an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado USA - blue sky skiing, super groomed runs, off piste powder, four resorts to choose from, a party village and celebrity filled streets.
Niseko, Japan - similar time zone to Australia so no jet lag, lower altitude so no altitude sickness, fifteen metres of super dry snow per season, even split between beginner, intermediate, advanced and cheaper lift tickets.
Cardrona, New Zealand - Australians owned Cardrona until last year when it was bought by Real Journeys in New Zealand, uber groomed runs, stand alone day care centre and impressive kids ski school, FIS half pipe, terrain parks and close to both Queenstown and Wanaka.
Not all Australians know about
Crested Butte, Colorado USA - think of Crested Butte as the Byron Bay of skiing in Colorado. Over nine hundred metres of vertical, six hundred and twenty six hectares of skiable terrain, over five hundred acres of inbound double black diamond terrain, over seven and a half metres of snow each season and a groovy alternative mountain town.
Revelstoke, Canada - if Revelstoke was easier to get to it would be as busy as Whistler. Boasts North America's biggest vertical 1713 metres, 1263 hectares of skiable terrain that is mainly intermediate, advanced and expert plus purpose built ski in ski out accommodation.
Nozawa Onsen, Japan - a feudal onsen town from 924 AC that is the 'home of Japan skiing' with cobbled laneways, an annual fire festival, traditional ryokans and fifty private and public onsens. Did we mention the Japanese powder?
Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand - you will have to travel to get here, a few hours from Auckland or Wellington, but you will be skiing an active volcano and two ski fields - Turoa and Whakapapa. Combined they over 1050 hectares of skiable terrain and more than seven hundred metres of vertical.
Whitefish, Montana USA - this is cowboy skiing country and comes with some of the best tree skiing around, super dry powder, a mountain Jesus, crazy locals and the Hidden Moose Lodge which is reason enough to stay.
Grand Targhee, Wyoming USA - an hour from the more well known Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee boasts seriously good powder, great skiing and boarding, a cat skiing operation and a rustic day lodge and mountain village with old fashioned home style hospitality.
Do you like skiing with or without Australians? Do you think we enhance or detract a ski resort by our presence? What resorts do you love? Post a comment on the blog below.
We are so excited about our #misssnowitall Instagram competition this year and with a trip to Japan up for grabs who wouldn't be?
Thanks to the Japan experts at Liquid Snow Tours and Hakuba Hotel Group we have a trip for two to Hakuba in Japan flying direct with Jetstar from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne with seven nights at the conveniently located Hakuba Springs Hotel, daily breakfast, five of nine day multi-resort lift passes for the Hakuba Valley, welcome drinks, transfers, in resort assistance and concierge service. Now that's how you do Hakuba in style.
To enter just tag your winter inspired Instagrams with #misssnowitall.
We will choose five winners each week for our gallery above, and come September, our guest judge will choose our finalists from the gallery and you get to judge the ultimate winner of this fantastic week in Japan. Click here for full terms and conditions.
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