Get Your Summer Ski Fix in the Southern Hemisphere

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Bucket List Worthy   Hot off the Press  

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When most North Americans are rejoicing because the last patches of snow on the ground have finally melted, some ski and snowboard bums are anxiously awaiting the next snowfall. Instead of sinking into the couch to endure the summer with old ski and snowboard flicks, pack your bags and head to one of these seven ski resorts in the Southern Hemisphere — where winter is just beginning.

Ski Portillo, Chile

Photo credit: Senor Jerome
Photo credit: Senor Jerome

Ski Portillo is South America’s most famed ski resort, and once you ride into the chest-deep powder in the resort’s off-piste terrain, you’ll understand exactly why.

The season: June 29 to October 5

Lodging: Portillo offers one hotel, two lodges and a few chalets on site. There’s no town near the resort, so don’t expect to do much aside from hitting the slopes. Find your accommodations on Ski Portillo’s website.

Las Lenas, Argentina

Photo credit: unofficialsquaw.com
Photo credit: unofficialsquaw.com

If you prefer white snow over white sand in the summertime, you’ll fall in love with Las Lenas. Not only is Las Lenas the highest resort in South America — with a summit elevation of  3,424 meters — it’s also home to one of the longest runs in the world.

The season: June 23 to October 13

Lodging: Las Lenas is one of the largest ski and snowboard resorts in Argentina, and eight hotels are within just a snowball’s throw of the chairlifts. Las Lenas also offers multiple apartment-style hotels that are more suitable for large groups. Find your accommodations on Las Lenas Resort’s website.

Treble Cone, New Zealand

Photo credit: Dan Woods
Photo credit: Dan Woods

If there weren’t enough reasons to visit New Zealand already, Treble Cone — the South Island’s largest ski area — might convince you to book your ticket today. When it comes to challenging backcountry terrain, most ski and snowboard enthusiasts agree that Treble Cone is the place to be.

The season: June 26 to September 28

Lodging: Treble Cone is located in Lake Wanaka — a gorgeous area with a wide variety of places to stay near the slopes. Lake Wanaka is outfitted with nearly 50 quaint villas, posh hotels, affordable apartments, lodges and hostels for every type of traveler and every price range. Find your accommodations on Treble Cone’s website.

Valle Nevado, Chile

Photo credit: Andre Bispo
Photo credit: Andre Bispo

Valle Nevado boasts the best heli-skiing in South America, but that’s not all this world-class resort in the Andes has to offer. Valle Nevado’s summit elevation is roughly 3,669 meters, making it a world-renowned destination for off-piste dry powder runs, steeps and a healthy amount of intermediate terrain too.

The season: June 15 to September 27

Lodging: Valle Nevado is just a 90-minute drive from Santiago, so day trips aren’t out of the question. But there are three hotels and four apartment options on-site ranging from high-end to affordable. Find your accommodations on Valle Nevado’s website.

Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand

Photo credit: Kiwi Flickr
Photo credit: Kiwi Flickr

Mt. Ruapehu is home to two ski resorts — Turoa Ski Area on the southwestern side and Whakapapa Ski Area on the northwestern side. The two areas combine to make New Zealand’s largest ski resort, which features a diverse amount of beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain.

The season: June 28 to October 20

Lodging: The closest accommodations to the ski areas are available in the nearby towns of Ohakune, National Park Village, Taupo and Whakapapa Village. Find your accommodations on Mt. Ruapehu’s website.

Catedral Alta Patagonia, Argentina

Photo credit: Gonzalo Saenz
Photo credit: Gonzalo Saenz

Forget hiking to the backcountry when you visit Catedral Alta Patagonia, because the new La Laguna lift will take you directly there. The terrain isn’t all for advanced skiers and riders though, this Argentinian resort offers a wide variety of terrain that spans 1,359 acres and is accessed by nearly 40 lifts.

The season: June 20 to October 5

Lodging: Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort and spa or a simple hotel for your stay, Catedral Alta Patagonia is outfitted with accommodations of all kinds just seconds from the ski lifts. Find your accommodations on Catedral Alta Patagonia’s website.

Perisher, Australia

Photo credit: oooo oooo
Photo credit: oooo oooo

Australia may not seem like a dream ski destination, but it’s actually home to the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere — Perisher. The bulk of the resort’s terrain is in the intermediate range, and with a single run measuring roughly 3.2-kilometers in length, you’ll never run out of fun.

The season: June 7 to October 6

Lodging: Stay at one of Perisher’s two on-site hotels — The Station or Perisher Valley Hotel — or stay in one of Perisher Valley’s multitude of other hotel and apartment options. Find your accommodations on Perisher’s website.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a travel writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and surfing new waves.

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