The best snow in the Southern Hemisphere right now can be found Down Under.
Despite the beach culture 3.5 million people head for the slopes in South Wales and Victoria each year. The highest European-style resorts are found in New South Wales - Thredbo and Perisher are the two leading contenders. The majority of resorts are situated in Victoria - Falls Creek and Mt Hotham are the biggest. The latter has the advantage of its own airport so it is possible to fly in direct or from Sydney and Melbourne. With 85 runs and good Aussie après-ski, Mount Hotham reasonably claims to be a first-class resort.
Ski lifts are expensive, not only because of the high Aussie Dollar, but the pass prices have actually gone up in line with the cost of living, which has risen 15 percent in the last five years according to the Australian Alpine Club. A day's ski lift pass at Thredbo, Perisher, Falls Creek or Mt Hotham are all around 114 USD (£71).
New Zealand is a first-class skiing destination with good resorts, mostly on South Island. The two largest and highest - Whakapapa and Turoa - are on Mount Ruapehu, North Island. A day's pass costs 65 USD (£40) at Whakapapa with the highest ski point at 2300 metres. There is a carpet lift for small children at Turoa, as well as New Zealand's only lift accessed glacier skiing. Private ski clubs are a feature of the ski scene here to keep skiing affordable.