Why Kiwis should ski in Australia

RACHAEL OAKES-ASH
Last updated 11:48 07/09/2012
Australia skiing
Getty

PICTURESQUE: A skier at Perisher Valley, New South Wales.

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Call me shallow but I have always been seduced by beauty. One blink of New Zealand's alpine eyelashes thrusting skywards from cobalt blue lakes and I was blinded eight years ago.

But beauty usually comes with a catch and New Zealand's recent mood swings have been seriously challenging our tempestuous relationship.

This is day six of a nine-day ski trip in New Zealand. I have come with film crew and two ski pros in hand, ready to capture on celluloid what has kept me returning each year with skis under my arm.

Some years she over delivers and others she throws a tantrum, but quite frankly six days of tantrums are not getting either of us anywhere.

I don't care if you have a plethora of adventure activities to keep me distracted from closed mountains on "down days"; the truth is I don't want a down day, I just want to go skiing. So now it's me stamping my foot and spitting my dummy.

I suspect New Zealand's petulant behaviour may be because they have heard that my gaze has been reignited by Australia this season - and who could blame me?

With regular 30 to 90-centimetre dumps of fresh white goodness every week in August and up to another 60 centimetres forecast for this weekend, I think it is time the Kiwi marketers crossed our ditch to see what they are up against.

"Why didn't you tell me how great skiing in Australia is," asked one Kiwi expat friend living in Sydney who took her family skiing in Australia for the first time this season.

Why? Because if I did you wouldn't believe me. It would appear the New Zealand ski marketers have done such a good snow job on Australian skiers and boarders that even Kiwis have bought into the better snow and longer runs fallacy.

Yet many of these campaigns have been devised by advertising creatives who have never thought to do a "recce" of the competition.

In the past week while touring New Zealand's unique (and my much loved) club and boutique ski fields of Canterbury and Mackenzie, I have been surprised to hear the Kiwi opinions and thoughts on the Australian snowfields.

 From "it is so much cheaper for Australians to ski in New Zealand" (true) to "it is better skiing in New Zealand than Australia" (false or true depending on each country's snow year).

I've heard surprise from Kiwis at our talk of tree skiing in Australia, of multi-lift systems, of ski in ski out, and shock at the current Aussie season of regular weekly dumps. They think I am lying until I show them the instagram pics.

I know I am being a sadist, rubbing them in our good fortune, and I will no doubt pay the price for it in seasons to come, but perception is reality and while Kiwis perceive Australian skiing to be rubbish then that is what they will believe.

That said, I know plenty of Australians who would like to keep it that way.

Perhaps it is time for Air New Zealand's award-winning Kiwi Sceptics campaign, to go the other way and bring Aussie sceptics to our snow fields and help fill those seats across the ditch.

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After this trip I know a few folks I could put on the plane.

The truth is, the more snow love there is in both countries then the better it is for everyone - skiers, boarders, ski industry, resorts and airlines. I suspect New Zealand will have her way with me again.

Like snow, it is only a matter of time.

Would you go to Aussie for a skiing holiday?

- Sydney Morning Herald

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