SKI season is upon us and for West Australians, that means packing the thermals and heading to much cooler climes.
Here are Breakaway’s top (icy) picks for carving up the white powder in 2011.
Queenstown, New Zealand
New Zealand’s world-renowned alpine town, with its eternally snow-capped mountains and cosmopolitan apres-ski life, is playing host to the annual Queenstown Winter Festival from June 24 to July 3, dubbed the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest winter party.
Launched in 1975 by locals to celebrate the arrival of winter, it included races on the mountain and in town, lollies for the kids, beers for the grown-ups, a concert or two and a local ball.
It now attracts about 45,000 people with its free and ticketed events, culminating in a ranking among the world’s Top 10 ‘must-do’ festivals by Yahoo!7 Travel.
Bulgaria? Yes, Bulgaria. If the Alps busts the budget but you still want that Euro ski holiday, consider eastern Europe.
Borovets – about 70km from the Bulgarian capital of Sofia – is said to be the oldest Bulgarian winter resort, dating back to 1896, and is at the foot of Mt Musala, the highest peak in the Balkans.
There is a ski school with instructors fluent in foreign languages, and this year freestyle skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the new terrain park, Borosport Funpark 2011.
Will it be Perisher or Thredbo?
The all-new ‘Superski Ticket’ allows skiers and snowboarders access to both resorts in winter 2011, which includes 1700 hectares, more than 60 lifts and a range of terrain parks.
The five-day lift ticket, available from June 25 to September 4, can be used within any six-day period.
Thredbo is half way between Sydney and Melbourne and about a six-hour drive from either capital.