The Southern Hemisphere’s Snowiest Ski Resorts
1st June 2023
Last modified on June 8th, 2023
In the run up to the 2023 Southern Hemisphere winter, new data analysis has unveiled which ski resorts receive the most snowfall, based on historical data trends. UPDATED
The latest findings shed light on the region’s top destinations for snow security, as well as highlight which weeks of the season have historically been the snowiest.
The comprehensive study, conducted by a global ski season informational resource website, Snow Season Central, collected and analyzed historical snowfall records from the top 20 ski resorts across Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile.
The analysis was based on data from Snow Forecast which looks at the mid-mountain snowfall patterns over the last 15 years of historical data between 1st of June and the 30th of September.
Australia and New Zealand’s Top Resorts
Treble Cone, located near to the popular ski resort town of Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand came out on top for overall snowfall, with 349 cm between June and September.
This is 134% higher than Perisher, Australia’s most popular resort and 90% more than Coronet Peak, one of the two resorts located nearby to Queenstown, New Zealand.
Falls Creek, located in the state of Victoria was Australia’s snowiest ski resort with 199 cm over the same period.
The analysis showed most New Zealand resorts receive more snowfall than Australia ski resorts.
The New South Wales resorts of Thredbo and Perisher received the least over the recorded period.
Falls Creek receives 39% more snow than Thredbo historically.
Whakapapa and Turoa had the worst year on record last winter, which led the North Island resorts to file for voluntary bankruptcy in late 2022.
However, the historical data suggests they can see some of the country’s strongest snowfall, and last month hope was restored when the New Zealand government accepted bids for new resort owners.
We reported earlier on the development on PlanetSKI:
Eearlier we looked at the early-season snow falling in Australia:
Things have changed for the worse.
Currently the outlook for the planned opening of the Australian ski resorts this weekend, Saturday 10th June, does not look good.
The latest webcam images and upcoming weather forecast from the slopes of New South Wales and Victoria are worrying with bare slopes and mid-week rain the forecast.
All major ski resorts across the country are planning to open on the same date, coinciding with the long weekend due to the King’s Birthday (12th June), a public holiday observed by all states except Queensland and Western Australia.
See here for an update:
South America’s Top Resorts
The study found that some South American ski resorts will receive more than three times as much snowfall than the majority of Australian or New Zealand ski resorts.
So for powder hounds, this will be an appealing destination.
The resort of Nevados de Chillan in Chile was the Southern Hemisphere’s snowiest resort with 691 cm historically over the winter months from June 1st through to September 30th.
Cerro Catedral, Argentina’s largest ski resort came in second with 473 cm of snowfall, closely followed by Valle Nevado in Chile.
The Snowiest Weeks of the Season
The study also looked at which week of the season historically has been the best for high levels of snowfall at each resort, and might be suitable for people seeking powder snow conditions.
As expected, this varied greatly by country but saw some similarities between resorts which are in close proximity to each other.
Nevados de Chillan (Chile) received on average 68cm of snow in the 4th week of August according to the data, making it not only the snowiest resort overall, but the snowiest week of all the data looked at.
“As climate change continues to impact the snowsports industry, it is increasingly important for businesses and consumers to keep an eye on trends like these.” said Ed Raine, Director of Snow Season Central.
“While there are many factors that should be considered when planning a trip, snowfall is certainly something to look at.
“As climate trends change, advertised snowfall stats from resort websites can become outdated and not reflective of recent seasons. Therefore, unbiased sources like Snow Forecast are invaluable in providing insight.”
See all the findings of the study on Snow Season Central, including a week by week snowfall breakdown of data for each resort.