Australia has World's best season pass value. Discuss.

snow action team 05.04.2019

News is in today that Vail Resorts has closed on its takeover of Falls and Hotham so yes folks, Australia has the World’s best season pass value!

Are we kidding? After all, it’s not long ago when claims that Australia had the World’s most expensive lift passes were doing the more hysterical blogosphere rounds.

Snowboarding Perisher in the new Leichardt Chair area
All season at Perisher + Hotham + Falls plus a whole bunch overseas for @ USD 619 ? That is super cheap by world standards © Perisher Media

That was never actually true – not even when the mighty Pacific Peso ruled and you got $USD 1.11 for it in the glory days of the mining boom downunder in 2011.

Now you’ll get close to the long term average since the dollar was allowed to float freely in 1980s, around USD 0 .70 – 0.72 cents for every Aussie dollar.

Early Bird American season pass offers are starting to lob into our inbox, like that from undeniably awesome Big Sky in Montana – which before Park City absorbed Canyons a few seasons back was actually America’s largest ski area. It also has the incredible Lone Peak Tram, which we rated #2 on our list of the Top 3 ski lifts in the US of A.

An unrestricted, all lifts, all season pass will set you back USD 1,449 there if you buy early – or around $ AUD 2,045 at today’s mid-rates (from a bank would be more if you actually wanted to go buy one) or with holiday restrictions $ USD 999 / $ AUD 1410.

That got us thinking about today’s topic.

Now compare that to the Epic Australia Pass for $ AUD 859 (could have got it for $799 last October) or just $ USD 619 at today’s mid-rates.

Clean powder lines at Hotham
Toss in Hotham and Falls for the same price? That’s not too shabby Toshi Pander! © Joel Mekin / Hotham

That gives you all season unrestricted at 3 of Australia’s ‘Big 5’ resorts – Perisher, Hotham and Falls Creek.

Plus all season access to Breckenridgand Keystone in Colorado; Park City in Utah; HeavenlyNorthstar and Kirkwood in Lake Tahoe, California and Stowe in Vermont in the 2019 – 2020 season (holiday restrictions apply). Unlimited, unrestricted access to OkemoMount SunapeeCrested Butte and Stevens Pass (not heard of it? If you are in the Pacific North West check it out!).

10 days combined at Whistler Blackcomb, Vail and Beaver Creek in the 2019 – 2020 season (holiday restrictions apply).

5 days consecutive at both Rusutsu and Hakuba Valley in Japan with no blackout dates.

Sounds a like a lot of bang for our Aussie bucks to us.

Heavenly is one of the many resorts you get with the Epic Australia Pass
South coast NSW local Michael McCrudden got in 30 days at Perisher last season and another 30 or so between Heavenly and Kirkwood on his Epic Australia Pass © Michael McRudden

Versus if we were in America buying the regular Epic Pass we would fork out $ USD 699, or $ AUD 987 as of today for the Epic Local Pass which gives similar access to the American and Japanese resorts as detailed above.

Without the overseas benefits, but great value, nzski.com’s Early Bird season pass for Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables at $ NZD 649 was a huge deal for anyone who got onto it by the January 31 deadline.

Not a full season pass, but certainly also supplying a lot of skiing for less money than Americans pay themselves is the deal to grab the 2019-2020 Mountain Collective Pass for $AUD 449 (or around $USD 317), not $USD 449 that includes Mt Buller and Thredbo at home. The exclusive passes for Australian and New Zealanders are available exclusively online at www.https://tmcaustralia.ltibooking.com/. A limited quantity of passes are available at this lowest guaranteed price, and you need to have an Australia or NZ residential address.

Day passes are a different beast – Japan for example is way way cheaper than Australia for day passes, around JPY ¥6,000 at the most expensive, or only $ AUD 78 at the moment or ¥3,500 / AUD 45 at smaller areas which may have awesome skiing like Tenjindeira . Day passes are cheaper in most of Europe too.

Major American resorts are far more expensive if you did go and pay ticket window price – up to USD 190 / A 270 – but with all the deals like Ikon Pass, Mountain Collective etc as above then you would be silly to be paying that.

Day pass rates are another “family discussment” as #1 grandson used to say, and we’ll look more at that another time. But for season pass value things are looking pretty good value down under at the moment – we are getting more inclusions and better rates.

NB: There are no paid endorsements / advertising from Vail Resorts / Perisher etc on this site – this is no paid promo for them #realsnownews is what you get @snowaction and it’s the way it is, we have lucked out!

See you out here! Perisher has plenty of room to avoid the crowds when it’s on © Perisher Media