{ GREAT NEW ZEALAND AND AUS­TRALIA SKI ES­CAPES }

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Australia And Nz Ski Holidays - MERRY KIRK­WOOD

Free fam­ily fun: Mt Hutt and nearby Methven, a one-hour drive from Christchurch air­port, have a ‘‘kids for free’’ deal in which chil­dren aged 10 and un­der get free lift ac­cess and equip­ment rental plus com­pli­men­tary ac­com­mo­da­tion and meals at se­lected prop­er­ties. More: kid­s4free.co.nz. Re­sort­ing to lux­ury: Queen­stown’s Mill­brook Re­sort is of­fer­ing a three- night/ two- ski- day pack­age from $NZ590 ($456) a per­son, in­clud­ing Mill­brook vil­lage ac­com­mo­da­tion, break­fast daily and two- day lift pass for Coronet Peak or The Re­mark­ables. Valid to Oc­to­ber 4. More: newzealand­ski.co.nz. South­ern belle: The South Is­land’s Edge­wa­ter Re­sort near Cardrona has a five-night pack­age for fam­i­lies, based on two adults and two chil­dren; $NZ2999, in­clud­ing a stay in a two-bed­room apart­ment and two adult and two child OnePassNZ lift passes re­deemable at eight of the is­land’s ski ar­eas. Valid to Oc­to­ber 1. More: newzealand­ski.co.nz. Stay a while: Stay three nights and ski for two days dur­ing a long­week­end break at the Hil­ton­man­aged Kawa­rau Ho­tel near Queen­stown air­port; from $385 a per­son twin- share, in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion and break­fast daily and two two-day lift passes at Coronet Peak and The Re­mark­ables. Valid to Oc­to­ber 4. More: nzski.com. Crown­ing glory: Book an Air New Zealand Hol­i­days pack­age at Her­itage Queen­stown; from $NZ879 a per­son twin-share for seven nights in a deluxe room, in­clud­ing air­port trans­fers, four­day Coronet Peak lift pass ( re­deemable at The Re­mark­ables) and four-day Sk­iLink ski field trans­fers. Flights not in­cluded. Avail­able to Septem­ber 30 for travel to Oc­to­ber airnewzealand.com.au. First- timer fun: The North Is­land’s Mount Ruapehu ( the largest ski and snow­board area in the coun­try) has a Dis­cover Ul­ti­mate Pack­age; from $NZ108 for adults and $NZ78 for five to 18- year- olds, in­clud­ing a be­gin­ner’s lift pass ( for Happy Val­ley at Whaka­papa or the Alpine Meadow at Turoa), full­day equip­ment hire, two-hour ski or board group les­son and sight­see­ing chair­lift ride (Cen­ten­nial and Wa­ter­fall Ex­press chair­lifts at Whaka­papa or the Park

15. More: Lane Chair­lift at Turoa). More: mtru­apehu.com. Hol­i­day heaven: Flight Cen­tre’s seven-night pack­age at four-star Copthorne Lake­front Re­sort Ho­tel Queen­stown in­cludes seven-day car hire and five-day lift pass; from $849 a per­son twin­share. Valid Septem­ber 1 to Oc­to­ber 7. More: flight­cen­tre.com.au. Snow scene: Qan­tas Hol­i­days has a range of Queen­stown ski pack­ages, in­clud­ing five nights at the ho­tel of your choice, re­turn trans­fers, three-day NZSu­per­pass and three-day moun­tain trans­fers to Coronet Peak or The Re­mark­ables; deals in­clude a stay at Ho­tel St Moritz, from $ 972 a per­son twin-share to Au­gust 31. More: 1300 4654 329. Coup for cou­ples: Book a Ro­manc­ing the Snow pack­age at NSW’s Lake Crack­en­back Re­sort and Spa; from $443 a per­son twin­share for two nights’ ac­com­mo­da­tion, break­fasts, sparkling wine and choco­lates on ar­rival, a two-course din­ner at Lake Crack­en­back Res­tau­rant and Bar, 45minute mas­sage and com­pli­men- tary Sk­i­tube shut­tle bus. More: lake­crack­en­back.com.au. On the buses: Mur­rays coaches has win­ter day pack­ages in­clud­ing Thredbo Skier and Snow­board deals; from $246 an adult in­clud­ing re­turn travel from Sydney, equip­ment hire, park en­try and lift passes. Per­isher pack­ages avail­able. More: mur­rays.com.au. Hotham highs: How about a get­away to one of Vic­to­ria’s pret­ti­est ski re­sorts? Crys­tal Stu­dio apart­ment has a two-night cou­ples’ deal from $683 a per­son twin­share in­clud­ing a two-day week­end lift pass and equip­ment hire, and two adult group lessons. Valid Au­gust 31 to Septem­ber 16. More: 1800 HOTHAM; hothamhol­i­days.com.au. Free and easy: Book now for a Blaze Fam­ily Pack­age to co­in­cide with the Jimmy Blaze Freestyle Snow­mo­bile Show at Mt Hotham (Au­gust 15 and 18). Zirky’s has a five-night fam­ily deal from $1457 an adult and $1235 a child (based on six-share) in a two-bed­room apart­ment, in­clud­ing equip­ment hire, group lessons, Kids Snow­zone passes and other ex­tras. More: 1800 HOTHAM; hothamhol­i­days.com.au.

From left, Queen­stown’s Mill­brook Re­sort; chair­lift ride at Per­isher Ski Re­sort; and Kawa­rau Ho­tel in Queen­stown, man­aged by Hil­ton

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