Skiing In The Southern Hemisphere

As an Instructor, the second I mention heading down to Australia and New Zealand for the ski season, I can predict the inevitable response of ‘wait, what? You can ski in Australia and New Zealand?’. Yes, you can, and it’s much more spectacular than you’d think. The southern hemisphere is blessed with some fantastic ski resorts, predominantly located in Australia, New Zealand and Chile. Often neglected or simply unknown by those of us in the northern hemisphere, I’ll shine the spotlight on the marvel of skiing above the picturesque towns of Wanaka and Queenstown or high in the Chilean Andes. Say goodbye to summer as you know it.

Where Can You Ski In The Summer?

No, you haven’t gone mad; climate change hasn’t gotten so extreme that the mountains of Val d’isère and Whistler suddenly stay white during the summer. However, skiing is still possible. Australia, New Zealand, and Chile are home to fantastic skiing and are a hub for many of the industry’s top professionals. Spend a season in the southern hemisphere, and you’ll discover a side to skiing you didn’t know existed. Better still, we have amazing partners that run our instructor courses in New Zealand, meaning if you missed out on the northern winter, there is no need to put your plans on ice.

Skiing In New Zealand This Summer

Although you can ski on the north island of New Zealand, the best skiing is found on the South Island. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables of Queenstown,Treble Cone and Cardrona, based in Wanaka, and Mt Hutt further north in Canterbury, comprise the big five of NZ ski resorts. Queenstown is the gracious host of our instructor training courses,  its a beautiful town nestled on the shore of Lake Wakatipu. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables sit adjacent to the town, one on each side of the valley. Stand on either mountain, and you’ll have a perfect view of the resort sitting opposite.

Winter Sports Company have partnered up with Sitco to host our 10-week Level 1 and 2 NZSIA instructor training courses. Spend your summer in Queenstown and become internationally certified with the NZSIA. The NZSIA is recognised worldwide, and those holding the Level 2 certification are held in high esteem when considered for jobs in the northern hemisphere. Get certified this summer in time for the next northern hemisphere winter. Don’t miss out on a trip to Treble Cone and Cardrona, two world-class resorts near Lake Wanaka, a short drive from Queenstown. Cardrona hosts some of the best freestyle athletes in the world in the summer as International teams come to train.


Australia And Chile

Ask someone what they picture when you say Australia, and they’ll probably respond with baron deserts or golden beaches. It’s improbable they’ll say skiing in the mountains. Yet that’s precisely what Australia has to offer. Thredbo, Perisher, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek are the most notable resorts. With most resorts offering accommodation and excellent resort services, they’re fantastic family destinations. Although not blessed with as much snowfall as its northern hemisphere counterparts, Australia and New Zealand excel in world-class snowmaking, ensuring that slope conditions are of a high quality. Their season runs from June long weekend to early October, depending on conditions.

A little ways from New Zealand and Australia, approximately 9,000 miles, you’ll find Chile in South America. When you think about it, it’s not really a surprise to find skiing in Chile. With both the Andes and Patagonia within its borders, it has some of the most spectacular mountain ranges in the world. The most popular skiing destination in Chile is Ski Portillo. Ski Portillo is tucked up high in the Andes—an exclusive resort providing world-class services- not too far from Santiago’s bustling city. The snow quality is often superb due to the high altitude. Ski teams worldwide often locate themselves in Portillo for their summer training. El Colorado-Farellones is the closest resort to the city of Santiago and also happens to be the largest ski resort in Chile. Valle Nevado is Chile’s highest mountain and arguably the most modern, with fantastic resort services and infrastructure. Why not visit Chile this summer, not just for the fantastic skiing, but for a splash of culture, too.

What Do Ski Instructors Do In The Summer?

Not all ski instructors work year-round; many are based solely in the northern hemisphere and have other work in the summer. That being said, the southern hemisphere ski resorts are a melting pot of some of the industry’s best and most highly qualified professionals. With thousands of ski resorts to choose from in Europe, Japan, and North America, the southern hemisphere has limited options in comparison, meaning its resorts can hand-pick the best of the best. This means ski resorts in the southern hemisphere have some of the best ski schools in the world. If you want to work and train alongside the best in the industry, the ski resorts of New Zealand, Australia, and Chile are the places to be. Our instructor training program  is a fantastic opportunity to get in alongside these pros and learn from the best. Those who work in the southern hemisphere are often hand-picked for positions in ski schools in the northern hemisphere. Contact us if you would like to make an enquiry about positions with our partners in the northern hemisphere.


Getting A Visa To Work

Fortunately, securing a visa for Australia and New Zealand is pretty straightforward for people in most countries. Those 35 and under can secure a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand for 12, 24 or 36 months, costing approximately $450 NZD. Australia has a similar deal and recently has changed the agreement with the UK, meaning those aged 35 and under can secure a working holiday visa and, as of the 1st of July 2024, also qualify for an additional two years without having to undertake specialised work. This means plenty of opportunity in both countries to travel and work.

Obtaining a visa to work in Chile is a little less straightforward. You can stay in Chile on a tourist visa for up to 90 days. However, those wanting to work must apply for a specific work visa. These visas often have to be supported by a Chilean employer. This is not to say It can’t be done, many instructors can secure work visas specifically for undertaking work during the winter seasons. For more information about securing a visa for your trip, please contact us or give us a call.


How Quickly Can You Become A Ski Instructor?

If you are a capable skier, simply attending a three- or 5-day course and examination will entitle you to become a level 1 ski instructor upon successful completion. If you still need to gain sufficient skills, then a standard timeframe to train to this level can be around 3-4 weeks for Level 1 and another 5-7 weeks for Level 2. The Level 2 exams are completed within six days after the preparation and training.

Can You Become A Ski Instructor With No Experience?

This wouldn’t be easy to achieve without proper training and certification by a governing body or a ski instructor provider such as the Winter Sports Company. Internationally recognised ski schools will always employ people who have been professionally trained to a standard accepted by the governing body recognised in that country. Additionally, the resort or ski school will likely not allow an unqualified, uninsured person with zero experience to teach on the mountain. Fortunately The Winter Sports Company can teach complete beginners to become ski instructors in as little as 6 weeks.

How Do You Get A Level 1 Qualification?

To Get A Level 1 Ski Instructor Qualification?

1. Practice your skiing to a level in which you can consistently demonstrate the skills of a Level 1 instructor. You can find more information on this training pathway can be found on the Winter Sports Company Qualifications page

2. Attend and pass the Level 1 instructor course with one of the popular governing bodies in your region. These can be achieved through governing bodies such as the CSIA, PSIC, BASI, PSIA, and NZSIA, to name a few.

What Is A Ski Season CV?

A ski Season CV is specifically tailored to successfully finding a job within the ski industry. It needs to detail your previous snow experience, your existing qualifications, your previous work placements. This can be tweaked to provide information to future employers for roles both on or off the slopes including chalet host, ski instructor, hospitality, or lift operations to name a few. Some countries call it a resume, some a C.V so research the general format that employers are used to seeing and align your attributes to the role in question.