There’s not much that can stand between a mountain lover and their skiing or snowboarding habit – except for ever-increasing lift pass prices.

The trick, of course, is to buy multi-resort season passes (Epic and/or Ikon Pass) well ahead of the season to get the best early bird pass deals and access to multiple mountains at home and around the world. Buy at the right time of the year and the cost of the pass will equal a week of lift passes and the rest of your ski loving days around the globe are “on the house.”

In the meantime, we’ve sourced the best day pass options for you. Ski or board midweek or in off peak season and you’ll save even more.

Day passes – Australia

Just want one cheap and cheerful day on a mountain? Mt Baw Baw is the answer. At just $55 for an adult lift ticket between Monday and Friday, out of school holidays, it’s a steal for access to their t-bars, pomas and magic carpets.

There’s also Selwyn Snow Resort, freshly re-opened after the 2020 fires that devastated the lift infrastructure. At $79 per adult for a lift ticket, they do admit to being best for first-timers or kids – but it’s still one of the only places in Australia to buy a day pass and still get change from $100.

Your third option is Tasmania’s Ben Lomond Alpine Resort at $95 for an adult day pass. While you’re there, you can check out Tassie’s club field, Mount Mawson, which gives you access to two rope tows for just $45 per day.

From there, starting lift ticket prices kick off at Mt Buller for $115, all the way up to the top of the range, $209 peak season on a peak day at Thredbo then $234 for Perisher. If you have any of them on your list take a careful look at the resort online calendar before buying, as prices can fluctuate wildly based on weekends and school holidays.

The trick is to purchase multi-day deals, all resorts offer them with savings of up to 35% widely available. A seven day multi pass early season in Thredbo reduces the cost to $110 per day.

Best AU deal shoutout: Charlotte Pass is back again for another season with their 2 Buck Tuesday and 75 Thursday. On Tuesdays, get a lift pass, return oversnow transport AND lunch for just $2, as long as you’re travelling with another person paying the full $109. And on Thursdays, you can get the same deal for just $75 per person – your lunch even includes a house beverage.

Day pass – New Zealand

New Zealand has a thriving club field scene, with a long history of offering more affordable skiing to those that want to visit, lap up the culture and attempt a nutcracker rope tow (if you know, you know).

The cheapest comes in at around NZ$75 at Hanmer Springs Ski Area, with access to the longest Poma lift in the Southern Hemisphere. Others hover slightly above that, with Mt Olympus ($85), Temple Basin ($85) and Craigieburn ($99) all coming highly recommended. Though if you’re a member (join for around $150) lift tickets then drop down to half the price at most club fields.

On the commercial field side, Mt Lyford is the best bargain you’ll find, sliding in at $95. This moves up to the best-known commercial fields of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt, all coming in at $159, dropping down to as little as $109 with a multi-day pass. Treble Cone and Cardrona top the list at $160 per day, again dropping down to from $112 per day for a multi-day pass.

Many of the resorts run by our Kiwi whānau also offer half-day lift passes – a good option to save a bit more cash should you find it hard to motivate yourself after lunch time anyway.

Best NZ deal shoutout:  Check out the Chill Pass, which gets you access at up to 13 club fields across the South & North Island. A 30-day pass will set you back $900 per adult – about $30 per day if you ski all 30 days. Or pick up a 5 or 7-day pass if you don’t quite have as much time, about $37 per day and $35 per day respectively.

Other Combined resort passes

Depending on where you’re planning to ski this season, and for the Northern Hemisphere season, these can be a no-brainer for those looking to save big. The Epic Australia Pass is a given for unlimited Hotham, Falls Creek and Perisher (and access to a gazillion global resorts like Whistler, Park City, Hakuba and more)  but did you know about these other two?

The Mountain Collective is just AU$862 for access to Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Buller, along with destinations in the USA, Canada, Japan, France and Chile – although the two days at each may best suit those doing Southern Hemisphere weekenders.

The Ikon Pass. Not cheap, at US$1259 (AUD$1907) but you get seven days each at Mt Buller and Thredbo, along with seven days combined across Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt, and a ton of days to ski at a total of 45 worldwide destinations (Jackson Hole, Aspen, Revelstoke, Chamonix, Zermatt et al).

This piece first appeared in our 84 page FREE e-mag, The Southern Issue. Grab your copy here.

Ready to get skiing in the Southern Hemisphere – and keep hunting for deals? Check out the MissSnowItAll AU and NZ Deals & Chatter Facebook groups.

Kiwi club fields, where weird things happen (in a good way)