You don’t have to have skis and snowboards on your feet to have an adventure on snow.

When the chairlift stops or it’s a down day, there’s some wild things you can add to your boasting list these winter holidays.

Ever slept in an igloo? Driven a snow motorbike? Mushed a husky sled or taken a helicopter joy ride to an outback picnic?

Try these and more in Australia and New Zealand and thank us later.

Helicopter Wilderness Picnic in the Snowies

Gain a bird’s eye view of Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend as you soar above the Kosciuszko National Park in a helicopter, enroute to a remote alpine cabin that’s fit for two. Keep an eye out for wombats and wallabies as you tuck into a gourmet picnic hamper accompanied by sparkling wines, reminding yourself that jackpot experiences such as these aren’t purely restricted to lovelorn reality TV contestants.

Snowy Mountains Helicopters’ romantic Wilderness Picnic itineraries depart from Jindabyne and return via the Snowy River and Lake Jindabyne. Tours last 2.5 hours and cost $685 per person.

Bed down in an igloo at Hotham

Ditch the lodge this winter and try snow glamping instead. Alpine Nature Experience’s overnight igloo adventure starts with a 30-minute guided snowshoe hike through silvery snow gums on Mt Hotham. Arrive at an off-grid eco-village dotted with snowdomes and dinky-di igloos made from 100% snow. These will be your cosy accommodation pods for the night, fitted with soft mattresses and faux-fur blankets.

Warm up with a glass of homemade mulled wine before learning the secrets to making a mouth-watering French fondue as part of your three-course dinner, then bed down for the night. Come sunrise you’ll have a hearty breakfast with steaming hot coffees ahead of a scenic snow mobile ride back to the village. Tours run Wednesday to Sunday from $289 per person. 

Vroom vroom in Kingston, NZ

Looking for something different this winter? Then pack away the skis and snowboards for some adrenalin-fuelled snowbiking – a cross between riding dirt bikes and snowmobiles. You’ll need prior experience of riding a motorcycle as you tackle challenging backcountry terrain with Kingston-based Snowmoto.

Choose from half-day sessions to overnight alpine adventures staying in backcountry huts in the Central Otago mountains in New Zealand. By the end of a day’s ride you’ll be exhausted from carving up powdery bowls and leaving ice tornadoes billowing behind you. From NZ$750 per person.

Snowcat dinner on Thredbo mountain

Thredbo’s Kareela Snowcat Dinners have become legendary.  Guests meet at the base of the Kosciuszko Chairlift and travel in style inside a chauffeur-driven snowcat as it ploughs uphill to the famous Kareela Hutte.  Then enjoy a four-course, European-influenced starlight dinner and wine experience overlooking the twinkling lights of Thredbo Village.

Word of warning, book ahead, these have become the hottest reservations in town.  On select Wednesday evenings, two sittings. From $299 per person.

Sled Dog Tour at Mt Buller

Get a taste of what it must be like to tackle Alaska’s Iditarod Trail through Australian Sled Dog Tours at Mt Buller. Relax as a passenger or drive your own sled as a team of exuberant Siberian huskies haul you and your mates through picturesque scenery on tours lasting up to three hours. You can even mush as far as Howqua Gap. For those who only want to interact with the dogs and not go on a tour, meet and greet sessions can also be arranged.

Tours run on a daily basis throughout the winter season. From $20 for a meet and greet and from $150 for a half hour experience including 15 minute sample ride.

Take to the snowy wilderness on a snowmobile in NZ

You’ll find plenty of opportunities to stop for photos during one of Queenstown Snowmobiles’ tours across the Southern Alps. Snowmobile tours are packed with amazing views and adrenaline fun. Each tour lasts roughly 2.5 hours, including scenic return helicopter flights over The Remarkables and Hector mountain ranges from Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopter’s base in Queenstown.

Warm clothing and safety gear are provided for your exclusive access journey across the Garvie Plateau.  As many as six guests can depart three times daily, seven days a week between June and October. Adults NZD$1105 children NZD$775.

This article features in our 84 page FREE e-mag The Southern Issue for southern hemi skiers and snowboarders. Read it here.