New data reveals which Australians are the most excited for the ski season to begin

As the winter chill settles in, ski enthusiasts across Australia eagerly anticipate the upcoming ski season. Skiing in Australia has a rich history, with the sport gaining popularity over the years. The excitement for the ski season is palpable, with numerous events, festivals, and a vibrant community of skiers and snowboarders ready to hit the slopes.

We at Snow Season Central were interested to know which Australian cities are the most eager for the 2024 ski season to begin. To do this, we analysed Google search data, examining over 300 popular keywords related to Southern Hemisphere ski seasons. Our goal was to reveal which Australian residents are most excited for the slopes to open and where they plan to ski this winter.

The results may surprise you! Keep reading to find out who is the most excited for a snow getaway, and discover the cities where you’re most likely to find someone who fluent in your ski dialect.

Key takeaways

  • The Australian cities and towns most excited for the 2024 ski season to start are Bathurst (NSW), Ballina (NSW) and Geelong (VIC), according to Google search data per capita. Bathurst’s search interest per capita was 191% higher than the national average 
  • The places which had the lowest interest in the upcoming ski season were Bendigo (VIC), Newcastle (NSW) and Wollongong (NSW) retrospectively. Bendigo’s search interest per capita was 71% lower than the national average.
  • Of the state capitals, Brisbane came in highest in position 28, followed by Sydney (29), Canberra (38), Darwin (40), Melbourne (44), Hobart (45), Adelaide (46) and Perth in 47th position.
  • 9.6% increase YoY in search interest for the Southern Hemisphere ski season
  • Nationally, search interest for keywords relating to the Australian ski season were fairly flat year on year (-1.1%).
  • New Zealand emerges as a favoured destination for Australian snow enthusiasts (up by 24% YoY).
  • Of the top 20, New South Wales made up 40%, Western Australia 20% and Victoria only accounted for 15%.


The top 20 Australian cities most excited for the 2024 ski season

A deep dive on the top 5

Let’s take a closer look at the Aussie cities that make it into our top 5.

Bathurst, NSW

  • Overview: Known primarily for its motorsport events, Bathurst in New South Wales is also a city that eagerly anticipates the ski season the most.
  • Nearby Ski Resorts: The nearest ski resorts to Bathurst are Perisher (459 km) and Thredbo (462 km), both also located in New South Wales to the south.

Ballina, NSW

  • Overview: Ballina, located on the northern coast of New South Wales, might be famous for its beaches and surf culture, but it also has a growing community of ski lovers.
  • Nearby Ski Resorts: Perisher Ski Resort and Thredbo are both more than 1,200 km away from Ballina, which would take at least 12 hours to drive. However, an alternative would be flights from Ballina (BNK) to Canberra (CBR), which would shorten the drive or allow access to other resorts.

Geelong, VIC

  • Overview: Geelong, located in Victoria, is famous for its waterfront and cultural scene. Due to its proximity to the ocean, it has been home to many well-known surfers.
  • Nearby Ski Resorts: Mount Buller is the closest ski resort to Geelong, roughly a four-hour drive (317 km). While Melbourne is slightly closer, it is fairly accessible. Falls Creek and Mt Hotham are both five and a half hours away.

Bunbury, WA

  • Overview: Bunbury in Western Australia was a surprise entry into the top 5, but it shows that living far away from the snow doesn’t mean you can’t be excited for the slopes to open!
  • Nearby Ski Resorts: It is safe to say that no ski resorts are really close to Bunbury, and a drive to Mount Buller in Victoria would take roughly 38 hours (3,473 km). Residents looking to ski this winter are better off flying to maximize their time on-snow.

Orange, NSW

  • Overview: Like its neighboring city of Bathurst (57 km away), Orange is the 5th most excited city for the ski season to begin. Orange may be well known for its wines, but everyone knows a glass of vino goes well with a day of skiing!
  • Nearby Ski Resorts: As with other New South Wales entries, Perisher Ski Resort is the closest ski area, roughly 490 km away or a 6-hour drive.


How the Australian capital cities compared

The state capitals didn’t fare too well, with the highest ranking being Brisbane in 26th position, followed by Sydney 27th, Canberra 37th, Darwin 39th, Melbourne 43rd, Hobart 44th, Adelaide 45th and Perth in 46th position. 


Where are Aussies looking to ski?

The analysis also looked at the comparison of search demand for different destinations and how this differs from the same period last year.

In summary, there has been a notable 9.6% increase in search demand for the same 300 keywords year on year, which suggests a growing interest in snowsports and trip planning from Australians. The majority of this growth was driven by interest in New Zealand as a destination, with a 24% increase year on year. Conversely, demand for keywords relating to the Australian ski season experienced a slight dip of 1%. Meanwhile, South America as a destination saw an impressive growth of more than 14%, but remains a small percentage of the total search market. 



Australia’s ski season is fast approaching, and these five cities – Bathurst, Ballina, Geelong, Bunbury and Orange – are leading the charge with their enthusiasm and preparations. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the excitement is infectious. Get ready to hit the slopes and make the most of this thrilling season!



This comprehensive study evaluates the top 50 most populated Australian cities (50 largest urban areas in Australia by the Significant Urban Area* measured using the seed list here) for the most interested in the upcoming southern hemisphere ski season.

Using Google Data (Keyword Planner) we analysed data for 300 of the most popular search terms relating to the Southern Hemisphere ski season. The list of 300 keywords was based on national search volume and included various terms relating to planning a ski trip to Australia. New Zealand or South America this season such as opening dates, lift tickets, accommodation and holiday package keywords. The date range was between 1st January 2024 and 30th April 2024.

The national population was taken from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on 30 September 2023.

*The Significant Urban Area of ‘Canberra, ACT – Queanbeyan, NSW’ is referred to as ‘Canberra, ACT’ and all similar significant urban areas follow the same reference throughout.

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