A sprawling mountain range with towering peaks and bowls.

Checklist for Aussie Snow Lovers Heading to British Columbia

Share  Facebook Twitter pinterest logoPinterest
The sprawling Coast Mountain Range at Whistler Blackcomb | Andrew Strain

Rachael Oakes-Ash is an Aussie travel writer and a self-confessed Snow It All who covers all things winter and ski. This story was originally published in 2019 and updated in May 2023. 

You’ve finally committed to your first BC ski trip and now you’re counting the days till you can put down the office stapler and head to the airport with UGGs in hand. We’ve got you covered with everything you’ll need to consider, pack, or prepare for, so tick off the list and thank us later.

Bring Your Boots, Leave Your Skis

You’ll find an exceptional collection of trusted brand skis and snowboards to rent at all the ski resorts, so save your jetlagged shoulders from schlepping your gear across the Pacific. If you love your boots, pack them in your checked or cabin luggage and book your favourite hardware ahead of time.

Pack Layers

British Columbia in winter is a long way from Bondi, so bring layers to stay extra comfy and toasty. Try Merino-blend base layers that regulate your core temperature, ensure you have a neck gator or balaclava for skiing or snowboarding, invest in heated socks if you have the dollars, and don’t forget your toque (Canuck for beanie) and mittens. If you happen to forget something, all of the major ski resorts have outdoor retailers to help you fill in the gear gaps.

Paw Paw

It’s un-Australian to travel without paw paw ointment so we’ll assume you’ve got it packed already, right? Paw paw will soothe your lips when exposed to the drier air and can be used as a barrier on your nose to help keep frost nip at bay.

Dress Down, Not Up

The laid-back après couture of BC requires no sequins, heels, or blow outs. Think jeans, plaid, rugged boots, and yes, that toque again. Dressing down here is an art form.


You’ll need an Electronic Travel Authorisation before landing in Canada. It will set you back CAD$7 and is valid for five years. Apply online at least a week before you go; you’ll probably get approved within minutes but better to be organised than scrambling online at the airport.

Get Covered

Not all travel insurance is created equal so make sure yours covers resort skiing and snowboarding and even snowmobiling. If you plan to heli or cat or go backcountry, then triple-check what your insurance company covers. Many will only cover you if you are with a qualified guide.

Adapt or Convert

Grab an international socket adaptor for your Aussie appliances. Canada uses Type A and Type B two- and three-pin sockets with a 110-120 voltage (Australia uses 230 voltage). For basic electrical items such as computers and phones, you can just use an adaptor but if you intend to take your hair dryer or electric shaver, then you’ll need to take a convertor powder adaptor.

Your Licence

You won’t need an international licence to rent a car in BC. Your Aussie one will do. Pack it. Road tripping is the best kind of BC tripping. The views, the views.

Visit the Need to Know page to find more travel tips and tricks.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort | Andrew Strain


Explore key travel information to plan your BC vacation.

Need To Know


Discover ski resorts around British Columbia.

View Map


Book a ski package to British Columbia that includes accommodation, lift tickets, and access to a range of winter activities.