Hey, I'm going to have to go with NZ and more specifically Southern Lakes region. I grew up over in AUS and moved here a couple years ago, been riding Mt Hutt since. And becoming an instructor down in Queenstown this season.
It's an amazing place! There's great boarding, lots of chilled people, and heaps of other stuff to do (including the best nightlife). If your down in Queenstown your pretty much guaranteed to have a good time, snow or no snow.
I'll do a bit of an overview, this is just my (biased) opinion though. There's 5 resorts down there. Coronet Peak, Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone, Snowpark.
The first couple are run through NZSki.com Home - NZ's premiere Ski, Snowboard and Mountain Biking Website
(along with Mt Hutt) and they're a great combo. Coronet Peak has got lots of varied terrain, and are upgrading the whole base facility and snow guns this season. They also have night riding. Remarkables has been really stepping up their park with the addition of "The Stash" this coming season and the big terrain park last season also when there's snow they have lots of challenging terrain.
Cardrona is "naturally better". Its got a big field with a lot of freestyle options when they get it up and running. I almost didn't visit this one and I'm glad i did, there's lots of fun natural or man made lines and I imagine it would be fun in powder. This is a good all-round field. www.cardrona.com/
Treble Cone is probably the most renowned for powder and they have some good runs (be prepared to hike a lot for the really good stuff). They also have a really nice long beginner/intermediate run. But parts of it can be challenging if theres not much snow. New Zealand Skiing, Treble Cone, Wanaka - New Zealand's Largest South Island Ski Resort
Snowpark is unmissable if freestyle is your thing, but sometimes the crowds get pretty big. Snowpark NZ - ABOUT
. Watch the "Method Episode 12" for some sick riding and what they have planned for 08!
In my opinion you can't really beat Southern Lakes, for the best riding, best vibes and stunning scenery!
The only negatives is being such a small town accomodation can be pretty tight and sometimes expensive. If your on a reasonable budget smaller towns (like Arrowtown, Frankton and Lake Hayes) are worth looking into. If your looking for backpacker accomodation Pinewood lodge is a good one (but probably pretty full). And we dont have trees, but i think we make up for it with everything else.
If you are looking for a more chilled out type of holiday..
Further north (Canterbury region) also has some great club fields that are more low key (T-bars, rope tows). If the powder hits theres opportunities to be had, but if it doesn't then Mt Hutt is the biggest field up this way. Its got 3 chairlifts, and some good off piste stuff (But again, be prepared to hike) but it is a smaller field and can get boring after a while with minimal snow. But is still fun, don't get me wrong.
In regards to snow and crowds, we can have some long seasons (06 was early June to late October with 2.5 m). And its worth looking up when the school holidays are if you want to avoid the crowds and more accomodation problems.
PEAK - (Jul 5 - Sept 5)
OFF PEAK - (Jun 20-Jul 4) & (Sept 6 - Oct 4)
Hope this helped
. Wherever you end up going have an awesome time!