Perfect climate and perfect terrain make New Zealand a natural for all skiiers and snowboarders. Imagine waking up and the only thing on your agenda is shredding epic pillow lines and riding in a helicopter for heli skiing Canada.
Ski New Zealand
Are you looking for the perfect Ski New Zealand holiday? Great snow, amazing scenery, and conditions to suit your level of experience?
Well New Zealand is the place, and right now is the time to start planning. A favourable exchange rate (click here to view our Currency Calculator), cheap flights, and value for money ski and snowboarding packages combine to make New Zealand one of the world’s premier ski and snowboarding destinations.
But firstly, a little bit of information about New Zealand skifields…….
Wow! What a Setting
Come on, Ski New Zealand! See what all the talk is about.
Over millions of years, Mother Nature created the perfect setting for New Zealand’s skifields. In the South Island, the Southern Alps run for over 500 kilometres through the centre of the island. With numerous peaks towering over 3,000 metres in height, the Southern Alps are dotted with several world class fields.
And in New Zealand’s North Island, Mt Ruapehu, which is the tallest of several volcanoes, towers to almost 2,800 metres above sea level.
When Are New Zealand Ski Fields Open?
Most fields open in mid to late June and the season runs to late September or early October, depending on conditions. This four month window allows you plenty of time to enjoy the best of New Zealand’s wonderful conditions
Facilities are regularly upgraded, and conditions range from “easy” for beginners, to “extreme” for experienced skiiers and snowboarders. Many fields have dedicated areas for learners, whilst those longing to really test themselves can take advantage of several remote areas able to be accessed only by helicopter.
And don’t forget that New Zealand’s resort towns offer a wonderful range of facilities to keep you occupied at day’s end. Bars, restaurants, and shops are all keen to offer quality service and products, and are really focussed on providing you with an experience to remember during your ski New Zealand adventure.
New Zealand’s North Island has several ski resorts, but the majority are located on the South Island. Both islands have a range of commercial fields and smaller club fields, giving value for money to club members.
Skifields are located at:
Whakapapa, Tukino (club skifield), Turoa
Manganui (club skifield)
Rainbow, Mount Robert
Fox Peak (club skifield), Hanmer Springs Ski Area (club skifield), Mount Lyford, Mount Potts (heliskiing and snowcatting only), Mount Hutt, Mount Dobson, Ohau, Porter Heights, Tasman Glacier (Heliski), Temple Basin (club skifield), Broken River (club skifield), Craigieburn Valley (club skifield), Mount Cheeseman (club skifield), Mount Olympus (club skifield),
Coronet Peak, Invincible Snowfields (helicopter access only), The Remarkables, Round Hill, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Treble Cone, Snow Park, Snow Farm (cross-country skiing only),
Mt Ruapehu, located in the central North Island, is said to house New Zealand’s largest and highest fields. Here you can ski a volcano on two ski areas, Whakapapa and Turoa. Here the season runs from mid June to mid October.
Whakapapa is proud of it’s reputation for having the best beginners’ facilities, including a dedicated slow-moving chairlift, a ski school, rental area and cafe. Experienced skiers rave about the variety of intermediate and advanced runs and the two thrilling lift accessed back country fields.
Turoa has a wide choice of groomed trails, the country’s only lift-accessed glacial skiing, three terrain parks, and a 4 km long run. Also on offer are on mountain childcare facilities and a great area for beginners.
Christchurch and Canterbury
The lovely garden city of Christchurch is located on the central east coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s the perfect place to start your ski New Zealand holiday, with easy access to the the various Canterbury fields. With a distinctly English feel, Christchurch is a thriving city with plenty to see and do.
South of Christchurch, the Canterbury Plains lead you to the resort town of Methven. Further south are the bubbling, thriving resorts of Queenstown and Wanaka, both offering world class fields, and absolutely stunning scenery.
About 1 hours drive from Christchurch, is Methven. Snow covered alps and beautiful valleys surround Methven, your stop off point for Mount Hutt. A wonderful range of facilities make Methven the perfect base for your South Island ski adventure.
Mt Hutt boasts 472 skiable hectares. A wide variety of terrain, deep snow, and long seasons make it an excellent choice for both families and serious skiers and snowboarders. The recent completion of a Mini Terrain Park allows an easy transition from novice to intermediate rider.
Queenstown is one of those rare places that will take your breath away. Towering peaks, a stunning lake, and a thriving community make Queenstown the perfect base for your ski New Zealand holiday. Often referred to as the “Adventure Capital” of New Zealand, Queenstown is a non stop destination with a huge range of bars, restaurants, shops, activities and accommodation to suit all tastes. And the nearby Remarkables and Coronet Peak fields allow some of the best ski and snowboarding conditions available in New Zealand.
The Remarkables offer skiers three large sunny areas and amazing vistas of the Southern Alps. A North facing aspect and great conditions make the Remarkables one of the best places to learn in the Southern Hemisphere. A crèche and children’s centre caters for kids from 3 months to 17 years, making the Remarkables a superb choice for families. The three terrain parks include a beginner’s park, plus the only Burton Stash in the Southern Hemisphere.
Coronet Peak offers wide runs, steeps and deeps, and back bowls for the skilled. It’s the choice of locals, and has the largest snowmaking system in the Southern Hemisphere, offering a quality experience for skiiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. Coronet is a mere 20 minute drive from Queenstown and is a “must do” on your ski New Zealand holiday. And to top it all off, night skiing is available on Friday & Saturdays.
And if you are after the ultimate skiing experience, why not try heli skiing and boarding, which allows access to the best remote and pristine areas in New Zealand.
Around 1 hours drive over the Crown Range from Queenstown sits Wanaka, a stunning, lakeside town. Wanaka is the base for four world class ski and snowboard resorts.
Cardrona is admired for its spacious groomed slopes, family friendly facilities and terrain parks. The Captain’s Basin high-speed chairlift gives you more time on the slopes, and less queue time.
On the Pisa Range sit Snow Farm and Snow Park NZ. Snow park is the Southern Hemisphere’s only dedicated freestyle resort for boarders and skiers. Snow Farm offers an amazing 55kms of groomed cross country trails, suiting all levels of experience. Both Snow Park and Snow Farm have on mountain accommodation.
The largest ski area on the South Island is Treble Cone, which boasts some of the longest, most exhilarating runs in the country. All with a backdrop of amazing views of Lake Wanaka.
Dave is the owner of specialist New Zealand travel website New Zealand Travel Showcase.
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