Skiing & Snowboarding
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New Zealand is a recognised international ski holiday destination, with Northern Hemisphere skiers in particular appreciating our opposite seasons. With 14 commercial ski areas, one Nordic cross-country area, 10 club fields and a host of heliskiing operators, those who come to ski and snowboard in New Zealand will find the topography spectacular, and the lines comparatively short. New Zealands commercial ski fields have highly qualified ski schools (both adult and children), ski and snowboard equipment and creche and child minding services. The two North Island commercial ski fields, one of which is the country’s largest, are located on Mount Ruapehu in the central North Island. They are Whakapapa ski field and Turoa ski field which are owned and operated by the same company. Is it worth skiing in New Zealand? Read our blog about skiing in New Zealand.

In the South Island, there are four ski fields centred around the Queenstown and Wanaka region or Central Otago. These four fields combined offer some of the best skiing in New Zealand. They are The Remarkables ski area, Cardrona ski field, Treble Cone ski field and Coronet Peak ski field. In the Canterbury area there is the Mount Hutt ski area, with the longest ski season in the country. New Zealand’s only Nordic or Telemark skiing area has 25km of groomed cross-country trails and is located in between Queenstown and Wanaka. There are also numerous ‘club’ ski fields predominately in the South Island which are quite an experience and worth at least a day – expect short ques, friendly locals and untracked runs. Heliskiing options are also available. Snowboarders are welcome at all major fields and a number of New Zealand ski areas hold snowboard competitions each year.
If you are interested in a skiing or snowboarding vacation in New Zealand please contact us for more information about our New Zealand skiing packages.

New Zealand Ski Season:
The New Zealand Ski season is the opposite to the Northern hemisphere and generally begins in early June (Mt Hutt – typically the earliest opening commercial ski field in New Zealand) and ends around October, or sometimes as late as November at Mt Ruapehu. In saying that Mt Ruapehu has managed a few Christmas Day openings in 1992 and 2005! The peak of the ski season is considered to be in July and August with September and particularly October seeing some wonderful spring skiing.

New Zealand Ski Accommodation:
New Zealand ski accommodation differs from that in North America and Europe in that there is no ‘ski in, ski out’ accommodation available, except via a handful of ski clubs which you generally have to be a member; However there are many luxury ski accommodation choices located at the foot of the ski fields or close by. New Zealand’s ski areas are primarily located in the South Island however the two largest fields (Whakapapa and Turoa) can be found in the Central North Island.. Accommodation options for the North Island ski fields vary from very close – National Park for Whakapapa ski field and Ohakune to the south which is closest to Turoa ski field, to further afield such as the lake side town of Taupo. In National Park we recommend The Chateau Tongariro and in Ohakune the Powder Horn is the best option. There are also several private holiday homes that can be rented around both of these regions.

In the South Island the three main areas are Central Otago (Queenstown, Wanaka), Canterbury (both north, south and central) and to a lesser extent the Nelson Lakes region. Both Queenstown and Wanaka are considered to be the premiere South Island luxury ski accommodation regions both in terms of volume and variety, from B&Bs, private holiday homes and luxury hotels through to the very best luxury lodges the world can offer. We recommend a variety of lodgings here but some of the better known and consistently excellent choices would be: In Queenstown Azur Lodge, The Spire Hotel, Blanket Bay, Matakauri Lodge, Eichardts Private Hotel and the Rees Hotel. In Wanaka Silverpine Lodge and Lime Tree Lodge. Again there is a large selection of private homes and luxury villas for rent. The Canterbury region covers a much larger area and some of the recommended choices here include Otahuna Luxury Lodge and The George Hotel. Finally the Nelson lakes region, although not a skiing mecca is an alluring destination in its own right and worthy of a visit. A couple of places we recommend here are Spray Point Station and Split Apple Retreat.

New Zealand Ski & Snowboard Rental:
All of New Zealand’s commercial ski fields offer a comprehensive selection of ski & snowboard rental equipment so bringing your own gear isn’t a necessity. Many of the Club fields offer rental equipment also, however it would pay to confirm this in advance to avoid disappointment.

New Zealand Ski & Snowboard Lessons:
Ski and snowboard lessons can be had at all of the commercial ski fields in New Zealand. The larger commercial fields such as Mt Ruapehu, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mt Hutt, Cardrona and Treble Cone all offer excellent programmes from 2 years old onwards and cater to all abilities. The lessons can include equipment or just be lesson based only.

New Zealand Ski Lift Pass Prices:
The ski lift pass price structure in New Zealand generally has three tiers, Adult, Youth and Student.  The price of an adult day pass at major commercial fields ranges from around NZ$89 at the smaller fields to around NZ$100 at most of the larger fields. The price of a student pass usually ranges somewhere in between an adult and youth pass. Children under the age of 6 ski for free at most of the major commercial fields and the age of a youth varies but tends to be in between 6-18 years old. Prices at club fields are less, ranging from NZ$40 for a youth pass to NZ$75 for the highest priced club ski fields. Please contact us for more accurate pricing as this is only intended to be a guideline.

New Zealand Ski Transport:
As mentioned above due to there being no ‘ski in, ski out’ accommodation available in New Zealand you will need some form of mountain transport in order to get to the ski field. There are quite few options available from your own private vehicle to pre arranged transport via a private transfer or similar. Many of the ski fields allow helicopter access however if you are considering taking a helicopter to the field you may like to go a step further and consider heli-skiing. If you take your own rental vehicle a 4wd is recommended as many of the fields wont allow 2wd vehicles up when there is extensive ice or snow on the road. You should also consider renting chains as sometimes only 4wd vehicles with chains are allowed up the mountain roads.

Heli skiing:
Heliskiing combines the thrill of flying by helicopter over the spectacular Southern Alps, and then skiing untouched powder with no one else around, which cannot be matched. The powder is deep and vistas breathtaking. For more information on New Zealand heliskiing please contact us.

New Zealand Commercial Ski Fields
Whakapapa is on the northern side of Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park in the North Island, it is one of Ruapehu’s two commercial ski fields. Whakapapa is New Zealand’s biggest ski field with 43 runs ranging from beginner to off piste expert.
Lifts: 13 Lifts Total
Chairlifts (1 gondola, 1 highspeed Quad, 2 quad fixed chairs, 1 double fixed chair)
3 T-Bars
1 elevator
4 carpet lifts
Total skiable area: 550ha
Base altitude: 1630m
Highest altitude: 2320m
Vertical drop: 690m
Located on Ruapehu’s south west side, Turoa is the only other commercial ski field on Mt. Ruapehu. Turoa has the largest vertical drop of any ski resort in Australasia, the high altitude and south west facing slopes means plenty of dry snow from July until September .
Lifts: 9 Lifts Total
1 High Speed Detachable 6-seater chairlift
2 Quad chairlifts
2 triple chairlifts
1 T-bar
2 Platters
1 Magic Carpet lift
Total skiable area: 400ha
Base altitude: 1600m
Highest altitude: 2322m
Vertical drop: 722m
Mt Lyford
Located in Canterbury, near Kaikoura. This is a northwest facing basin which receives its best snow from the south-east quarter and most years gets good snow cover, even at its lower altitude. Interesting terrain features at Mt. Lyford include: Wild Ride Terrain Park (jumps, kickers, rails), R & R Sport Kaikoura Half Pipe, Quarter Pipe, International Truck Jump, Basin described as a Natural Terrain Park.
Lifts: 5 Lifts Total
One T-bar
Two platters
One 180m fixed grip
One advanced rope tow
Total skiable area: 180ha
Base altitude: 1249m
Highest altitude: 1750m
Vertical drop: 450m
Porters is the closest ski field to Christchurch; Porters lifts run up two distinct valleys. It has plenty of terrain for beginners and lots of on-piste for the intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Lifts: 5 Lifts Total
One magic carpet
One platter lift
3 T-bars
Total skiable area: 250ha
Base altitude: 1340m
Highest altitude: 1950m
Vertical drop: 610m
Mt Hutt
Located at the base of the Southern Alps, Canterbury’s Mt Hutt has amazing views stretching across the Canterbury Plains from the east coast to Aoraki Mt Cook. With a variety of terrain on offer, extreme skiers and riders head for the steeper challenges of the double black diamond runs of the South Face, while intermediate skiers can enjoy some of the widest groomed slopes in the country. For novices and beginners there are several areas and trails to enjoy.
Lifts: 4 Lifts Total
1 High Speed 6 Seater
1 Quad Chair
1 Triple Chair
1 Magic Carpet
Total skiable area: 365ha
Base altitude: 1403m
Highest altitude: 2075m
Vertical drop: 683m
Alpure Peaks
Alpure Peaks is the ultimate in catskiing and boarding right in New Zealand’s Southern Alps with fresh tracks, deep powder and no queues with access to pristine terrain similar to that offered with heliskiing, but without the cost.
Lifts: 0 Lifts Total
Total skiable area: 2600ha
Base altitude: 1500m
Highest altitude: 2220m
Vertical drop: 650m
Mt Dobson
Mt. Dobson is just 3 hours drive from central Christchurch. The skiing here is well suited to families, beginners and intermediates, but above the groomed slopes there is powder that will be perfect for the best skiers and snowboarders.
Lifts: 4 Lifts Total
Doppelmayr Triple chair lift
Doppelmayr T Bar 860metres long giving access to the main runs
Doppelmayr Learner/intermediate Platter lift
Beginner Rope Tow 100 metres long
Total skiable area: 400ha
Base altitude: 1600m
Highest altitude: 2030m
Vertical drop: 430m
Located at Lake Tekapo, the Roundhill ski fields have gorgeous views of Mt. Cook, Lake Tekapo and the Mackenzie Basin. With plenty of terrain suitable for everyone from beginners to those wishing to experience big mountain skiing, Roundhill has it all.
Lifts: 2 Lifts Total
One 1.2km long T-bar
One 1.4km Rope Tow
One platter lift
Two beginners rope tows
Total skiable area: 550ha
Base altitude: 1350m
Highest altitude: 2133m
Vertical drop: 783m
Lake Ohau in the Mackenzie High Country is cradled between the Ohau Range to the west in the Main Divide and the Ben Ohau range to the east. Catering for all abilities, Ohau is great for everyone.
Lifts: 3 Lifts Total
1 Chairlift – 795 skiers/hour
1 Platter – 400 skiers/hour
1 Snow Matt – 1,100 skiers/hour
Total skiable area: 125ha
Base altitude: 1425m
Highest altitude: 1825m
Vertical drop: 400m
Treble Cone
Treble Cone is the largest ski area in the South Island of New Zealand. With the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes (705m), longest groomed intermediate runs (4km) and spectacular views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring, Treble Cone provides some of the most exhilarating skiing and snowboarding conditions in the country!
Lifts: 4 Lifts Total
6 Seater express chairlift
Saddle quad chairlift
Nice & Easy Platter
Magic Carpet
Total skiable area: 550ha
Base altitude: 1260m
Highest altitude: 1960m
Vertical drop: 700m
One of the great south island ski fields, located just half an hour from Wanaka, Cardrona offers skiing for beginners through to advanced riders. There is also an advanced terrain park:
Lifts: 7 Lifts Total
2 quad fixed chairlift
2 quad express chairlifts
3 magic learner lifts
1 platter beginner lift
Total skiable area: 345ha
Base altitude: 1670m
Highest altitude: 1860m
Vertical drop: 600m
Snow Farm, situated just along from the crown Range, 35km from Wanaka and 55km from Queenstown, is one of the best cross country skiing fields in the Southern Hemisphere.
Lifts: 0 Lifts Total
Total skiable area: 50km of trails
Base altitude: 1500m
Highest altitude: 1980m
Vertical drop: 30m
Snow Park NZ is located in between Wanaka and Queenstown on the Cardrona Valley Rd, virtually opposite Cardrona ski-field. Snow Park is aimed at freestyle snowboarders and skiers. Some of the features include a standard halfpipe, a quarterpipe, big kickers, 40+ rails, hits, jumps and more. Snow Park is also host to top ski and snowboard events, such as the Burton NZ Open, Billabobng Snowstock and NZ Freeski Open.
Lifts: 1 double chair lift
Total skiable area: 10ha
Base altitude: 1420m
Highest altitude: 1530m
Vertical drop: 110m
Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak is renowned for its roller coaster terrain across a series of bowls offering skiing and boarding for all abilities. beginner facilities at Coronet are excellent with two surface conveyor lifts, beginner handle tow & double chairlift. Skiing is available at Coronet Peak either day or night.
Lifts: 7 Lifts Total
1 High Speed Six Seater
1 Express Quad Chair
1 Double Chair
1 T- Bar
2 surface conveyor lifts
1 Beginner Tow
Total skiable area: 280ha
Base altitude: 1220m
Highest altitude: 1649m
Vertical drop: 462m
The Remarkables
The Remarkables just outside of Queenstown has a north facing sunny aspect, well equipped terrain parks, dry snow and friendly staff. The Remarkables ski field has terrain for beginners and intermediate skiers & boarders and is also home to the Southern Hemisphere\’s first \’Stash\’, the Burton signature park.
Lifts: 7 Lifts Total
3 Quad Chairs
3 surface conveyor lifts
1 handle tow
Total skiable area: 220ha
Base altitude: 1622m
Highest altitude: 1943m
Vertical drop: 357m
New Zealand Club Ski Fields
Located on the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu in the North Islands Central Plateau, Tukino Ski Field offers no crowded lift queues and a sense of adventure. Tukino\’s eastern location allows for more stable weather and snow conditions than the western and southern side of Ruapehu.
Lifts: 2 rope tows
Total skiable area: 19ha
Base altitude: 1780m
Highest altitude: 2020m
Vertical drop: 240m
Manganui is a unique North Island mountain experience, located in the Egmont National Park on the slopes of Mt Taranaki. It is run on a volunteer basis with Club members expected to pitch in on autumn maintenance working bees and to assist with operating the field during the winter.
Lifts: 4 Lifts Total
1 – Learners Rope Tow
1 – T-bar
1 – Access Tow (nutcracker)
1 – Top Tow (nutcracker)
Total skiable area: 59ha
Base altitude: 1260m
Highest altitude: 1680m
Vertical drop: 420m
Approximately 2 hours from Nelson or Blenheim Rainbow is a club ski field for those in the upper south island. Overlooking the Nelson Lakes National Park, the views from the top of the T-bar are spectacular! The wide, uncrowded slopes and well groomed trails provide superb terrain for beginners and intermediates while advanced skiers can challenge themselves in the high powder runs and chutes.
Lifts: 6 Lifts Total
Novice Rope Tow
The Nelson Contracting PLatter Lift
Tubing par lift
Terrain Par fixed grip tow
West Bowl access rope tow
Total skiable area: 300ha
Base altitude: 1540m
Highest altitude: 1758m
Vertical drop: 218m
Hanmer Springs
The Hanmer Springs Ski Area is well suited to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders who enjoy open spaces with groomed trails and a relaxed atmosphere. There is a small learners area too for those who are not as confident.
Lifts: 3 Lifts Total
2 rope tows
1 platter lift
Total skiable area: 52ha
Base altitude: 1459m
Highest altitude: 1769m
Vertical drop: 310m
Temple Basin
On the drive through Arthurs Pass you will find Temple Basin, a top skiing location in New Zealand\’s South Island. The journey into Temple basin is an adventure in itself especially if you walk! Renowned for its deep powder and low numbers this is an excellent choice for those wanting to take the club route.
Lifts: 3 Lifts Total
3 rope tows
Total skiable area: 320ha
Base altitude: 1326m
Highest altitude: 1753m
Vertical drop: 427m
Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, in New Zealand\’s Southern Alps, has achieved cult status amongst NZ\’s best skiers. Steep deep and cheap is the catch cry here!. Terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging with the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle basin (which is often compared to a heliskiing experience).
Lifts: 3 Lifts Total
3 high capacity rope tows
Total skiable area: 400ha
Base altitude: 1308m
Highest altitude: 1811m
Vertical drop: 503m
Broken River
The terrain at broken river ski area consists of a large open basin serviced by 5 electrically driven, high capacity rope tows. The highest point is 1820 meters and the total vertical is 420 meters, grooming is carried out on the learner and intermediate slopes, while the more experienced have lots of off piste to choose from.
Lifts: 5 Lifts Total
5 electrically driven, high capacity rope tows.
Total skiable area: 300ha
Base altitude: 1313m
Highest altitude: 1820m
Vertical drop: 420m
The second closest ski field to Christchurch, Cheeseman is a fantastic choice for those visiting the Canterbury area. The ski field is a sunny east to south east basin with open rolling terrain. With great beginner and intermediate slopes, Mount Cheeseman is perfect for learners and families.
Lifts: 3 Lifts Total
2 T-bars
1 rope tow.
Base altitude: 1570m
Highest altitude: 1840m
Vertical drop: 270m
Mt Olympus
Mt Olympus ski area is a south facing basin set high in the Craigieburn Range. Here you will find a beginners tow at the top of the access tow close to the lodge. From the top of the Main Tow and the Top Tow there are plenty of choices with terrain to suit intermediates or the most advanced skiers.
Lifts: 4 Lifts Total
Four high capacity rope tows (nutcrackers)
Total skiable area: 60ha
Base altitude: 1430m
Highest altitude: 2096m
Vertical drop: 450m
Fox Peak
Located an hour from Timaru with lots of exciting trails, Fox Peak Area is a great skiing destination. From trails designed to warm up and develop your skills to the exciting upper trails in the South and North Basin, there is sure to be a trail for everyone at Fox Peak.
Lifts: 4 Lifts Total
4 rope tows
Base altitude: 1310m
Highest altitude: 1910m
Vertical drop: 580m

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