No matter what you’re looking for in a ski holiday this winter, New Zealand is the place to go. From gentle beginners’ slopes to extreme backcountry terrain, hidden gems to bustling ski resorts, this little island nation has it all.
Better still, the country is so small that you can hit up as many ski fields as you want! Relax in laid-back Wanaka or race around crossing ski experiences off your list — it’s up to you.
If you don’t know where to start with your New Zealand ski holiday, here are a few ideas to help you pick your perfect ski destination:
Never skied before?
Cardrona Alpine Resort is the perfect place to test out your ski legs. With wide-open slopes, a designated learners’ area, and First Timers packages designed to get you started, you’ll be skiing in no time!
Cardrona is situated halfway between Wanaka and Queenstown (the stars of the New Zealand ski scene), so you can spend your evenings checking out the bars and restaurants and hanging out by the lakefront in either town.
Travelling with kids?
Most ski fields in New Zealand are set up with day care and lessons for children, from little ones to teens. But there are a few ski fields with extra bonuses:
- Children 10 and under ski free at Mt Hutt!
- If you have kids under 5, don’t despair — Cardrona Alpine Resort offers Ski Kindy for children aged 2-4! With full-day childcare, lessons, ski rentals, and lunch thrown into the bargain, you won’t have to worry about anything.
- Coronet Peak, just outside of Queenstown, offers a whole range of childcare and lessons for under-5s in its Skiwiland program.
Want to be part of the action?
If you’re looking for a lively ski town with a vibrant nightlife and stunning scenery, Queenstown is the base you’re after.
With easy access to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, and Cardrona Alpine Resort, plus more adventure activities than you could possibly imagine (just walk down the main street to get an idea of the variety!), Queenstown has it all.
While you’re there, don’t miss The Remarkables, the most famous ski resort in New Zealand — for good reason.
Hoping to push your limits?
One of the best expert ski fields in New Zealand is Craigieburn, located along the Arthurs Pass Highway. With challenging, untouched slopes boasting long runs of ungroomed powder, you can have the experience of heli-skiing for the price of a lift pass.
If you’d rather base yourself in Wanaka, Treble Cone has an excellent range of expert terrain.
For those of you hoping to venture off the beaten track, The Remarkables (near Queenstown) offers a huge variety of backcountry ski touring.
Trying to avoid the crowds?
Mt Lyford is a true hidden gem. Two hours north of Christchurch, this ski field boasts some of the best views of any New Zealand ski field and no crowds to compete with.
And if you don’t mind a bit of a hike (45 minutes straight up to reach the lodge), Temple Basin — the closest ski field to the West Coast — is a well-kept secret usually reserved for the locals. Try the excellent off-piste runs, or stick to the three main slopes…all the while soaking in the spectacular views.
Looking for something completely unique?
With rugged mountains as far as the eye can see, New Zealand is the perfect place to try heli-skiing! You’ll never forget the sight of jagged, snow-capped peaks soaring beneath you as you fly to an untouched mountain slope.
Are you tempted yet?
If you’re excited to start planning your New Zealand ski holiday, check out New Zealand Ski Packages for some of the best deals around!
Most of the ski fields will be opening in early June…less than a month away! Head south this winter for an unforgettable ski holiday.