22 April 2022 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

Skiing in New Zealand – A Skiers Guide

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A Skier’s Guide to New Zealand

The Remarkables Ski Fields Just Before Sunrise | One morning… | Flickr
The Remarkables at Night – Credit: Flickr

Some look forward to summer and holidays on the beach. The higher-minded of us crave altitude and look forward to winter and mountains of glorious snow. A skiing holiday is a perfect way to get away from it all, enjoy the outdoors, spend time with your loved ones, and take in some spectacular views. Learn new skills, try your hand at snowboarding, and end the day with a hot chocolate by a fireplace in your home away from home. Or, shake things up, spend the day shopping and hiking, and try out night skiing for a new thrill.

Ski down to:


Best Ski Fields: South Island of New Zealand

When most people think of skiing in New Zealand, they think of South Island and probably Queenstown. While Queenstown does feature two fabulous ski fields and big-city entertainment, don’t forget about the lesser-known fields many Kiwi’s want kept secret. South Island destinations feature fabulous views and runs suited for beginners to advanced. When you’re done skiing for the day (or night!), indulge in a local restaurant or check out the nightlife, whether that’s a nightclub or a blanket of stars.

Queenstown

queenstown skiing
Cardrona Ski Field – Credit: Flickr

If you’re looking for world-class ski fields flanked by resorts, entertainment, and big-city attractions, head to Queenstown. If not everyone in the family loves snow sports, Queenstown is a great spot. The naysayers can hang out in the town, catch a movie, or try local brews while the powder-seekers are in a snow-heaven. Queenstown has two popular ski fields–Coronet Peak and The Remarkables.

Coronet Peak Ski Field

coronet peak ski field
Coronet Peak – Credit: Flickr

Coronet Peak is an attractive ski field and features a sealed road, making it safe to drive in most conditions. Coronet Peak is equipped with snow cannons, so it doesn’t rely on nature to keep the snow on the ground. This field has panoramic views and is great for intermediate skiers. The base area has a ski school, rentals, and childcare.

The Remarkables Ski Field

the remarkables
The Remarkables Ski Field – Credit: Flickr

The Remarkables are drop-dead gorgeous, and the skiing is fine too. This gorgeous mountain range in the Southern Alps has featured in the breathtaking scenery of The Lord of The Rings trilogy. The Remarkables offer three different terrain fields and wide runs for beginners and intermediate skiers. This range is excellent for families and a good place to learn to ski. The Remarkables has three magic carpets and nice, wide runs. You can shake things up and try some night skiing.


Wanaka

skiing in wanaka
Mount Aspiring – Credit: Flickr

Wanaka is less crowded than Queenstown and offers some of the best skiing in New Zealand at Treble Cone ski field. In Wanaka, visitors will find the perfect selection of restaurants, shopping, and hiking trails when it’s time for a break from the ski fields. Wanaka is close enough to Queenstown that skiers can base themselves in the more laid-back Wanaka and access Queenstown ski fields and Wanaka ski fields.

Treble Cone Ski Field

treble cone
Treble Cone – Credit: Wikicommons

Treble Cone is part of the mountain range known as the Southern Alps, and the scenery is stunning. Treble Cone is the largest ski area on the South Island. This tree-free ski field has steep trails, and fabulous downhill runs. Intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers will enjoy the views as they hit the slopes. Skiers can revel in views of Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.

Cardrona Ski Field

cardrona ski field
Cardrona Ski Field – Credit: Flickr

Cardrona has something for everyone and is great for families of different interests and skills. It’s less than an hour from Queenstown or Wanaka. Shuttles are available to save the hassle of driving and parking.
Enjoy downhill skiing, the excitement of the terrain park, or go off-peak.


Christchurch-Canterbury Region

The Christchurch-Canterbury Region offers visitors the chance to ski like a local. Check out slopes packed with snow, not crowds. Enjoy local cafes, restaurants, and nightlife.

porters ski field

Porters Ski Field

Porters is the closest ski field to Christchurch. Just a 1 hour 30 minute drive to the ski field from Christchurch city center. This is another ski field that will please the whole family. Porter’s has learner’s slopes as well as more challenging terrain for experts. Porter’s has snow-makers and a chair lift, so you are sure to enjoy your time on the slopes. Thrill-seekers can access a 680-meter drop. The views from the top are spectacular!

Craigieburn Ski Field

Craigieburn
Cragieburn – Credit: Wikicommons

This challenging ski field is perfect for advanced skiers to test their skills. Craigieburn is less crowded than the Queenstown slopes and is not the place for beginners. Craigieburn has the highest proportion of “black runs” in New Zealand. With no grooming, this is an all-natural field with narrow chutes and untouched snow. Craigieburn is a great place for adventurous skiers to access the backcountry and carve out their own runs.

Mount Hutt Ski Field

mount hutt
Mount Hutt – Credit: SnappgyGoat

As South Island’s highest mountain, Mount Hutt gets some of the best snow in New Zealand. It can be plagued with high winds, so check the weather before heading out. Because of its high altitude, the ski season on Mount Hutt lasts well into spring. The views are spectacular. On clear days, you can see across the Canterbury Plains to the Pacific. You can also take in the grandeur of the Southern Alps.

Mount Hutt has a good selection of runs. Since kids under ten ski for free, it offers a great value for families. There’s easy terrain for beginners, great skiing for intermediates, and off-piste blacks for advanced skiers. If there’s a range of interests and abilities in your family, Mount Hutt is a crowd-pleaser.


Best Ski Fields: North Island of New Zealand

While the South Island has more fields and is better known for skiing, don’t rule out the North Island for your skiing holiday. After all, where else can you ski down an active volcano?

Mt. Ruapehu Ski Field

mt ruapehu ski field
Turoa. Mt Ruapehu – Credit: Wikicommons

Mt. Ruapehu is New Zealand’s largest active volcano. Mt. Ruapehu has two fields: Whakapapa and Turoa. Both ski fields will impress visitors with their powder and views. Mt. Ruapehu is close to the larger cities of Wellington and Auckland, making transportation easy and straightforward. It’s also perfectly situated for visitors to enjoy hotspots such as Rotorua, Taupō, and Tauranga.

Whakapapa Ski Field

Whakapapa
Whakapapa – Credit: Flickr

Whakapapa is a unique ski field. Fans of The Lord of the Rings trilogy know this vista as Mordor. Whakapapa has close to 70 runs and is sure to please everyone in your group. This family-friendly field has the largest beginner area in New Zealand. Intermediate skiers will love the varied terrain. Advanced skiers can zoom down more challenging runs.

Turoa Ski Field

Turoa skiing and snowboarding
Turoa Ski Field – Credit: Flickr

Turoa features the longest vertical run in New Zealand. Its high elevation means it has lots of fresh snow. Turoa offers more challenging conditions than Whakapapa. Nearby, you’ll find fantastic restaurants and nightlife.

NZ Skiing FAQ’s:

Can you ski all year round in New Zealand?

The ski season generally runs from June to mid-October in New Zealand, though this may vary widely depending on the ski field. However, ski slopes are open all year round in some places so be sure to check.

When is the best time to ski in New Zealand?

Most ski resorts tend to open in late June to early July (The beginning of Winter in New Zealand) You want to allow a good month or so for peak snowpack and get all of the terrain open. The end of September, spring begins and snow starts going fast. For best coverage and wintery snow, mid August – mid September is the sweet spot.

What is the best month to ski in NZ?

Mid August would be the ideal month to go skiing. Make sure to have planned well in advance as accommodation tends to get fully booked during peak skiing season.


Experience Skiing in New Zealand

Ready to hit the slopes? Pack your skis and book a cozy Bachcare home to get the most out of your skiing holiday.

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