Our favorite South Island ski fields
Visiting New Zealand’s South Island in the winter is a direct invitation to ski and snowboard some of the best resorts in the entire hemisphere. Visitors aren’t limited to one or two choices – there are a ton of cool hills to explore for all skill levels and timeframes. Bring your gear along with you, or feel to rent as you go. The South Island makes it easy for travelers to hit all the slopes their hearts desire without skipping a beat.
Without further adieu, here are the Top 6 South Island ski fields to check out before booking your next adventure!
Home to New Zealand’s highest annual levels of snowfall, Treble Cone is also the largest resort in the country. It’s accessible from both Queenstown and Wanaka airports, so you can opt for either destination when booking your arrangements.
One item to note is that while Treble Cone has ample intermediate and advanced runs, there are only a couple of beginner routes. Visit this resort only if you’re comfortable with your basic skiing and boarding capabilities because it’s no fun being on a mountain you’re unable to ski down! Luckily Treble Cone offers access to some more simple areas like the Magic Carpet and the Platter Lift, so inquire what your particular lift ticket covers before purchasing.
Easily New Zealand’s most photographed mountain range, The Remarkables is practically a stone’s throw away from Queenstown, so your commute to the hill from the city is negligible. This is a resort that the whole family can enjoy because it’s got a number of kid-friendly hills and zones as well as basic lessons and equipment rentals.
Overall, it’s a small space compared with some of the other resorts, but it makes up for that with lovely wide runs that make it easy for everyone to navigate. You’ll never experience anything quite as breathtaking as the views from this peak. Seasoned staff spend a lot of time grooming at this particular resort due to its popularity, so try to get on those fresh tracks when you can!
Cardrona is quite possibly New Zealand’s best south island ski field overall due to its variety of runs, extraordinary vistas and proximity to both Queenstown and Wanaka. There are terrain parks and half pipes to experiment on, too! The entrance is less than an hour from the Queenstown airport and even closer to the city centre, so you can ski the day away but be “home” for the evening hours during your trip.
Families love coming to Cardrona because every member of the tribe will find a few runs that are perfect for them. You’ve got bunny slopes and beginner lessons for the little ones, wide intermediate hills ideal for those with a little more experience, and some tougher blacks for those who live for the challenges in life. Take your pick! There are a few eateries onsite that offer simple mountain fare, and the resort rents equipment to those who didn’t bring their own.
Craigieburn is the place you hit when you’ve mastered all the beginner hills in the area. This resort is the top location for all the advanced skiers and boarders. There are a ton of expert-level runs that will challenge anyone who takes a ride. They are famous for their excellent powder which is something prized by all skiers. Lift tickets are affordable, and since this isn’t for the faint of heart, you can count on small crowds and open trails. Note: There are only two beginner runs here, and there are no equipment rental facilities on the premises.
The closest major city is Christchurch, so once you arrive at the airport, you’ll only be about a 1.5-hour drive from the base of the mountain. If the hills directly in front of you aren’t enough, strap on your skis and start hiking to all the backcountry skiing you could ever want. Get ready to push yourself to the limit at Craigieburn Valley!
Also close to Queenstown, Coronet Peak is a fantastic option for all-around good skiing and stellar panoramic views. Beginners and advanced riders are welcome, but Coronet Peak caters to the Intermediates amongst us and has a super efficient chairlift system.
One of the coolest things about adding Coronet Peak to your to-do list is that they offer something truly unique once the sun starts to go down. On Wednesdays and Fridays (as well as some Saturdays), the hill shuts down for a bonus hour of grooming in the afternoon and then opens back up from 4pm to 9pm for Night Skiing. Yep, you heard that right – the trails are incredibly well-lit and the fresh DJ-spun tunes will be pumping for a hip snowy scene! Swish down the mountain under the stars or post up at the iconic Ice Bar for the evening.
Broken River is about 65 kilometres from Christchurch, so while it is super accessible, there are hardly ever any crowds here. Therefore, if skiing fresh powder is your jam, be sure to hit Broken River. The lack of bodies on the slopes means that there aren’t a ton of tracks after every new snowfall leaving more powder for your group. Score!
The resort atmosphere is anything but hoity-toity — expect lots of locals and an overall chilled out vibe. The lodge offers basic food and drinks as well as starter lessons for beginners. Broken River is welcoming to all levels of boarders and skiers and has runs for every skill level. It’s super family-friendly, too. In fact, kids under 11 ski for free!
Where To Stay?
Forgo the sterile hotel environment, and opt to rent one of Bachcare’s beautiful homes available near your chosen resort. No matter which mountaintop you’re eyeing up, we’ve got all sorts of options in various sizes – come by yourself or bring your entire extended family! We’ve got room for everyone.
Folks keep coming back to Bachcare for property rentals because we make it so easy for you. Besides great rates and a world class website that shows you each room in detail, we offer so much more than your standard lodge, such as:
- Cozy Living Rooms – Kick back and watch something together in the evenings in someplace other than a cold hotel room
- Comfy Bedrooms – Enjoy a more realistic and comfortable bedroom setting with authentic rooms on Bachcare properties, complete with customized decor
- Bonus Amendments depending on the place – For example washer/dryer sets, yards or patios, parking, grills, hot tubs, and more!
Check out the site to see what’s available for your holiday dates. We look forward to serving you while you’re busy out exploring all of the amazing South Island ski fields.