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New Zealand
Overview

New Zealand has become a top international skiing destination and delivers some of the best snow in the southern hemisphere. This is mainly due to the combination of significant snowfalls, the improvement of ski resorts facilities and snowmaking equipments, and the fact that the snow season is the reverse of the northern hemisphere.

New Zealand attracts a lot of skiers and boarders from northern hemisphere, looking for some fresh powder between the months of June and October. In addition to this, skiing in New Zealand offers stunning scenery that will contribute to make your holiday unforgettable.

New Zealand is also famous for its challenging terrain which attracts the world’s best skiers every year. Several resorts have international training facilities where the pro teams use to go for their summer training.

Another particularity of New Zealand is the presence of private ski resorts clubs. This allows the few members to enjoy uncrowded slopes. But most riders will be looking for the “commercial” resorts, where there are a significant number of lifts and perfectly groomed runs.

Unlike other ski resorts in USA and Canada for instance, there is a very limited tree skiing in New Zealand. Depending on your riding skills and preferences, this could be an advantage during the foggy days, but it could also be a disadvantage if you are not familiar with tree skiing.

Also, New Zealand doesn’t have true on-mountain accommodations like you can find in North America, Europe or even Australia. Most accommodations are gathered in the ski towns at the bottom of the mountain, like Queenstown or Wanaka. Although it could seem a bit constraining at the beginning, this configuration allows to fully enjoying the kiwi culture by staying in their lively towns and not in superficial and temporary ski village. 
A snow holiday in New Zealand delivers breath-taking scenery and the longest ski season in Australasia.  Indeed, with a large selection of ski resorts and easy access from Australia, there is truly something for everyone, from the most hardcore skier and rider to the absolute beginner.

When and Where to go

When to go to New Zealand

Just like Australia, the snow season in New Zealand starts in June but it ends a bit later, usually until of October. With good snow conditions, some of the major commercial ski areas begin opening in early June, whereas the smaller ski areas open in late June.

The South Island season generally runs from mid-June to early October, whilst in the North Island the ski season lasts until late October.

 

Winters are a bit longer than Australia but they are still bit short compare to northern hemisphere. The colder months are June and July where the temperatures are cold enough to keep good snow conditions. August is the most crowded month and depending on the weather, September and October can offer excellent snow conditions with beautiful spring sunny days.

 

The official winter time is May to October. At this time of year, average day time temperatures range from -3 ºC to 12ºC.

The ski area temperatures range from -6 ºC to 10ºC but may get cooler than this, so thermal clothing and warm, waterproof jackets are essential items to have with you at all times.

 

New Zealand has a very variable weather due to its location in the South Pacific and the two NZ islands don’t have the same climate. The north is more humid and sub-tropical whereas the south island receives the cold and drier weather from the Antarctic.

Also, it is not rare to experience the four seasons in one day when you are skiing in this country.

Therefore, we highly recommend you to pack clothes suitable for all weathers, from the sunny days in town or on the slopes to the freezing snowy and windy days. The best thing you could do is to layer your clothing so you can enjoy the frosty morning as much as the sunny afternoons!

 

Where to go in New Zealand

New Zealand can be divided in two, the north island with Mt Ruapehu and the south island with all other ski resorts. The most famous commercial ski resorts are located in the south island, around towns such as Queenstown, Wanaka, Methven and the Mackenzie region. These resorts towns offer excellent accommodation options and heaps of activities to make the most of your snow holiday.

Queenstown

Queenstown is a beautiful alpine town sitting on the edge of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by a beautiful mountain range. The town is renowned for its lively city, adventure activities, and vibrant nightlife. This is also the starting point to go to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Treble Cone which can also be reached from Wanaka.

Coronet Peak is one of the first ski resorts in New Zealand and continues to lead innovative facilities. With large open slopes, perfectly groomed runs, great off piste and even night skiing; Coronet Peak  has something to offer for everyone.

The Remarkables is another great ski resort delivering a true alpine experience featuring a ski area of 220 hectares and breathtaking views of the mountains and lakes. With three sunny bowls and great learning facilities, The Remarkables are perfect for friends or family looking for a great snow holiday in New Zealand.

Wanaka

Treble Cone is located between Queenstown and Wanaka and receives more snow than others ski resorts in New Zealand. Treble Cone is also the largest ski area in the south island and boasts one of the greatest vertical rise. Advanced riders will enjoy the variety of terrain but the resort will cater for all ability levels. The view over the lake from the top of the mountain is stunning so make sure to bring your camera!

Cardrona has an elevation of 1,870 meters and receive more than 3 meters of snow every season. This ski resort perfectly suits beginners and intermediates but the most advanced riders will take advantage of some challenging runs and the famous terrain park. Cardrona is an excellent option for groups of friends and families as it oozes a friendly atmosphere and boasts some of the best ski schools in the country.

Methven

Mount Hutt is the most famous ski resort in the Methven region and is located only 1.5hrs from Christchurch airport. Mount Hutt boasts a 2,086 meters vertical drop and offers 365 hectares of skiable area. There is a great variety of terrain to cater for every level but the challenging runs will make happy even the most advanced riders.

North Island

Mount Ruapehu is the largest active volcano in New Zealand consisting of two ski resorts, Whakapapa and Turoa. With the highest lift in New Zealand and the longest vertical drop in Australasia, Mount Ruapehu attracts a lot of riders and people from Auckland and Wellington.

 

 

 

Queenstown

Methven

Wanaka