When you think of skiing or snowboarding destinations, New Zealand might not be the first place that comes to mind. However, with its stunning mountain ranges and world-class ski resorts, New Zealand has become an increasingly popular winter destination for snow sports enthusiasts from around the globe.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at why skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand is a must-do experience for any winter adventurer.
The Best Skiing and Snowboarding Spots in New Zealand
New Zealand boasts a number of incredible ski resorts scattered throughout both the North and South Islands. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner eager to hit the slopes for the first time, there’s a resort that will meet your needs.
Located just outside of Queenstown on the South Island, Coronet Peak is one of the most popular ski resorts in New Zealand. With over 1200 acres of skiable terrain and 280 hectares of groomed runs, it’s easy to see why. The resort offers something for every skill level, from gentle beginner slopes to challenging black diamond runs.
Is another top-rated ski resort on the South Island, known for its stunning views of Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park. The resort offers some of the longest vertical drops in New Zealand, making it a favorite among advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Located two hours from Christchurch on the South Island, Mt Hutt is one of the largest ski areas in New Zealand. With over 365 hectares of skiable terrain and an average annual snowfall of three meters, it’s no wonder this resort attracts visitors from all over the world.
Whakapapa Ski Area:
One of only two commercial ski resorts operating on this island nation. This resort is located within Tongariro National Park, also home to several volcanic peaks including Mount Ruapehu (the highest point on North Island). Skiers can enjoy more than 550 hectares of skiable terrain across two main valleys, Whakapapa Valley & Turoa Valley, with various chairlifts spread across different parts to access them.
Turoa Ski Area:
Is another excellent option on North Island with diverse terrains ranging from wide-open groomers to off-piste chutes ideal for advanced riders who want to push their limits further up north where there are fewer crowds compared to south island resorts.
Tips for Planning Your Ski or Snowboard Trip to New Zealand
If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand specifically for skiing or snowboarding activities during the winter season (June-October), here are some tips that can help make your trip more enjoyable:
- Timing: It’s best to visit during July-August as its peak season when most resorts open up their full range facilities like terrain parks & halfpipes etc., plus there’s a higher chance for fresh powder as well!
- Accommodations: Book accommodations well in advance as they tend to fill up quickly especially during peak season at popular resorts like Coronet Peak & Treble Cone etc.
- Transportation: Consider renting a car or campervan if you plan on visiting multiple locations during your stay so that you have flexibility & freedom while traveling around with ease.
- Lift Tickets: Buy lift tickets online before arriving at each ski resort as prices can be cheaper online compared to purchasing them onsite; also consider multi-day passes which offer better value overall if planning longer stays rather than daily passes which are expensive comparatively speaking
- Packing List: Don’t forget your passport if you’re traveling internationally; bring warm clothing like insulated jackets, pants, gloves, beanies, etc.
Other Winter Activities To Enjoy In New Zealand
While skiing and snowboarding are undoubtedly top activities during winter months in NZ, there are plenty of other things to do beyond hitting the slopes:
- Ice Skating: Most major cities have ice rinks open all year round but only a few smaller towns have outdoor rinks available exclusively during winter months; check beforehand where rinks are available near your location.
- Dog Sledding: Experience dog sledding tours through scenic snowy landscapes while learning about the history and traditions associated with these husky breeds; places like Queenstown, Wanaka, and Rotorua offer such experiences.
- Snowmobiling: Rent out snowmobiles & explore remote backcountry trails by yourself or take a guided tour through picturesque wilderness areas around the Southern Alps region.
- Snowshoeing: Take leisurely walks along groomed trails through quiet forests, and mountainside areas wearing special shoes designed to help walking atop deep powdery snow without sinking too much into it.
- Hot Springs: After a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing quite like relaxing in a natural hot spring. New Zealand is home to several natural hot springs that are open year-round, including Hanmer Springs on the South Island and Polynesian Spa in Rotorua.
- Snow Tubing: For a fun and family-friendly winter activity, try snow tubing at one of the many resorts throughout New Zealand. It’s an exciting way to enjoy the snow without having to strap on skis or a snowboard.
- Winter Festivals: Throughout the winter season, various festivals take place across New Zealand celebrating all things winter sports-related such as Queenstown Winter Festival & Wanaka Snowfest, etc.
New Zealand offers some of the most breathtaking scenery for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts worldwide. With its diverse range of ski resorts, stunning landscapes, and other winter activities available, it’s hard not to see why more people are choosing this destination as their go-to spot for winter vacations each year!
Whether you’re an experienced skier or snowboarder looking for your next challenge or just looking for some fun wintertime activities with friends or family members, New Zealand has something unique & special waiting just for you!
So start planning your trip today and discover all that this beautiful country has to offer during the winter season!