Skiing in New Zealand means breathtaking scenery and renowned Kiwi hospitality plus there is a decent choice of resorts on offer – 16 in the Canterbury region alone! The season runs from June to October: meaning Northern Hemisphere skiers willing to travel don’t have to wait all summer for their ski fix…
The best of New Zealand’s skiing is on its South Island. Most of the major resorts are there, as well as the best snow. And the snow is often pretty fine. Snowfalls are decent rather than fantastic, but the wide open slopes are often almost empty. Or at least they are compared to European resorts.
Off-piste is big news in New Zealand too. The country is home to the World Heli Challenge, which brings some of the world’s best heli-skiers together to compete in a unique competition. The event takes place near Wanaka, takes in some thrilling terrain and produces some spectacular skiing.
You don’t have to be a competitor to enjoy off-piste and heli-skiing in New Zealand, though. The country is renowned as one of the world’s best off-piste destinations, with miles of untracked snow to discover. Most resorts have heli-ski operations, some even offering overnight trips.
Not that New Zealand’s on-piste skiing isn’t pretty good, too. The Southern Alps, on the South Island, are the country’s main draw, and it has the biggest ski areas. Skiers tend to stay in the nearest town and drive or bus their way up to the slopes. There are several ski areas that can be accessed from Wanaka and Queenstown, including Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Mount Hutt and Cardrona. Joint passes mean you can explore a few different places in one holiday. On the North Island, head to Ruapehu, a gorgeous volcanic region with several ski fields.
A New Zealand ski holiday means plenty of opportunity for exploration, in the local cities and on the mountains.