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Skiing in New Zealand Complete Guide

New Zealand is a country with some amazing peaks and mountains and when winter arrives becomes a top destination for skiers and snowboarders to hit the slopes.

There’s a good number (20+) of club owned and commercially operated ski areas to choose from and with a comparatively long ski season that runs from late June to late October, it gives skiers plenty of time to give a few of them a go.

To get you started, we’ve put together this comprehensive skiing guide to give you a good idea of what’s on offer.

  • Queenstown

    Queenstown

    Queenstown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Known for its idyllic surroundings it’s also close to a number of world-class ski areas (within an hour’s drive) making it a great place to stay for skiing. It&

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    Queenstown is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Known for its idyllic surroundings it’s also close to a number of world-class ski areas (within an hour’s drive) making it a great place to stay for skiing. It’s also famous for its après ski scene and has over 150 bars and cafés to enjoy after the sun sets and the partying starts.

    On top of that if you’re looking to double up on thrills you’ll have all the additional adventure tourism attractions like bungy-jumping, jet boating, canyon swinging, skydiving, off-road tours and more.

    If you’re simply looking to unwind, then there’s nothing more relaxing than going by the port and gazing out at Lake Wakatipu, admiring the views of the Remarkables mountain ranges.

    Make sure you check out our Complete City Guide for Queenstown for more great ideas on places to stay, eat out and things to do.

  • Christchurch

    Christchurch

    Christchurch is the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island and is close to a number of our top ski fields. In fact, there are at least half a dozen ski fields within 2 hours drive of the city. It is fondly referred to in New Zeala

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    Christchurch is the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island and is close to a number of our top ski fields. In fact, there are at least half a dozen ski fields within 2 hours drive of the city.

    It is fondly referred to in New Zealand as the Garden City thanks to some beautiful sites like Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens, Riccarton House, Mona Vale and the beautiful Avon River that runs through the city.

    Make sure you check out our Complete City Guide for Christchurch for more great ideas on places to stay, eat out and things to do.

  • Taupo

    Taupo

    While most of New Zealand’s 20+ ski areas are found in the South Island, the Central North Island is home to three great ski areas that cover all sides of the mighty Mt Ruapehu. There are some very nice lodgings in and around the Tong

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    While most of New Zealand’s 20+ ski areas are found in the South Island, the Central North Island is home to three great ski areas that cover all sides of the mighty Mt Ruapehu.

    There are some very nice lodgings in and around the Tongariro National Park but if you’d like something with a few additional attractions then Taupo, just over an hour’s drive, is a good choice.

    The main attraction here is Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand with on-water activities like swimming, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sailing, jet boating etc.

    There are also other nearby attractions like the powerful Huka Falls and the Craters of the Moon geothermal site too so plenty to keep you occupied in and around your skiing.

    Make sure you check out our Complete City Guide for Taupo for more great ideas on places to stay, eat out and things to do.

Located 3 hours’ drive from Christchurch, Tekapo is an awesome place to head during the winter months. The nearby ski fields are used by a number of international teams for training but Tekapo is a great place for skiers and non-skiers alike. Walkers have access to some amazing tracks and trails and the views are simply stunning.

Best Ski Fields in New Zealand

With over 20+ ski areas in New Zealand, you’re really spoilt for choice as far as options go. In some ways, you can do no wrong as there are no real bad apples on the tree, but there are choices that are more suitable given your interest and ability of you and your travelling ensemble.

You can read more about all the ski fields featured below in our blog.

The selection below includes a mix of the popular and family-friendly to the off-piste and alpine.

Best places to stay when skiing in New Zealand

Your ski trip will take you to some amazing places in New Zealand and there are some equally amazing places to stay! You’ll all have slightly different needs and requirements from your accommodation so we’ve put together a list featuring a range of different options from the modest to the plush.

New Zealand's Most Spectacular Ski Fields

With some of the best skiing in the Southern Hemisphere located right here in New Zealand, it’s perhaps no surprise that we have some of the world’s most spectacular ski fields located on both of our beautiful islands. Whilst we might not have the majesty of the French Alps or the scale of the America Rockies, what we lack in size we more than make up for in spectacular views and stunning scenery. A day on the slopes here in New Zealand is about more than just the skiing. Get your cameras at the ready when you ski in New Zealand and check out some of these spectacular views.

Best activities for non-skiers

There’s no shortage of activities to include in your itinerary to give yourself a bit of a breather from your skis, poles and snowboards every now and again. We have some awesome partners in our GO Play programme which helps you get discounts with some of New Zealand’s best activity providers when you make a car rental booking through us! Here are some of the nearby options!

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  • 4
    Days

    Queenstown to Christchurch – 4 days

    Driving Tour

    So you’ve arrived in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world with only 4 days to get to Christchurch – so what are you going to fit into that time? Let’s start by picking up your lovely GO Rentals hire car and heading straight for Queens

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  • 3
    Days

    Christchurch to Mt Cook Round Trip – 3 days

    Driving Tour

    Great news! You’ve got a long weekend and you’re heading out from Christchurch for 3 days. If you’re looking for a great plan for those 3 days then look no further! This 3 day itinerary will take you from the Garden City to Mt Cook Village via

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  • 5
    Days

    Christchurch to Queenstown Round Trip – 5 days

    Driving Tour

    Happy days! You’ve got a 5 day break and you have decided to explore the South Island starting off in the Garden City – Christchurch. If you’ve never been to Christchurch before, it’s definitely worth spending a few hours exploring the South

    Read More

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