New Zealand has earned a reputation of being a fantastic international ski destination. It is no wonder, considering NZ’s picturesque landscapes, fresh snow, easy-to-hire ski gear, and ski seasons running from June to October!
Ski Adventures in New Zealand
Popular Ski Regions in New Zealand
Treble Cone: Two time winner of NZ’s best Ski Resorts at the World Ski Awards hosted in Kitzbuhel, Austria, Treble Cone is what one might call the authentic Kiwi ski experience. Promising plentiful snow, wonderful hospitality, the best off-piste slopes and wide-groomed terrain, open bowl and moguls, this remains South Island’s largest and most popular ski area. This mountain claims a vertical rise spread across two large basins and is the longest in the Queenstown-Wanaka region. Average annual snowfall: 550 cm.
Cardrona: This is the most reliable location to go skiing as it is located southwards and thus, offers tonnes of dry snow at all times. Cardrona prides itself on being the second largest ski-region in the Queenstown-Wanaka area and is a favourite of families with kids as it offers separate centres for kids. Apart from these features, Cardrona is known for having most extensive terrain park facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. Average annual snowfall: 270 cm.
Mt. Hutt: Located in Canterbury, this mountain has a skiable area of 365 hectares, an altitude of 2086 m, copious quantities of natural snow and a spectacular terrain. What’s more, it offers one of the most stunning panoramic views from anywhere in NZ. On a clear day, you can find the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Southern Alps on the other looking down from the summit. The wide terrain is compatible with beginners while the terrain park is fit for freestylers.
Porters: One of the most popular family ski-destinations in the Christchurch area, this region boasts massive scope for both skiing and snowboarding. Whether beginners or experts, none will be able to get enough of the surrounding vistas of Lake Coleridge, the Southern Alps or Canterbury Plains. It has a vertical drop of over 600 metres and is home to 600 hectares of skiable ground.
While it is advisable for seasoned skiers to brush up their ski skills for extra caution, it is absolutely a must for beginners before they go skiing. Several institutes offer ski lessons. Treble Cone has quite a personalized, flexible and affordable lesson-schedule as well as equipment for hiring purposes for adults and children. At Cardrona, you can choose between single and multiple day tutorials and even opt for private lessons. There are extensive learners’ classes for skiing and snowboarding with experienced instructors and equipment for hire. Apart from regular lessons for adults, Mt Hutt has a Kea Club for fun-filled lessons for children till the age of 15. At Porters there is the Ski Mat Carpet Lift for beginners’ lessons as well as the Easy Rider four-seated chairlift.
For those looking to ski near Wanaka and Queenstown regions of Treble Cone and Cardona, there are no accommodation options available on slope. However, there are plenty of hotels, inns and lodges at nearby Queenstown and Wanaka. A 15-20 minute drive in your rented vehicle from Hertz will be a hassle-free and comfortable option. There is also no accommodation available at the slopes of Porters itself. However, the Porters Alpine Lodge is just a few minutes away, as are Methven town and Christchurch city. On-slope accommodation is available at Mt Hutt which has also introduced its Kids 4 Free scheme providing free accommodation to every child below 10.