Ski field Information for New Zealand
Wintertime is snow skiing time in New Zealand.
Wherever you are in New Zealand, and particularly in the South Island, you’re never too far from a ski slope. In fact, you should be able to go cross-country skiing in New Zealand almost anywhere there’s snow.
The two skiing destinations on the South Island which come immediately to mind are Queenstown, which calls itself the Adventure Capital of the World, and Christchurch with its major international airport.
Doing it in Queenstown
The ski slopes are so close to Queenstown you can stay in comfortable accommodations there and easily travel to your choice of slopes daily.
But be warned: Book your accommodation well in advance or you’ll miss out on a warm bed in the city.
The nearby slopes are Coronet Peak and The Remarkables which are suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
If you wanted to go farther afield you can take the shuttle from Queenstown to Cardrona or drive to Wanaka where Treble Cone says it has the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes district in the South Island.
Or base yourself in Christchurch
If staying in Christchurch, you can take shuttle buses or tour coaches to the Canterbury Plains skifields.
The best known slopes in the area are in Mt Hutt.
Other skiing areas in this region of New Zealand are Porter Heights, Temple Basin, Craigieburn Valley, Broken River, Mt Olympus, Mt Lyford and Mt Cheesman.
Between Christchurch and Queenstown, you can take a helicopter to Mt Cook and ski the Tasman Glacier, and it doesn’t even have to be winter for you to do this.
While skiing locations in the North Island of New Zealand can be reached from major cities — such as Auckland and Wellington — within a day at most, they are not so numerous and are mainly clustered around the Turangi and Okahuna volcanic region south of Lake Taupo.
Tongariro, Ngauruhoe, Ruapehu
There are three main peaks in this area: Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu.
Possibly the best known and most popular of the North Island ski slopes — and the largest in area in New Zealand — are at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu in the Tongariro national park.
Accommodation is available at Whakapapa Village or nearby towns but should certainly be booked well on advance.
Turoa, Tukino, Manganui
On the other side of Mt Ruapehu and south of Whakapapa lie the Turoa skifields. Accommodation and daily ski transport is available at Okahune, 17 kilometres away.
On the eastern side of Mt Ruapehu is the less accessible club ski area at Tukino.
Closer to the west coast is another club skiing area, Manganui, on the eastern slopes of Mt Taranaki in Egmont national park. There is limited accommodation at Stratford Mountain House or you can stay in the nearby towns of Stratford and New Plymouth.
Turoa Ski field –
located on Mt Ruapehu, central North island south of Taupo.
Australasia’s longest vertical descent at 722m.
The longest run is 4km.
Good for all age and experience levels.
Season open 19 June - 9am-4pm 7 days
Whakapapa Ski Field –
Also on Mt Ruepehu it is New Zealand’s largest ski area.
665 trails in 1050hectares of space
Vertical drop 420m
Very good areas for beginners
Season open 26 June – 9am-4pm 7 days
Coronet Peak –
Located near Queenstown
Highest altitude 1649m
280hectares in skiable area
Good from beginners to professionals
Has a dedicated race facility
Hosts the FSI Ski Racing, NZ Nationals
and the Queenstown Winter Festival
Opened 6 June
8am to 9pm Friday/Saturday
Great for boarders (top jumps, pipes, parks)
Highest point 1860m
Has 345 hectares
Open 25 June
Treble Cone -
Close to Wanaka
Vertical drop of 700m
Great for powder junkies
Open 24 June
9am-4pm 7 days
Close to Queenstown
700ha of land
Three quad chairs
220 hedctares of skiable area
Best for intermediate skiers
Open 19 June
9am-4pm 7 days
Other smaller ski fields: