Ski New Zealand

Ski New Zealand: Treble Cone
Queenstown New Zealand
New Zealand Skiing - The Remarkables
The ultimate New Zealand skiing experience
Lake Tekapo - home to a couple of classic NZ ski fields
Cardrona is the most popular New Zealand ski resort
Queenstown adventure activities are prolific
Ski the Tasman: an epic NZ ski experience
Iconic views from Treble Cone Ski Resort New Zealand
Queenstown is the most popular New Zealand ski town
Ski New Zealand
Queenstown New Zealand has very vibrant nightlife
Night skiing at Coronet Peak NZ
Mt Cook New Zealand
Ski the Tasman at Mt Cook NZ
Heli Skiing New Zealand
Party night at Coronet Peak NZ
Ski New Zealand: Ohau
The New Zealand club fields offer some amazing terrain
The iconic Cardrona Hotel near the Cardrona Ski Resort

Ski New Zealand

Ski New Zealand

Ski NZ for a great all-round adventure! A New Zealand skiing holiday offers good skiing and snowboarding, great ski towns, fabulous NZ culture, and a huge range of adventure activities. Another drawcard is the awesome scenery. They didn't make the Lord of the Rings movies in New Zealand for nothing! Lots of the NZ locals ski or snowboard, and the NZ ski fields are easily accessible for many Australians. New Zealand also makes a great snow destination for devotees from the Northern hemisphere who need a ski fix during summer because it's usually more affordable than skiing in South America. New Zealand skiing is relatively “cheap as chups”!

Ski NZ - Resorts

Broadly speaking, there are three types of NZ ski fields:
  • Large commercial NZ ski resorts that have great infrastructure and facilities.
  • Small commercial ski resorts that have mediocre infrastructure and facilities yet are reasonably priced. Examples include Ohau, Porters and Mt Dobson
  • NZ club ski fields that are owned and operated by club members but are open to the public. Examples include Craigieburn and Mt Olympus. The club fields generally have very limited facilities and services but have the advantage of providing on-mountain accommodation, uncrowded slopes, and super affordable skiing.
The major strengths of the small NZ ski resorts and the club fields are evident in the Powderhounds New Zealand ski resorts ratings where many score full marks for some elements: no crowds; the freshies last a long time; and the skiing is really cheap.

Commercial Ski Resorts in NZ

The South Island of New Zealand has various high profile ski resorts on the eastern side of the Southern Alps. Mt Hutt ski resort is located near the town of Methven and only 1.5 hours drive from Christchurch International Airport, making it very accessible.

Treble Cone ski resort is further south near the town of Wanaka. TC is blessed with more snowfall than many other NZ ski resorts and has great terrain for experienced skiers and boarders.

Cardrona ski resort is also in proximity to Wanaka and is a good all-rounder. 

The town of Queenstown is world famous for its tourist buzz, adventure activities, and vibrant nightlife. And as an added bonus, the ever popular Coronet Peak ski resort and The Remarkables ski field are close by. Cardrona is also easily accessible from Queenstown.

On the North Island of New Zealand is Mount Ruapehu. On one side of the active volcano is the Whakapapa (pronounced Fukkapuppa) resort, and on the other side is Turoa. Both ski resorts attract large crowds from Auckland and Wellington. The North Island also “boasts” Snow Planet in Auckland which is an indoor snow resort – not really the best place to ski New Zealand for powder!

What’s Unique About New Zealand Skiing and Snowboarding?

Unlike North America and Australia, there is no (or very limited) tree skiing in New Zealand. This could be perceived as an advantage to those who have a habit of running into trees, but a disadvantage is that in bad weather there are generally no sheltered areas on the mountain, so storm skiing in New Zealand is not possible which is often a favourite pastime for powder hounds. Some of the resorts close during bad weather because it’s too windy for the lifts, or the road is closed for snow removal. You’ll need to keep your holiday itinerary pretty flexible and consider alternative activities such as bungy jumping!

On-mountain accommodation is very rare at the large commercial ski resorts in NZ so skiers and riders have to stay off-mountain. Whilst this might pose some inconvenience, the bonus is that the ski towns capture the essence of the New Zealand culture rather than providing a “resortified experience”. The NZ club fields have the best of both worlds. Most club fields have ski-in ski-out accommodation as well as a traditional “skiwi” culture that features a back-to-basics adventure.

Another unique aspect of New Zealand skiing (unless you’ve been on a Chile ski trip) is the daunting access roads. Many of them are narrow, unpaved, have harrowing drop-offs and a lack of safety rails, but this just adds to the adventure of skiing in New Zealand!

Ski New Zealand Versus Skiing in Australia

Everyone likes to compare skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand to that of skiing in Australia. Firstly Australia has trees, sealed access roads and on-mountain villages with significantly more infrastructure than NZ, and even though the NZ ski fields vary dramatically from commercial to club fields, there are some other generalisations that can be made when comparing the two countries.

The first one is that advanced skiing in New Zealand is a little better than in Oz. Generally the NZ ski resorts have better advanced terrain and steeps. NZ also gets more snow, and the mountains are a little higher and further south, so the snow is more likely to stay in reasonable shape. Like Australia the seasons vary significantly, and they can have years that are pearlers or shockers. Most Australian ski resorts have lots of snowmaking, as do a few of the large commercial NZ ski resorts, whilst many NZ ski fields have to rely solely on Mother Nature.

Skiing in New Zealand is often more affordable than Australia, but it really depends on the currency exchange at the time. Lift tickets are comparable when considering the big commercial NZ ski resorts, whilst the little NZ ski fields are much cheaper than Australia (but you don’t get much infrastructure for your dollars), and the exorbitant resort entry fees (aka parking fees) can really add to the cost of skiing in Australia.

New Zealand Ski Season

The New Zealand ski season generally lasts a little longer than that in Australia. The South Island season generally runs from mid-June to early October, whilst in the North Island the ski season lasts until late October. See our New Zealand ski resort stats comparison for information on the usual opening and closing dates for each NZ ski field.

NZ Heli Skiing

The South Island is renowned for great New Zealand heli skiing. Heli skiing is definitely something that should be on your list of things to do on a NZ ski holiday. Being flown up high in the spectacular Southern Alps is an amazing experience in itself, but getting to ski or board virgin snow makes it an experience to remember forever. Heli skiing in NZ is not just for experts or rich folks. Most operators can tailor an experience to strong intermediate riders and above, and when considering heli skiing in other parts of the world, NZ heli ski packages are comparatively cheap. Choice eh? See our heli skiing New Zealand section for more information.

New Zealand Ski Holidays

Considering that New Zealand is not a complex country in which to travel, it’s very easy to organise your own itinerary. And by using our search engines to compare prices you can get great deals on flights, car hire, ski insurance and NZ accommodation. Also see our New Zealand travel information page for tips on driving around New Zealand, as well as travel information for flying to and around New Zealand.

There is a huge range of accommodation on Powderhounds. Just navigate to the resort or town you want to visit and then to the respective accommodation page where you can check availability, rates & book online.

More Ski NZ & Snowboard NZ Information

For more information on New Zealand ski resorts and how they compare to each other, see our NZ Ski Resort Comparison page. This includes information on climate, club fields, and mountain statistics such as annual snowfall.

Don’t be sheepish – organise your New Zealand ski holiday now. You might even find yourself a baaaa….gain!
New Zealand Ski Tours & Packages

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Haka Ultimate Heli Tour
7 Days | 6 Nights | 5 Skiing / Boarding
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
This world-class 7 day adventure takes in the best of the South Island’s heli riding and skiing: Methven, Mt Cook, Wanaka and Queenstown. Prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime!
Price p/p From price based on twin-share lodging for 2020 tour.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,223
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South Island Snow Odyssey
11 Nights | 11 Days Riding at 10 Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Take an odyssey of the South Island to the best New Zealand ski fields ranging from big commercial ski resorts to club field gems with barely any crowds. No need to worry about driving or organising anything as your host looks after all the logistics.
Price p/p From price based on quad share option.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,111
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South Island Snow Safari
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Skiing | 6 Resorts
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
This 7 day adventure is ideal for the young at heart who want to pack in as much skiing or snowboarding and fun as possible into a single week. You will visit up to 6 of NZ's great ski areas with professional hosts who will get you to the best skiing/snowboarding in each of the locations.
Price p/p From price based on multi-share "lift only" package for 2020.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,279
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit New Zealand here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Clubbies Snow Hunter Safari
4 Nights | Up to 5 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Wanting a MAXIMUM ski or snowboard adventure in NZ this year? This FULLY CUSTOMISABLE tour (from 2 nights) might be just the ticket! Based in Methven or Castle Hill, you will chase the best snow each day at Mt Olympus, Craigieburn, Broken River & Mt Cheeseman with an expert local guide, 4 X 4 & driver.
Price p/p From price based on twin-share (group of 4).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,023
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Wanaka Explorer
Fully Hosted & Guided | All Ground Transport Included
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Take all of the organising out of your next NZ ski or snowboarding trip by joining an Explore Wanaka package tour. Packages include accommodation of various levels/budget, daily on-mountain hosting, transport to/from Queenstown airport to your accommodation plus daily 4x4 transport with your host to/from the mountains.
Price p/p "From" price is based on 3-night, twin-share, 3-star accommodation package.
Base/invoice currency is NZD
Displayed prices may vary slightly to fluctuations in exchange rates
USD 1,088
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Clubbie Max Pack Day Tours
Min group 2 people
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are heading to Methven this ski season and you want to explore the fabulous Canterbury Club Fields (Mt Olympus, Craigieburn, Broken River & Mt Cheeseman), book a Clubbie Max Pack Day Tour which includes driver/guide/instructor, 4x4 vehicle, lift pass, lunch, rope tow harness, avo beacon & on-mountain guiding.
Price p/p From price based on min group of 2. 10% discount for groups greater than 2.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 211
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit New Zealand here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

The Skiweekender
2 Days | 2 Nights | 2 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Beginner to Expert
This 2-day / 2-night package is a great way to ski / board Whakapapa at Mt Ruapehu as a solo or with a friend(s). The tours starts from AUCKLAND around 2 pm on a Friday afternoon & returns Sunday evening around 10 pm. Share
Price p/p From price is based on dorm-share rooms (private room upgrade is extra & is subject to availability at time of booking)
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of all taxes
*Display price may vary slightly due to fluctuation in exchange rates.
USD 157
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 Book through Powderhounds & save 15%. Discounted price displayed.
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit New Zealand here

Heli Skiing Tours

High Peak Heliski & Clubbie Combo
5 Nights Lodging | 3 Days Heli | 2 Days Club Fields
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This deluxe package includes 3 epic days heliskiing in the Arrowsmiths + 2 days guided off-piste at the Canterbury club fields + 5 nights deluxe lodging, all ground transport, all gourmet meals, open bar...and more....
Price p/p From price based on 5-nights twin/double-share during peak season inc. 3-days heli + 2-days guided off-piste.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,837
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Harris Mountains Heliski Queenstown Wanaka
Packages from 4 to 10 runs
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Don't miss the opportunity to experience New Zealand's best heli skiing with Harris Mountains Heliski. Heli ski Queenstown and Wanaka heli ski packages are either 3, 4, 7 or 10 runs with the option to purchase additional runs on the day. Includes Queenstown or Wanaka accommodation pick-up/drop-off. Share
Price p/p From price based on Intro 4-run package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 701
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 Mega Discounts: $300 off 4 runs, $400 off 7 runs, $500 off 10 runs. Book by July 31.
Mt Cook Heli Ski Day
5 Epic Runs among New Zealand's highest peaks
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Explore the natural wonders of the Mt Cook region whilst carving some turns in pristine powder. This package includes 5 runs (option to purchase more on the day) plus lunch, avalanche safety gear & guiding. Share
Price p/p From price based on 5-run day (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 762
View Details
 Discounted to NZ$895 (25% off) if you book by July 31
See all Heli Skiing tours that visit New Zealand here