Looking for the inside scoop/latest slope action on New Zealand ski fields? Destination-NZ has done the hard yards compiling the ultimate guide to skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand. Here you’ll find the lowdown on every New Zealand ski area along with their trail maps, ratings, accommodation options and what to expect on the mountain – plus heli-skiing – for all you skiers and snowboarders. Travelling to another New Zealand ski region or coming from overseas specifically to ski or board? No worries; whether you’re headed to Queenstown, Wanaka, Canterbury or Mount Ruapehu, Destination-NZ has you covered with New Zealand ski destination information and winter events.
If you’re used to Northern Hemisphere winters, remember that New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere and the ski season is the other way around, running from around June till early October. New Zealand spring skiing is always a big draw, as great snow combined with warmer air temperatures makes for an awesome day on the slopes. Another major difference is that many (although not all) ski areas don’t have accommodation on the field itself. This means you’ll typically be driving up the mountain each day – or catching a shuttle bus. It may not be what you’re used to, but it means you can ski a different mountain each day if you like – another bonus is having all the restaurants and bars of a buzzing winter resort to choose from! You’ll also be able to mix up your skiing or boarding with other activities; depending on which fields you decide to visit, you’ll also be handy to everything from wine tasting to whale watching, bungy jumping or even surfing!.
Where to Ski in NZ
The variety of skiing and snowboarding packed into New Zealand is unbelievable. Whether you spend your days skiing or boarding a world-class mountain resort, hitting the terrain park or hiking through the forest to an amazing club field (not just for members – anyone is welcome!), you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Broken River Ski Area [Canterbury] Wide slopes, rolling bowls and steep chutes alongside a terrain park offer great skiing and riding. The backcountry run down Allan’s Basin ending in the car park is the ultimate finish to your day.
Cardrona Alpine Resort [Southern Lakes] Cardrona Alpine Resort is an incredible playground for freestylers. Slope facilities include terrain parks, a gravity-cross course, half-pipes and wide-open groomed trails.
Coronet Peak [Southern Lakes] Night-skiing and First Tracks at Coronet Peak ensure Coronet Peak has long daily operating hours. Snowboarders relish the natural features to hit, while skiers love the rolling terrain and gullies.
Craigieburn Valley [Canterbury] This off-piste alpine playground offers steep narrow chutes, wide open powder bowls and uncrowded runs for intermediate and advanced, plus a ‘suicidal’-rated triple black diamond descent!
Fox Peak Ski Area [Mackenzie] Big, wide open faces and fabulous hidden basins, plus a park for beginners. Over half of Fox Peak consists of long, adventurous blue runs and you’ll also find a cosy 40-bed backpacker lodge.
Hanmer Springs Ski Area [Canterbury] Club ski area with learners’ slopes and off-piste challenges. Snowboarders find natural and groomed pipe riding and there is on-field backpacker accommodation as well as ski and snowboard hire.
Manganui Ski Area [Taranaki] Taranaki’s only ski area has two natural half-pipes offering great snowboarding and awesome terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers. Head down after a day’s boarding and go surfing!
Mount Cheeseman [Canterbury] The closest club ski area to Christchurch has great park features and extensive backcountry skiing. Mount Cockayne offers challenging off-piste and stunning views of the Craigieburn Range.
Mount Dobson Ski Area [Mackenzie] Famous for all-day sunshine, Mount Dobson also has a large learner and intermediate area, advanced runs with miles of untracked powder, and a natural half-pipe.
Mount Hutt [Canterbury] Long runs in a mix of terrain, a well-developed trail network, 10,000 m² terrain park, triple black diamond runs, steep chutes and excellent facilities.
Mount Lyford [Canterbury] The Wild Ride Terrain Park, suitable for all abilities, plus advanced skiing in the Terako Basin make for great snow days. Mount Lyford is also ideal for race training. Stay the night in a rustic log chalet.
Mount Olympus [Canterbury] Mount Olympus has chutes, steeps and open faces for skiers plus huge natural terrain park. The on-mountain lodge (with a chef and a hot tub overlooking the slopes!) adds to the social atmosphere.
Ohau Snow Fields [Mackenzie] Home to the famous Ohau Snowball event, Ohau features a snow mat for learners and exciting terrain in superb powder areas for intermediates/advanced. Awesome off-piste bowls and chutes.
Porters [Canterbury] Excellent snow sports school. Advanced skiers and boarders love the legendary Bluff Face and Big Mama runs. Snowboarders can practise their tricks in the terrain park. Heli skiing by arrangement.
Rainbow Ski Area [Nelson] Wide, uncrowded slopes, groomed trails, a terrain park and high-powder runs and chutes provide superb terrain for all levels. Spectacular views across Lake Rotoiti and Nelson Lakes National Park!
Roundhill Ski Area [Mackenzie] Smooth, wide trails for beginners and intermediates, and advanced terrain for experts. Central Park features rails, boxes and jumps. Park in the sun on the slopes and bring your BBQ!
Snow Farm Ski Area [Southern Lakes] First-class cross-country skiing (day and night!) on more than 50 kilometres of groomed trails. Also tubing, sledding, snowshoeing and two backcountry huts for overnight trips.
Temple Basin [Canterbury] Temple Basin, in the heart of Arthur’s Pass National Park, is accessible by a 50-minute scenic walk. Floodlit night-skiing, a huge natural terrain park and modern lodges just metres from the lifts.
The Remarkables [Southern Lakes] Fun, families and freestyle. Catering for learners and intermediates, The Remarkables offers awesome backcountry trails and three terrain parks including The Stash Burton Park.
Treble Cone Ski Area [Southern Lakes] The South Island’s largest ski area offers congestion-free slopes for all abilities; from beginners’ slopes and wide groomed trails through to free-riding terrain.
Tukino Ski Field [Central North Island] Uncrowded club ski field nestled on Mount Ruapehu and sheltered from wind. Snowboarders, alpine climbers and skiers all flock here. On-field accommodation.
Turoa Ski Area [Central North Island] New Zealand’s highest ski area has three main off-piste areas and a four-kilometre run plus three all-level terrain parks. Skiers love Turoa’s snow-filled bowls and steep chutes.
Whakapapa Ski Area [Central North Island] New Zealand’s largest developed ski area has all the amenities of an international resort. 35 groomed trails, off-piste terrain for intermediates and advanced, tobogganing and tubing.