Rainbow Ski Area

Rainbow Ski Area

Rainbow Ski Area

Less than two hours’ drive from Nelson or Blenheim, Rainbow overlooks Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park.

The views from the top are spectacular. Wide, uncrowded slopes and groomed trails provide superb terrain for beginners and intermediates, while advanced skiers can challenge themselves in the high powder runs and chutes.

Read more for the latest season info on skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand

Being close to Nelson, the country’s sunshine capital, Rainbow generally has a good record of bluebird days. The excellent snowsports school operates seven days a week throughout the season, and is ready to help you improve your skiing or snowboarding skills. The nearby village of St Arnaud provides a range of accommodation options for those wanting to stay close to the mountain. On-field, the Rainbow Café offers a range of tempting hot meals. Full equipment rental, clothing hire and sales are also available.

Quick Facts

  • Where 100km from Nelson and Blenheim
  • Board Uncrowded green, blue and black runs, terrain park with its own tow
  • Season July – October
  • Access road 12km sealed, carry chains, shuttles available
  • Ratings Beginner 25%, intermediate 55%, advanced 20%


  • Highest point 1,760m
  • Vertical 218m
  • Skiable area 300ha
  • Lifts T-bar, intermediate platter, learners’ tow, terrain park tow, off-piste access tow
  • On-field ski/board hire Yes
  • Lift passes $95 adults, $48 kids, discounts for half days, students and seniors, under 7s free
  • Tuition Yes
  • Package deals Families and/or multi-day
  • On-mountain accommodation No


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