Planning your ski holiday

Ski Express New Zealand

Miles Holden

Planning your ski holiday

A New Zealand ski holiday makes for a wonderful winter escape. You can plan it yourself, or outsource the heavy lifting to a tour operator.

When heading around the country for a snowboard or ski holiday, you can book a package that sorts everything from lift passes and mountain transport to accommodation. A tour company can put together a custom-designed snow-specific package tailored for your group.

If you prefer to be a more flexible and want to put together your own New Zealand itinerary, there are some basics worth knowing.

Transport & tours

Travelling around New Zealand is easy. You can choose the environmentally-friendly and social option of taking a bus or train and sit back and relax while enjoying the landscape. Most ski areas offer mountain shuttles that run frequently during the ski season from local cities and towns, making New Zealand ski areas easily accessible.

For maximum independence, you can take your car or rent a campervan. Be aware that in winter roads might be icy in mountainous areas, especially on skifield access roads. The majority of access roads frequently require chains, so it’s advisable to rent some to have on hand, and to practice using them beforehand. Find out more about New Zealand transport or browse our transport listings.

New Zealand activities

All of the country’s top ski destinations have many other activities on offer. Whether you’re after a soak in a thermal hot spring after a morning of skiing, or a multi-day hiking adventure to complement your ski holiday package, make sure you sample some of the many outdoor activities on offer. Our temperate climate makes New Zealand the perfect place to head up the slopes for a day of snow fun and back down again for a boat cruise or wildlife encounter in the afternoon. Take a look at just some of what’s on offer to see and do!


After a long day of skiing and après-ski partying, there’s nothing nicer than falling into bed or relaxing in a hot tub with a glass of New Zealand wine. Don’t leave booking your accommodation to the last minute though, or you might find yourself without a bed! Accommodation in popular winter resorts such as Queenstown and Wānaka books out regularly, especially around big events like the Queenstown Winter Festival. You can find accommodation to suit any budget, from luxury lodges and hip hotels to budget backpackers.

For the ultimate ski holiday you might want to stay on the mountain. Club ski areas offer cosy ski huts and lodges, and some of the bigger resorts, like Cardrona, are starting to branch into on-mountain accommodation. To find a great place to stay while you're here, browse our accommodation listings.

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



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