Planning Your Ski Holiday


When heading to New Zealand for a snowboard or ski holiday, you can of course book a ski package that has everything from lift passes and mountain transport to accommodation sorted.

Book a package tour or get help from a company who’ll put together a custom-designed snow-specific package. Some good tour operators are:

New Zealand Adventure Specialists (t: +64 4 939 9323)
SkiMax Aus (Aus fp: 1300 136 997)
Ski Express (NZ fp: 0800 650 333)
Value Tours (Aus fp: 1300 361 322)

But if you prefer to be a bit 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 inexpensive and social option of taking a bus or trai,n and sit back and relax while enjoying the landscape. The country has an extensive public transport network comprising of national air, coach and train services. There are passenger and vehicle ferries crossing the Cook Strait between Wellington and Picton. Most ski areas offer mountain shuttles which run frequently during the ski season and make New Zealand ski areas easily accessible.

For maximum independence, you can rent a car or campervan. New Zealand car rental companies have desks at ferry terminals, airports and city depots around the country. Most  car hire companies don’t rent cars to those younger than 21. When travelling between the North Island and South Island, it’s a good idea to advise your car hire company about your plans, as many companies let you drop off your rental car in one island and pick up another car on the other island. Be aware though that in wintertime roads might be icy in mountainous areas, and the majority of ski field access roads always or frequently require chains, so it’s advisable to rent some to have on hand. To find out more about New Zealand transport, click here, or browse our transport listings.

New Zealand Activities

New Zealand is a top ski destination but it also has 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. The 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 here!


After a long day of skiing and après-ski partying, there’s nothing nicer than falling into bed or maybe 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 Wanaka books out regularly, especially around big events like the American Express 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 New Zealand has a great selection of mountain chalets and resorts at the foot of the mountain. To find a great place to stay while you’re here, browse our accommodation listings.