Top 10 Winter Experiences

New Zealand’s mountains come alive with skiers and snowboarders in winter, and the crisp days are perfect for walking, cycling and soaking in hot pools.

Ski on a volcano

On the flanks of Mt Ruapehu - an active volcano on New Zealand's North Island - you'll find Whakapapa and Tūroa ski resorts. Boasting some of the country’s biggest ski runs, there's also a dedicated ski area for beginners. Take a lesson on the sheltered slopes of Happy Valley or go sledding for some guaranteed fun. 

Relax in a bubbling hot pool

Soak your muscles in one of many hot pools found around New Zealand. Relax on the tranquil shores of Lake Rotorua at the Polynesian Spa or bathe in heated glacial waters at Tekapo Springs. And the views from Queenstown's Onsen Hot Pools are hard to beat!

Get your pulses racing

The home of adventure, you can bungy, skydive and zipline your way across New Zealand. For something truly unique, experience WildWire in Wanaka - the ultimate waterfall adventure. Or take an exhilerating jet boat ride in Queenstown for a spectacular journey deep into the heart of Mt Aspiring National Park.

Visit the iconic Huka Falls

Feel the thundering roar of 220,000 litres of water squeezing its way through a slim ravine at Huka Falls in Taupō, just two hours from Mt Ruapehu. The Falls are one of New Zealand’s most popular natural attractions and can be viewed from a vantage point on the footbridge or on a thrilling jet boat ride.

Put on your walking shoes

Walking and hiking is the best way to see New Zealand's beautiful landscapes whether it's a short walk or longer hike. Check out waterfalls and lava fields on Ruapehu's Taranaki Falls Track or take in the panoramic views from Queenstown's Hill Time Walk. If staying near Mt Hutt, check out the Rakaia Gorge Walkway.

Enjoy apres-ski

When the sun goes down, there's nothing better than unwinding by a fire or over a tasty meal. After a hard day at Mt Hutt, head to the lively town of Methven, where you'll find great Kiwi hospitality. Or if you're in Queenstown, you'll find cosy pubs next door to fun ice bars.

Ski and snow board in the dark

If skiing uncrowded slopes, watching the sun set from a snowy peak or simply enjoying a drink by the fire sounds like fun, night skiing is for you. Most New Zealand ski fields open late on the weekends, allowing you to explore during the day and ski by night.

Gaze at the twinkling stars

With dark, clear skies, stargazing in New Zealand is a magical experience. Take a tour with  Earth & Sky in Tekapo or Big Sky Stargazing at Aoraki Mt Cook Village and gaze into space through powerful telescopes. 

Cycle one of many trails

With accessible riding trails and tracks near most cities and towns, there's no better way to take in the scenery than by bike. Discover Queenstown's highlights on the Queenstown Cycle Trail, witness ever-changing countryside on Ruapehu's Mountains to Sea cycle trail.

Visit an historic hotel

Step back into the timeless elegance of the 1930s with high tea at the grand Chateau Tongariro Hotel in Ruapehu. Nibble petite cakes and savouries while admiring breath-taking views of Tongariro National Park, then venture outside to explore it on a short walk. If staying on the South Island, the Cardrona Hotel near Wanaka is a famous apres-ski stop-off.

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