New Zealand offers a myriad of snow sports suited to all levels. If you love experiencing the outdoors in winter, it has everything you’re looking for.

Skiing and snowboarding

New Zealand is home to the Southern Alps and to many ski fields, offering breathtaking alpine views. Both islands have plenty of ski resorts, with slopes suited to all levels. 

North Island: 

  • Turoa Ski Area, Mount Ruapehu is a 25-minute drive from Ohakune and is home to New Zealand’s longest vertical drop of 722 metres 
  • Whakapapa Ski Area provides a unique opportunity to explore volcanic terrain while enjoying stunning views over Tongariro National Park.

South Island: 

  • The Remarkables are only a 40-minute drive from Queenstown central and offer a free style area, as well as great ski slopes for all 
  • Coronet Peak Ski Area is home to the Southern Hemisphere’s longest single-track, measuring 1200m top to bottom 
  • Cardrona Alpine Resort, located between Queenstown and Wānaka offers slopes suited to all, as well as adaptive snow sports 
  • Treble Cone is a 30-minute drive from Wānaka and is the South Island’s largest ski area with the highest vertical rise, uncrowded slopes and great off-piste terrain.  
  • Mount Hutt, located near Christchurch, has been named New Zealand’s best ski resort eight years in a row (2015-2022) with stunning views over the Canterbury plains. 

More skiing and snowboarding


Explore New Zealand’s winter landscapes snowshoeing through pristine and peaceful landscapes. This winter sport is accessible to all, with a great variety of trails and tours to choose from.  

  • Alpine Recreation(opens in new window) offers multi-day winter treks through the Southern Alps with heli-assisted options available.
  • Snow Farm offers half day or full day trail pass and rental packages that will take you through the Pisa Range, where you’ll explore beautiful snowy hills, alpine terrain, and rocky landscapes.

Dog sledding

Dog sledding in New Zealand is the perfect winter adventure if you seek to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Learn how to manoeuvre the sled and bond with the friendly huskies, while enjoying the beauty of majestic peaks and remote terrain. Over the Top Helicopters offers signature tours that include scenic flights over Lake Hayes and Arrowtown and dog sledding high country trails.  

Ice skating

Many options are available when it comes to ice skating in New Zealand. You can experience permanent indoor ice-skating rinks in Botany and Avondale in Auckland. Permanent ice rinks are also available in Queenstown(opens in new window), Christchurch,(opens in new window) Dunedin(opens in new window) (opens in new window)and just outside Wellington in Upper Hutt(opens in new window)

You may also want to keep an eye for ice rink pop-ups in winter. Options include Wellington Ice Skating Rink(opens in new window)Aotea Square Ice Rink(opens in new window) in Auckland, Taupō's Wairakei Estate Ice Rink,(opens in new window) Tekapo Springs Ice RinkAlexandra's Iceline(opens in new window) in Central Otago.

More ice-skating experiences

Ice driving

Ice driving is an exhilarating experience that will provide goosebumps to adrenaline seekers. SHPG(opens in new window) in Wanaka offers a fully catered ice-driving experience that includes the full-day driving experience, professional instruction, as well as luxury cars. Minimum numbers apply.

Heli-hiking and glacier climbing

Heli-hiking or glacier climbing will take you to remote, untouched landscapes for an experience like no other. Enjoy the helicopter ride, overlooking white breath-taking topography. Many providers offer expedition packages, including The Cool Climber and INFLITE Experiences at the Tasman glacier. If you wish to explore Franz Joseph, you might want to check Franz Josef Heli Hike and Fox It Up. For Mount Cook, check out Glentanner(opens in new window) heli-adventures for heli-hiking, heli-snowshoeing or heli-skiing.

Snowmobiling and snow biking

Snowmobiling is the perfect experience for those looking for a fun adventure while enjoying the outdoors in winter. Queenstown Snowmobiles offers heli-snowmobiling packages that will take you on a scenic flight before riding the snowmobiles. SnowMoto near Queenstown will take you on half-day, full day tours or overnight expeditions for challenging rides off the beaten paths. 

Tobogganing and sledding

Tobogganing and sledding are the perfect family-friendly winter experiences. Toboggans and sleds are available for hire in most ski areas such as Mt Ruapehu(opens in new window)Mt Hutt(opens in new window), Coronet Peak(opens in new window), (opens in new window)Treble Cone(opens in new window). You can also go down Tekapo Springs Snow Tube Park’s 150m snow slope or wonder around the Snow Farm’s snow fun zone(opens in new window).  

If you're adventurous, hire a yooner at Mt Hutt(opens in new window), to have a go at the combination of skiing and sledding. 

Cross-country skiing or nordic skiing

Snow Farm(opens in new window) in the Cardrona Valley is the only area in New Zealand dedicated exclusively to cross-country skiing, with 55km of scenic trails and half-day or full-day experiences on offer. All-inclusive cross country skiing tours are available in Lake Tekapo/Tākapo’s high country from July to September with Alpine Recreation. Note that a high level of fitness is required. 

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