New Zealand is a winter wonderland with snow experiences, world-class ski schools and ski packages in the north and south to suit every level of skier or snowboarder.
Head to the mountains for the snow or nearby towns for accommodation close to ski fields, and find transport to the slopes, relaxation and hospitality all in one place.
North Island skiing and snowboarding slopes
The North Island season starts and finishes a little later than the South Island (which starts in late June and finishes in October).
New Zealand's largest commercial ski resort Mount Ruapehu(opens in new window) is the North Island's winter drawcard, with Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas offering slopes for beginners, and more advanced skiers and snowboarders can enjoy great free ride terrain.
South Island skiing and snowboarding fields
For awesome freeriding, you can't go past Coronet Peak in Queenstown. This ski field has terrain for snowboarders of all abilities with slopes that offer both wide-open pistes and well-groomed trails. Ohau - a ski area between Christchurch and Queenstown has a great choice of steeps and excellent riding for all levels.
New Zealand skiing and snowboarding itineraries
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Tips for first time skiers and snowboarders
New Zealand is also one the best places to experience skiing for the first time. There are qualified instructors at each of the South Island's resorts that offer both group and private lessons for skiing and snowboarding. There are ski shops in Queenstown, Wanaka and Methven that rent out all the equipment you need including boots, boards, skis, clothing and helmets. Or if you prefer to get your equipment on the mountain then all the resorts have ski hire too.
Not sure what to wear? Layers are best. A base layer, mid layer and outer layer or shell are good options as you can dress up or down depending on the temperature. Thermals are a must if you feel the cold and neck warmers to protect against the wind. Don’t forget sunscreen! The UV rays reflected off the snow are almost three times as strong as those reflected at the beach.