When it comes to skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand, Christchurch – Canterbury is a hotspot. Ski resorts include slopes suited to all levels, terrain parks, lessons, and back country skiing and snowboarding.
The Christchurch – Canterbury region stretches from ocean to Alps, including sweeping plains and mountain peaks. Just 1.5 hours from Christchurch, Mt Hutt boasts the longest ski season in New Zealand. Nearby Porters is home to Castle Hill, one of the top bouldering areas in the world.
With the most ski areas in the Southern Hemisphere, Canterbury's peaks are a winter playground for everyone. Go on an action-packed skiing or snowboarding holiday, or take a helicopter up to some pretty epic terrain and go heliskiing. For après snow fun, take a powder tour and stay in Methven – a town for snow sports enthusiasts looking to conquer nearby Mt Hutt.
North and central Canterbury
North and central Canterbury are home to iconic Mt Hutt, which has won New Zealand’s best ski resort every year since 2015 at the World Ski Awards. Usually opened from June to October, Mt Hutt has plenty of slopes for everyone. From July, be the first to enjoy perfectly groomed slopes from 8 to 9am with the first track passes(opens in new window). After a long day of skiing, enjoy a mulled wine or other beverages at Opuke Kai’s après-ski from 4 to 5pm. Semi backcountry skiing is also available at Rakaia Saddle Chutes. Lessons, sightseeing(opens in new window), toboggans(opens in new window), and terrain parks are also available, as well as the Alpine Spa, the highest altitude spa in New Zealand.
If you wish to ski close to Christchurch, Porters ski resort is only a 1.5-hour drive away.
Mackenzie is home to the almighty Aoraki / Mt Cook, New Zealand’s tallest mountain with snow-covered peaks. The region is filled with boutique ski fields of Roundhill, Mt Dobson and Ōhau that are bursting with Kiwi hospitality.
Ōhau ski resort offers great views over lake Ōhau. The fields are suited to beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Off the beaten track, enjoy uncrowded slopes with fresh powder snow. If you wish to stay by the slopes, you might want to book accommodation at Lake Ōhau Lodge, which has a special rate for the ski lifts.
Mt Dobson has the longest beginners slope in New Zealand and three quarters of the 400 hectares are dedicated to beginners and intermediates - so it’s a great place to start for first-time skiiers. For a more advanced and extraordinary experience, skiers can go heliskiing or ski the Tasman Glacier to experience New Zealand's longest ski runs.
Roundhill family-friendly ski area provides stunning views over the Southern Alps, Lake Tekapo / Tākapo, and Aoraki / Mt Cook. If you’re a beginner, many gentle slopes are available for you to test and refine your skiing and snowboarding skills. You might want to stay at Mantra Lake Tekapo and Peppers Bluewater, both located right by Lake Tekapo / Tākapo.
Find a ski or snowboard activity
Canterbury and Mackenzie offer incredible mountain slopes and ski packages.