Ample skiing and spectacular scenery are on offer with this 10-day itinerary through the South Island's ski fields. Follow the route in either direction and enjoy pristine snow throughout, no matter your ability.
Set against a backdrop of the Southern Alps, Christchurch is a great place to begin your ski holiday. Before heading inland to the slopes take some time to explore this fascinating city with its intriguing mix of heritage, innovation and nature.
Meander down the Avon aboard an old-fashioned punt, wander through the botanical gardens in Hagley Park or spend the day biking in the Port Hills. Further afield, Banks Peninsula is a great spot to meet friendly wildlife. Take a dolphin cruise in Akaroa or visit New Zealand's largest mainland blue penguin colony.
Get up early today for a day of skiing at Porters (60 minutes from Christchurch) or Mount Hutt (90 minutes from Christchurch).
Porter's is a small, friendly ski field tucked away in the Canterbury high country. There is terrain suitable for all abilities and magical views of Lake Coleridge from the top of the slopes. Mount Hutt’s large, sweeping open basin is oriented to the south, making it a perfect collection zone for amazing snow.
Spend the night in Methven. Over the winter months, this rustic village plays host to skiers from all over the world. Call into the Blue or Brown Pubs (they’re located opposite each other on the main street!) and enjoy a cosy night out.
Home of New Zealand's highest mountain and longest glacier.Read more
Drive south towards the expansive wilderness of the Mackenzie region. This area is most famous for being the home of Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.
The Mackenzie region is part of more than 4,300 square kilometres of sky known as Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, making it the perfect place for stargazing. Near Tekapo, the Mount John Observatory gives you the opportunity to explore this magical night sky.
Ohau caters for all abilities with a double chairlift providing access to groomed slopes. If you’re feeling a little more energetic, climb to the top of the slopes for amazing views and off-piste terrain. You're only 20 minutes away downhill to the Lodge where a hot spa and gluhwein awaits.
From Ohau, you'll travel south through the magnificent Lindis Pass to Wanaka. Situated on the edge of picturesque Lake Wanaka, the township is only 30-45 minutes away from the fantastic ski areas of Cardrona and Treble Cone.
Take some time to explore this beautiful area with a half-day cruise on the lake to Mou Waho Island or a 4WD safari tour into the Wanaka high country. For quirkiness at every turn, you can’t go past Puzzling World, with its 3D maze and the intriguing optical illusions. Enjoy your evening relaxing beside a roaring open fire at one of the excellent bars or restaurants, as the sun sets over the lake.
Spend today at Cardrona Alpine Resort, approximately 40 minutes from Wanaka.
Cardrona is characterised by wide-open basins; it features beginner trails, long blue runs and off-piste slopes, offering excitement for all. If you’re a freestyler, you're spoilt for choice with four terrain parks. There are some great kids’ programmes, with facilities to look after the tiniest tots – from 3 months of age – and the Kids Ski and Snowboard School for those up to 14 years. The resort also has a selection of cafes and restaurants, where you can kick back relax and enjoy amazing views of the slopes.
Famous for its long groomed slopes, legendary off-piste and unrivalled views.Read more
Today you head for the South Island’s largest ski field, Treble Cone. It boasts the longest vertical rise, at 700 metres, compliments of a leg-burning 4km downhill run. With two basins to explore, The Saddle and Home Basins, it's no wonder that Treble Cone has become famous for its long, uncrowded, groomed slopes.
Treble Cone’s position and elevation provide the most amazing views of Lake Wanaka. If you're a first timer on the snow, there are free ‘Nice ‘n’ Easy’ beginner surface lift tickets.
Coronet Peak is the closest ski area to Queenstown (only 25 minutes away) and it is here you can ski literally from dawn to dusk. Watch the pristine afternoon sky transform itself into glorious hues of pinks before the sun sets and the night-lights come on. There's a Park after Dark freestyle run with boxes, rails and airbag. Dine on the deck and enjoy the evening atmosphere.
*Tip: Night skiing runs on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights only.
Known for its friendly atmosphere, high altitude and north-facing sunny slopes.Read more
Finish your ski adventure on The Remarkables' amazing ski slopes. The 1.2km Curvey Basin chairlift will whisk you to the top of the mountain, even if you’re just starting out. If you’re a complete novice, the sun-drenched learners' area is the perfect place. Fancy venturing further afield? There are backcountry runs and black diamond runs to challenge the most accomplished skiers or riders. Plus, there are some awesome snow terrain parks to check out.
After a day on the slopes, there is nothing better than soaking in a hot spa or enjoy a therapeutic massage before hitting the town for the evening.
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Spend your final day exploring all that Queenstown has to offer. Take a sightseeing tour to Glenorchy or Arrowtown. Try out some of the many adventure activities available - this place is especially famous for bungy jumping and jet boating. Or simply relax in a hot pool overlooking Queenstown's stunning scenery.
Getting around New Zealand is easy with a great range of transport options available.
There are plenty of accommodation options for every budget and travel style.
No matter the season, the majority of our main attractions are open year-round.
More information on basic costs for accommodation, travel and food.