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New Zealand Ski Resorts

You may be surprised to learn that New Zealand also has a winter season and its own Alps, the Southern Alps, as well as many other high mountains where you can ski and snowboard from June to October. In total, there are 39 ski resorts in our country, most of which are located on the South Island. The most famous of these are: The Remarkables (Queenstown), Coronet Peak (Queenstown), Cardrona (between Queenstown and Wanaka), Treble Cone (Wanaka), Mt Hutt (Christchurch). The main ski resorts on the North Island are Whakapapa and Turoa, located on different slopes of the same volcano - Ruapehu. We will tell you about these seven ski resorts in today's review, but before we start describing each specific resort, we will make a few important remarks about the features of skiing in New Zealand in general.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.

Things to keep in mind when skiing in New Zealand:

  1. Hotel location: Unlike some ski resorts in other countries, hotels in New Zealand are not typically located directly on the ski slopes. Skiers will need to transport their equipment to the slopes daily from the nearest town, which is usually located a few tens of kilometers from the lifts. You can get there by your own car or by shuttle. It is important to note that your car must have all-wheel drive or chains on the wheels. Otherwise, you may simply not be allowed on the mountain and will have to switch to a shuttle.

  2. Accommodation: Hotels near ski resorts should be booked in advance, as it can be extremely difficult to find a room at an affordable price during the season.

  3. Ski passes: If you plan to ski at different ski resorts in the same region, such as Queenstown, you can purchase a combo ski pass that is valid at all of these resorts and save money.

  4. Equipment rental: Ski equipment can be rented both at the ski resort itself and in the shops of the resort towns and hotels. Of course, the price can play a decisive role, but you also need to think about time: selecting equipment and the procedure for renting it will take from 20 minutes to an hour. This precious time will have to be deducted from your skiing time if you rent equipment at the resort. Perhaps this argument will outweigh the argument in favor of renting equipment in the city on the eve of the first day of skiing.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.

Coronet Peak (Queenstown, South Island)

World ranking: 3.3 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 420 meters (1229 m - 1649 m)

Length of trails: 40 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 4

Season: Mid-June to mid-September

Night skiing: Yes

Coronet Peak ski resort is located near the towns of Arrowtown and Queenstown. The resort has four main lifts with a total capacity of 8200 passengers per hour, as well as three people mover belts and one children's belt.

Of the 40 kilometers of trails, 8 km are easy, 16 km are intermediate, and 16 km are for professionals. All 100% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The resort has a ski school and night skiing is available on Fridays and Saturdays (from 4pm to 9pm). The resort offers a variety of activities in addition to skiing and snowboarding, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and tubing.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
Coronet Peak Ski Resort

Cardrona (Queenstown, Wanaka, South Island)

World ranking: 3.3 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 600 meters (1260 m - 1860 m)

Length of trails: 40 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 5

Season: Late June to early October

Night skiing: No

This ski resort is located between the two main towns in the region - Queenstown (58 km to the lifts) and Wanaka (34 km to the lifts). The nearest hotel is located in the same village of Cardrona before the ascent to the mountain (15 km to the lifts). You can also stay in the town of Arrowtown (45 km to the lifts).

It is in Cardrona (before the ascent to the mountain) that the famous bra fence is located (a campaign against breast cancer). There is also a whiskey distillery here.

Of the 40 kilometers of trails, 9 km are easy, 20 km are intermediate, and 11 km are for professionals. Part of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The resort has five main lifts with a total capacity of 9950 passengers per hour, as well as three children's belts. There is a ski school. The resort offers a variety of activities in addition to skiing and snowboarding, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and tubing.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
Cardrona Ski Resort

Treble Cone (Wanaka, South Island)

World ranking: 3.0 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 700 meters (1260 m - 1960 m)

Length of trails: 22 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 3

Season: Late June to early October

Night skiing: No

Treble Cone is located near the resort town of Wanaka on the lake of the same name. It is the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park with a large number of hiking trails.

Of the 22 kilometers of trails, 4 km are easy, 9 km are intermediate, and 9 km are for professionals. Only 10% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The resort has three main lifts with a total capacity of 4520 passengers per hour, as well as one children's belt. There is a ski school. The resort offers a variety of activities in addition to skiing and snowboarding, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and heli-skiing.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
Treble Cone Ski Resort

The Remarkables (Queenstown, South Island)

World ranking: 2.9 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 357 meters (1586 m - 1943 m)

Length of trails: 10 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 4

Season: Late June to mid-October

Night skiing: No

The Remarkables ski resort is located 25 kilometers from the adventure capital of Queenstown, in the mountains of the same name. The local trails offer stunning views of Lake Wakatipu, the third largest lake in New Zealand. The resort has four main lifts with a total capacity of 9200 passengers per hour and 3 people mover belts.

The total length of the trails is 10 kilometers, of which 3 kilometers are easy trails, 4 kilometers are intermediate, and 3 kilometers are for advanced skiers and snowboarders. 40% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The resort offers a variety of activities in addition to skiing and snowboarding, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and paragliding.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
The Remarkables Ski Resort

Mt Hutt (Christchurch, South Island)

World ranking: 3.2 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 648 meters (1438 m - 2086 m)

Length of trails: 40 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 3, helicopter drops are available

Season: Mid-June to mid-October

Night skiing: No

Most of the Canterbury region is a flat plain, but there are mountains here too. Mt Hutt ski resort is located 114 km from Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island. The nearest town is Methven, 26 kilometers from the lifts.

The total length of the trails is 40 kilometers, of which 10 kilometers are easy trails, 20 kilometers are intermediate, and 10 kilometers are for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The longest run is 2 kilometers long. Some of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The trails are served by 3 lifts with a total capacity of 5900 passengers per hour and 2 children's belts. The resort has a ski school. The resort offers a variety of activities in addition to skiing and snowboarding, such as snowshoeing, ice skating, and heli-skiing.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
Mt Hutt Ski Resort

Whakapapa (Whakapapa Village, Tongariro National Park, North Island)

World ranking: 3.1 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 670 meters (1630 m - 2300 m)

Length of trails: 44 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 8

Season: Mid-June to late October

Night skiing: No

Whakapapa resort, located near the village of the same name (7 km from the lifts), is relatively close to New Zealand's largest metropolis, Auckland (350 km), which makes it particularly popular in New Zealand. The Ruapehu volcano, on whose slopes the resort is located, is an active supervolcano. However, the last eruption attempt was in 1996, when it frightened residents of nearby towns with an ash plume. The lava did not flow then, and there was no eruption as such.

Whakapapa is a family-friendly and beginner-friendly resort. There is a so-called Happy Valley with its own lift and children's belt. A ski school is open on the territory of Happy Valley.

Of the 44 kilometers of trails, 2 km are easy, 28 km are intermediate, and 14 km are for professionals. The longest run is 4 km long. 20% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The resort has 8 main lifts with a total capacity of 13505 passengers per hour and 4 children's belts.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
Whakapapa Ski Resort

Turoa (Ohakune Village, Tongariro National Park, North Island)

World ranking: 2.9 out of 5 according to Skiresort.info

Vertical drop: 722 meters (1600 m - 2322 m)

Length of trails: 20 km

Trail difficulty: All levels, from green to black

Number of lifts: 7

Season: Mid-June to mid-November

Night skiing: No

Turoa ski resort is located on the opposite side of Mount Ruapehu from Whakapapa. The weather on these two neighboring resorts can sometimes vary considerably. Turoa's slopes are more suitable for advanced skiers and snowboarders than Whakapapa's slopes.

Of the 20 kilometers of trails, 3 km are easy, 7 km are intermediate, and 10 km are for professionals. The longest run is 4 km long. Only 10% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons. The resort has 7 main lifts with a total capacity of 10840 passengers per hour and 1 children's belt.

Tongariro National Park, where Turoa and Whakapapa resorts are located, has many hiking trails of varying difficulty and length, including the famous Tongariro Crossing trek.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.
Turoa Ski Resort

All ski resorts in New Zealand have their own websites with detailed information about nearby hotels, transportation, and live webcam feeds of the slopes. You can also buy ski passes online to avoid queues upon arrival.

New Zealand Ski Resorts. Tours to New Zealand. Guide in New Zealand.

For lovers of freeriding and heli-skiing, we recommend using the services of Alpine Heliski, which operates in the South Island in the regions of Queenstown, Wanaka, and Mount Cook.


We hope you will have a fantastic skiing experience in New Zealand!

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