Snow, sunshine, and good times? What could be better! Nothing beats the feeling of hitting the slopes with your family and friends!
Skiing and snowboarding provide a great workout and help build strength. But even better, “the gym” is outdoors, with fresh air, huge views, and it’s fun!
Skiing and snowboarding brings families and friends together. There is always someone to share in the good times you have on the mountain!
Of course you do! Sign up for our newsletter and enter the chance to win a trip for 4 to Queenstown and Wanaka with return flights from any domestic airport in NZ courtesy of Air NZ; accommodation at Edgewater Hotel, Lake Wanaka; rental SUV and lift passes to Cardrona included!
It is hard not to be impressed by the mammoth active volcano Mt Ruapehu, and it is home to New Zealand’s two largest ski areas Whakapapa and Turoa - which are also the North Island's only commercial ski areas.
For beginners, Whakapapa’s Happy Valley is a favourite. It is New Zealand’s premier learning facility with wide gentle slopes and its own beginner’s chairlift. More confident skiers and riders are spoilt for choice with 50 groomed runs, huge snow-filled basins, chutes and secret powder stashes to explore.
Turoa ski area on the south-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu has Australasia's longest vertical descent and New Zealand's highest chairlift. With a dedicated area for beginners, Turoa is suitable for all abilities. They offer great snow school packages with instructors who are more than willing to help you improve technique or give you a guided tour.
Mt Ruapehu offers a seamless lift pass, which provides you with access to both ski areas. Both Turoa and Whakapapa offer excellent services and facilities; the only dilemma you’ll have is deciding where to explore next!
Porters is an easily accessible ski area closest to Christchurch, with a family friendly focus, great for those who are enthusiastic about experiencing the snow. Porter’s learner facilities include a Ski Mat carpet-lift which makes progression for beginners so easy. Their platter lift is a great next step up for intermediate riders to develop their skills and gain the confidence required to get to the next level.
The Porters Snow Sport School has a wide range of international and local instructors ready to help you improve your skiing or boarding. Their holiday and improvement programmes for young skiers and snowboarders are the perfect way to progress skills and technique. Whether you are learning for the first time, are feeling rusty or have some new gear to master, Porters can show you the way. A less crowded ski area means makes the learning process swifter and more enjoyable.
Porters continues to be developed to provide you with the best skiing possible in its variety of terrain. It is the ski field to keep an eye on over this winter season, providing a relaxed and fun atmosphere to experience skiing or snowboarding how you want it.
Located 20 minutes from the heart of downtown Auckland is Snowplanet - New Zealand’s only indoor all-year round snow resort.
Snow enthusiasts who can't wait for the next winter to roll around can come practice their tricks and turns in a snow village atmosphere. The options are endless with skiing, snowboarding, tubing and tobogganing available as well as a terrain park and beginner’s area. Just like being on the mountain, lessons are offered in any format such as group or private.
Gear is available to hire for affordable prices, meaning there is no excuse to not check out what this snow sport is all about. Try skiing or snowboarding at Snowplanet before tackling the real thing and you will be a pro in no time.
There's something at Cardrona for all snow lovers; beginners, intermediates and families will be in paradise thanks to an abundance of wide open trails spread across three bowls, giving you plenty to explore.
Cardrona is one of the highest ski areas in the region, with some of New Zealand's best snow conditions. Four quad chairlifts mean that they have more chairlifts than any other ski area in the South Island. Just 35 minutes from Wanaka and 60 minutes from Queenstown, Cardrona is the perfect place to head for a day of andrenaline-pumping action in the snow.
With wide open bowls spread over 75% of the terrain, Cardrona offers the perfect opportunity for beginners and intermediates to improve their skills. Those looking for a challenge will find it in ‘Arcadia’ or the ‘Tulips’ with secret powder stashes, chutes and cliff drops. With the most extensive Terrain Park & Half Pipe facilities in the Southern Hemisphere there really is something for everyone at this mountain.
Ride your skis or snowboard on the wide open slopes at Mt Dobson this season. And at the end of the run, you can ride the Doppelmayr Triple Chairlift back to the top - a great way to rest the limbs and catch your breath.
Mt Dobson offers a fun skiing and snowboarding experience for everyone - from the well groomed slopes for the beginners and intermediates through to the soft and smooth powder that will test the best. The team of international instructors will inspire you to greater heights. Plenty of parking and a daily bus makes the mountain accessible and a great option for a unique ski field experience.
With 550 hectares of inbound terrain, Treble Cone is the largest ski area in NZ’s South Island. The 700m vertical rise is the longest in the Queenstown’s Southern Lakes District, creating runs like the 4km High Street / Easy Rider leg burner.
Treble Cone Ski Resort is famous for the long un-crowded groomed slopes, accessed from the Saddle Basin and Home Basin chairlift, legendary off-piste terrain of Motatapu Chutes and Saddle Basin and unrivalled views appreciated from every aspect. Suiting all abilities, specifically intermediate to advanced, the trails complemented by spectacular views of Treble Cone are something you have to see to believe.
Treble Cone is great if you have mastered the basics and want to amp up your skiing or boarding to the next level. You can even get some park action in with the Kid's Fun Terrain Trail, new for 2013. This is a terrain park for the littlest of learners to experience park features dedicated to their ability.
Ohau in the Summer is endowed with fine weather and long daylight hours but when winter arrives it really comes to life!
The Ohau snow fields offer a relaxed and fun environment, with events being held over the entire season. If you are looking for a great Kiwi-style ski field then Ohau is the one. The reliable snow fall and social and lively atmosphere means that there is no doubt that when you leave Ohau, you will definitely be coming back.
While there, check out Ohau Lodge which is a great place not only to stay, but to base yourself so you can enjoy all the activities the region has on offer.
Roundhill is a fantastic family ski field with breathtaking views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Learners and little ones can head to the massive beginners area featuring a platter lift and 2 beginners rope tows for a fun and gentle way to find your feet in the snow.
2 T-Bars give access to loads of super wide, perfectly groomed intermediate trails with lots of natural dips and curves making for fun and interesting skiing and riding.
Roundhill is a great ski area for you to dust off the old skis or board and get back into it or get started on your skiing or snowboard journey and learn why winter will never be dull again!
Make check-ins at the airport or your accommodation easy by keeping any travel details together in one place. Use a travel wallet or even an old folder you have around home to make sure nothing gets misplaced.
Sunscreen is a definite for any snow adventurer as no one enjoys a goggle tan. Lip balm and moisturiser are other must-haves as well as a first aid kit in the car, just in case!.
When at home, pretend you are dressing for the mountain and that will help guide you with which gear you should pack. A range of thermals and ski socks will keep you warm and dry, so take plenty of these to last you for most of your ski holiday. For more info check out www.snowhq.com
Don’t forget about casual clothing either! Another warm jacket is handy to pack so you’re not in your snow jacket the whole time on and off the hill. Appropriate footwear is also important as you want shoes that aren't going to get soaked from walking around in the snow. Whatever else you pack, make sure it’s warm.
Come prepared with snacks for on and off the mountain to keep your energy up and excitement pumping throughout your holiday. Chocolate and lollies might seem like a good idea but snacking on nuts, dried fruit or natural muesli bars are better to keep your momentum going.
The mountain provides some stunning and breathtaking scenery so bring along a camera to capture this and of course some footage of you on the slopes. This means you can relive your favourite holiday memories that you don't want to forget, long after the winter has ended.
Sign up for our newsletter and enter the chance to win a trip for 4 to Queenstown and Wanaka with return flights from any domestic airport in NZ courtesy of Air NZ; accommodation at Edgewater Hotel, Lake Wanaka; rental SUV and lift passes to Cardrona included!