One of the key attractions that New Zealand has to offer for thousands of annual visitors is its exceptional ski resorts. The combination of crisp mountain air, sunny days and unbeatable views, not to mention superb after-ski leisure activities, is simply irresistible. If you have never traveled to New Zealand before but are keen to get in on the action, here are the key points you should know about New Zealand skiing.
New Zealand is split into five international ski areas, and has also become the largest heli-skiing area outside of North America. The South Island boasts Lake Wanaka, widely regarded as one of the most exciting places to experience skiing or snowboarding on the South Island. Within Lake Wanaka there are three ski areas that are regarded as being world class: Snow Farm, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone. As well as these locations, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables mountain range are less than an hour away.
The available options include family-friendly skiing, overseen by fully experienced instructors, gentle cross-country touring, or for the more intrepid skiers, white-knuckle rides off-piste. Whatever your choice of winter pursuit, there are various booking options. There are passes that will give you the flexibility to visit several areas, with one particular eight ski pass enabling participants to ski across a massive 2,200 hectares of lift-serviced ski terrain. In addition, these passes also grant the holders admission to various other attractions.
Cardrona Alpine Resort
A short 30-minute drive from Wanaka, Cardrona is ideal for both beginners or intermediate-level skiers. As well as boasting on-site accommodation, there is also a skiing and snowboarding school. Cardrona is known as New Zealand's best skiing resort for kids.
Snow farm offers New Zealand's only cross-country slopes, catering for skiers of every level. There is also on site accommodation.
Also a short distance from Wanaka, Treble Cone's skiing areas are traditionally less-crowded than other resorts. Its off-piste terrain is exceptional, as are the views. It also boasts the longest vertical rise to be found anywhere in the southern lakes.
When they are not doubling up as spectacular scenery in the Lord of the Rings films, the Remarkables, a mere 60-minute jaunt from Wanaka, are a terrific choice for fledgling skiers, youngsters and entire families. The resort has a terrific relaxed atmosphere and guarantees a truly alpine experience.
This resort provides fantastic downward slopes for all levels of skier. In addition, after the skis have been stacked away at the close of the day, the entertainment is fantastic, with regular live music.