New Zealand Ski Areas offer stunning scenery, exhilarating dry powder runs, snowboard terrain parks and pumping apres ski action. Full descriptions of New Zealand’s ski areas and heli-ski locations
Only a few minutes drive from Lake Tekapo township is the ultimate snow sport destination for the whole family. Round Hill ski field was established in 2001 as a dedicated ski field ‘For Mum, Dad and the Kids’. The field has gentle slopes, good snow cover and long undulating runs to ensure enjoyable skiing and snowboarding for all ages.
The majestic St Mary Range receives big dumps of wind-packed powder snow in southerly storms. The Waitaki Ski Club have capitalised on this by setting up the Awakino ski field on these hallowed slopes, high above the Waitaki River hydro lakes in North Otago.
A uniquely different ski field is set amongst the high peaks of a sheep station near the Rangitata Gorge in Canterbury. Mt Potts Backcountry ski field and lodge offers superb skiing and snowboarding on virgin powder slopes that can only be accessed by helicopter and snow cat.
The mountains of South Canterbury are home to a large ski field with a distinguished pedigree, and a rapidly growing fan club. Fox Peak Ski Club has the distinction of being one of the oldest clubs in New Zealand. It originated in the 1920’s as the Tasman Ski Club based at Mt Cook
High in the Two Thumb Range, 30 minutes drive from Fairlie, is a family owned and operated commercial field that becomes more popular with every season. Mt Dobson has well groomed slopes for novices and intermediates, and soft, smooth powder up to 2,046 metres to challenge the die-hard powder-pumpers.
Watch the sunrise from your room, enjoy breakfast, clip on your skis and head for the lifts. Mt Cheeseman has to be the ultimate in user-friendly club fields. You can start the day in this way at the Snowline Lodge. Ski holiday packages include bed, 3 meals, lift pass and lessons at a reasonable daily tariff. Guests assist staff with light duties.
‘The Playground of the Gods’, lies on the western flank of the Craigieburn range, where it is ideally placed for trapping powder snow dumps. Mt Olympus is a small club ski field set in a wide south-facing basin, with 60 hectares of varied terrain providing challenging runs for skiers, boarders, novices and die-hards.
The closest commercial ski field to Christchurch also boasts the steepest downhill run in New Zealand. Porter Heights is a mecca for serious powder hounds who rave about the challenging steeps of Big Mama and Bluff Face, dropping an awesome 670 vertical metres.
The greatest variety of skiing in New Zealand is found in the Canterbury region, with four commercial and six club fields, including an area that is arguably the best ski field in the Southern Hemisphere. Mt Hutt is simply awesome, enjoying the longest and most consistent season in New Zealand - from early June to October.