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Skiing and Snowboarding in New Zealand

While not boasting the mega-resorts of the US or Europe, New Zealand offers you a unique skiing or boarding experience. Immense views, renowned hospitality, world class facilities, terrain from beginners to just downright extreme, and often you'll have the run to yourself.

New Zealand has 12 public ski resorts along with another dozen areas operated by private clubs, and one nordic ski area (Waiorau). All but two are located on the South Island. The two North Island resorts (Whakapapa and Turoa) are New Zealand's largest ski areas, located in the center of the island on Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano.

Most Active Adventures New Zealand trips pass through Queenstown at some stage and it's here that the majority of snow fields in the South Island operate from. The two closest to town are Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. Within an easy drive you also have access to the Cardrona ski field, and Treble Cone a little further away on the other side of Wanaka.

Winter Temperatures

Winter on the Southern Hemisphere is from June to August so the ski season generally runs from mid June through the end of September. The ski area temps range from 0ºC to 10ºC (32º to 50ºF) but may get lower than this, so sweaters and warm, waterproof jackets are essential items to have with you at all times.

Image of Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, in winter in New Zealand

Haven't tried skiing or snowboarding yet?

Check out our guide for the novices on the slopes! Choose between:

The Ski Fields

For more information about the different ski fields available in New Zealand, have a look down through this list and click the name of any place you'd like more information about.

Ski Lessons, Ski Schools and Instructor training

All of the main resorts have comprehensive ski schools to cater for all ages and abilities from toddlers to ski racers. Lessons can be taken individually, as a group, and often as part of a multi-day program, or longer 'ski camp'. There are also opportunties to train as an instructor, or even as a ski patroller. SITCo, based in Queenstown, offer instructor courses and Tau Poutini Polytechnic in Wanaka offer ski patrol courses.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 reviews)

    Last 5 Days Kauri

    So much packed into just a few days. From walking to tops of (several!) mountains to floating through underground tunnels, plus geothermal springs and Maori culture. A whirlwind central North Island adventure!
    Matthew Gonser Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Kauri, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Even better than expected, and I expected a lot

    This was a truly awe inspiring trip---from the mountains to the rain forest to Milford Sound. A friend of mine advised me not to go on this trip. He said if I did, I would never have anything better to look forward to and he may have been right.
    Realizing that an extraordinary amount of work is done by the office and support staff, I still have to say that this trip would not be what it was without the guides, Nick and Tory, going above and beyond what anyone could have expected. They have got to be among the best.
    Thank you to the entire gang at Active Adventures.
    Doug Spitzenberger Review Image
    – South Dakota, United States
    Rimu, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Heaven

    Some call New Zealand home; I call it Heaven. Hiking, biking, kayaking - all with views of spectacular mountain ranges. Everything about this trip was wonderful. Now that I'm home, I'm wondering how I'll ever organize all of our photos.
    Valerie Ezrin Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Rimu, November 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1888 reviews)

    Virgin Active Adventurist-When can I do it again?!

    Fabulous trip! Not having to drive, research stops, plan activities, arrange accommodations and decide what to eat made this so relaxing, letting us enjoy every minute of every activity and even the down time! I can't wait to sign up for another trip!
    Karen Basil Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Tui, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Excellent Trip

    If you like outdoor activities this is your dream trip. The itinerary is very well planned. The scenery and landscapes are beautiful. Our guides Tia and Alex are fabulous. They are youthful, caring, knowledgeable, and extremely professional. Their hardwork made the entire trip smooth and enjoyable. Everyday is packed with interesting and exciting outdoor activities: multi-day hiking in Nelson Lake NP, kayaking in Milford Sound, biking along the shore of Wanaka Lake, and day hiking the Routeburn, Kepler, Sealy Tarns, Hooker Valley and many other beautiful short tracks in various NPs of the South Island. The group mates are very friendly and fun and the small group size made it easy to socialize. In addition, the food is healthy and very delicious. Thanks to every member of the group, in particular our great guides Tia and Alex, it is your care, warmth, encouragement, and tolerance that made this trip truly unforgettable.
    Siyuan Han Review Image
    – Kansas, United States
    Rimu, January 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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