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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.

  • Winter Rimu New Zealand Winter Adventure

    • 14 Days
    • US$4,399 + tax

    4.62 out of 5 (from 481 reviews)

    Winter Rimu

    May to September is one of the best times to explore New Zealand. Our maritime climate ensures we have relatively mild winters, we’ll almost always have the tracks to ourselves and the snow-capped mountains make an even more dramatic backdrop than in summer – and usually you can get a great deal on flights! Years ago, we adapted our signature Rimu trip to suit the cooler conditions by adding skiing and snowboarding options, along with some of the South Island’s best hikes. This adventure is the perfect excuse to escape the heat!

    Activity level: This is one of our more adventurous trips, but has options to suit a range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. Typically hikes on the ‘Winter Rimu’ range between three and six hours to complete, with a longer more challenging hike on the Copland Track.

In this section

Trip Reviews

4.50 out of 5 (from 9262 reviews)

Best trip I have ever taken

“There are many layers to this trip
1. The Group - It was really fun being in a group, and our group was really fun! Sometimes I hung out with people in my family, sometimes I hung out with someone else in the group. This variety and freedom was very enjoyable.
2. The Guides - Koru and Ash were sooo great. Koru is a polished, learned and experienced leader. Ash is a fabulous cook, so much fun, and cared about each of us on the trip.
3. The Country - Stunning! We covered so much of the South Island that we were able to see many sides of it's weather and terrain. Really great route.
4. Activities - It was great sharing a physical activity with others, something I know brings people together. Hiking was great. At the end of a long hike was a fabulous surprise, like a glacial lake with ice burgs, or a beautiful high-mountain vista, or a glo-worm tunnel. Biking was super fun, and I wish there had been one more day of it. In hind site I personally would have selected the biking 3day excursion. The kayaking was great. Heavy chop or glassy lakes, we kayaked in it.
5. Accommodations - These were just great. As nice as it can be being out in the countryside. I loved how we all ate together every meal.
5. Pace - I thought the trip was very well planned. Just when we needed a break in the beginning from jet lag, and our trip activities, a two day respite was there in Queenstown where we could recharge. I recharged and my family bungy jumped! Also, activities were structured so that the not so keen could bail out at a stopping point.”
Ginny Nayden's Review Image
– Maryland, United States
Rimu, January 2017
Read Reviews

Approx NZ flight times

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

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.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

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.

Everything is Included

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.

A Sense of Achievement

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.

Small Groups

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.

Diverse Experiences

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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