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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
    • South Island
    • US$4599 + tax

    4.64 out of 5 (from 556 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.

Trip Reviews

  4.52 out of 5 (from 4879 reviews)

Perfect Trip for anyone who loves Nature!

If you enjoy being outdoors and like to challenge yourself this trip is for you. I wasn't an avid hiker before signing up for the Rimu trip but after reading the itinerary I knew I couldn't pass up this amazing opportunity. You never know what you are capable of until you try and that is how I feel after climbing up to the Angelus Hut and hiking to Mueller ridge. I had never climbed a mountain before (since there are no mountains where I live) but the views are more than worth the climb.
This trip is the best way to see all that the South Island has to offer, it is the perfect balance between adventure, relaxation, self-exploration, and cultural immersion. Anyone can go to New Zealand and rent a car and go hiking, biking, and Kayaking; however, they will miss out on the best parts of traveling to a new place and that is the knowledge and culture that only someone who lives there would know. The guides (Tory and Vanessa) were awesome! Tory is an amazing cook, and Ness was great at making jokes and keeping the atmosphere cheery during the longer drives. I loved listening to the guides tell us about the Maori people and the local legends or folklore. I actually thought Ness was lying to me when she would tell me that the views get better after being left speechless by the scenery, but every day was better than the previous!
I have to mention the FOOD!!! The food alone is enough for me to sign up for this trip again. When I travel I don’t always know what the local food is or would be but with this trip the guides cook you all sorts of local food and all the food is fresh and delicious. If you don’t like something they will make sure to accommodate you.
Ness and Tory made you feel like this was a trip among friends and family, not strangers. I will come back to New Zealand again!
Brian Heinz Review Image
– Wisconsin, United States
Rimu, May 2017
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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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