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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

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Loved it!

    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and felt we saw and experienced much of the island. Ben and Emma were exceptional guides: friendly, fun, knowledgeable, and hard working! We were celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary with this trip and they went out of their way to make it even more special. The sites were amazing and to top it off we had outstanding weather.
    Bonnie Mastolier Review Image
    – Alaska, United States
    Rimu, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 reviews)

    Truly the trip of a lifetime!

    The trip was everything we wanted it to be: We went beyond the tour bus stops to explore the true New Zealand wilderness. Our guides approached every day with good humor and great energy, making every day physically challenging and fun. We can't wait to get out there again.
    Jennifer Johnston Review Image
    – Tennessee, United States
    Rimu, March 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Perfect amount of adventure

    From gazing upon Franz Josef Glacier to biking along Hawea Lake Trail, to gliding on calm waters in Milford Sound, it's been a most memorable adventure! Our guides Tess and Amanda were a great duo! I loved that it was just enough activity without being sore while still being able to see so much of South Island.
    Grace Zheng Review Image
    – Hawaii, United States
    Tui, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4984 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 Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Rimu, January 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Tui May 1, 2017

    Trip of a lifetime. The guides were outstanding, accommodations were excellent. Great food... we even had a picnic!
    Donna Diaz Review Image
    – Pennsylvania, United States
    Tui, May 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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