The weather is cooling down which means the time for beach holidays is coming to an end. The good news, however, is that with winter comes ski season.
With the Trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand opening on April 19, it’s the perfect time to visit our neighbours and enjoy their spectacular snow season.
So, what do you need to know about planning a ski trip in New Zealand?
When is ski season in New Zealand?
Typically the ski season in New Zealand runs from June to mid-October.
This may vary depending on the ski resort so make sure you check out each field’s dates before booking your trip. You can see a list of 2021 ski field dates here.
Where to go skiing?
There is no shortage of places to go skiing or snowboarding in New Zealand. The country has an abundance of mountains which provide excellent ski slopes and the choice really comes down to what you want out of your holiday.
New Zealand Ski Packages has a couple of recommendations based on experience level and price. Here are some options:
- For families – Cardrona Alpine Resort
- To experience the alpine resort town vibe – Queenstown (Coronet Peak and The Remarkables)
- For advanced skiers – Treble Cone
- To avoid crowds – Mt Hutt
- Best views – The Remarkables
- Least expensive ski resort – Mt Hutt
All these ski resorts are located on the South Island so you’ll want to book a flight into Christchurch or Queenstown.
What you’ll need
Ski holidays are a blast but they require a bit of planning to go smoothly.
For starters, you’re going to need ski equipment. If you’re not a frequent skier or snowboarder it probably isn’t worth forking out hundreds of dollars for one holiday. That’s why ski fields offer equipment for hire.
When renting equipment you’ll typically need to hire skis and/or snowboard and boots at the minimum. You might also want to consider a helmet and ski poles.
Ski equipment hire is typically charged per day and you can rent either from the resort on the mountain or in the local town.
You also don’t want to forget ski clothes. You’re gonna need ski pants, jackets, gloves and goggles. Most of the time this can be rented or bundled at the same time as you hire your ski equipment.
You can also choose to invest in your own ski clothes if renting doesn’t appeal to you. Just remember you have to fit it in your bag!
Where things get pricy are ski passes. You’ll need to purchase a ski or lift pass to access the slopes at any of the ski resorts. These vary depending on how many days you need and which resort you’re visiting but can range anywhere from $40-$150 per day.
Alongside the normal things like accommodation and dining, you’ll also want to consider hiring a car during your trip to get you up and down the mountain. If you do that, make sure you’re aware of how to drive in icy conditions.
If you’d rather not drive yourself, most ski resorts offer shuttle bus services, but be aware that’ll also cost you.
Lastly, if you’ve never skied before or just need a refresher, consider booking some ski lessons at your chosen ski field during your trip.
There’s a lot to consider when planning a ski trip, but New Zealand is no doubt one of the best places to do it. If you’re looking for other recommendations for your ski trip, or just where to go in New Zealand check out the Tourism New Zealand website.