Snow Joke! Aotearoa New Zealand is the Coolest Place to Be This Ski Season

Snow Joke! Aotearoa New Zealand is the Coolest Place to Be This Ski Season

As Australia slowly, but surely, creeps closer and closer to winter, all anyone is thinking about is when we can hit the ski slopes. With so much beauty and many lush snow-filled mountains, it’s no wonder that people flock to New Zealand to hit the slopes and ski their winter blues away.

Sure, we have some incredible places to ski here in Australia, but our mates across the Tasman have some incomparable slopes to hit this winter.

Luckily for you, Tourism New Zealand has taken the guesswork out of trying to figure out where the best places to ski and snowboard are in Aotearoa, so let’s dive right in. Or should I say, ski right in? No? Okay, moving on.

When does the 2023 ski season start in Aotearoa New Zealand?

ski new zealand
Image: Supplied

Similar to Australia’s ski season, New Zealand’s 2023 season obviously kicks off in winter, duh.

Interestingly, the New Zealand ski season is one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere which will usually kick off in the middle of June and end in October.

According to Tourism New Zealand, both the North and Sound Islands offer a wide range of resorts fit with world-class runs that will suit any skill level.

So whether you’re a novice or shred snow like no tomorrow, there’s a place for you.

Best places to ski and snowboard in Aotearoa, according to Tourism New Zealand

Here are just a few of the best places to ski and snowboard in Aotearoa, according to Tourism New Zealand.

All synopses are provided by Tourism New Zealand. 

Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehi

Image: Supplied

Situated across the vast volcanic terrain of Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa Ski Area offers snow-filled experiences for all skill levels set among the spectacular views of Tongariro National Park.

With over 550 hectares to explore, Whakapapa is one of New Zealand’s largest ski areas, with visitors able to enjoy the season up until mid-October. The ski area is home to the world-class beginner facility Happy Valley, alongside an array of intermediate and advanced trails that are set to challenge any snow pro.

After a tiring day of hitting the slopes, visitors to Whakapapa can kick back and relax at New Zealand’s highest café at Knoll Ridge Chalet.

Mt Hutt Ski Area, Ōtautahi Christchurch 

Voted as New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort eight years in a row (2015-22), Mt Hutt Ski Area boasts wide open terrain for all ability levels.

A 35-minute drive from the scenic town of Methven, the mountain is one of the largest and highest ski areas in the South Island and offers 360-degree views over the Canterbury Plains.

Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned skier/snowboarder, there are plenty of runs and trails to tackle for a true alpine experience.

Roundhill Ski Area, Waitaha Canterbury 

Located in the heart of the Mackenzie District in the Canterbury region, Roundhill is a family-owned and operated ski resort.

Visitors can bask in the shadow of Aoraki Mt Cook as they traverse the mixed terrains, all of which are accessible by the mountain’s six ski lifts. The ski area offers something for everyone, from a super wide, gentle pitch for beginners to a number of intermediate trails set among wide open spaces and thrilling natural landscapes.

If steep and deep is more your speed, check out The Heritage Express Rope Tow, 1440m long with a 632m vertical rise that peaks at 2133m, before barrelling down the mountainside as you overlook the towering Southern Alps and crystal-clear waters of Lake Tekapo – a must-see on a bluebird day!

The Remarkables, Tāhuna Queenstown 

While visitors might be spoilt for choice when it comes to a snow trip in Aotearoa New Zealand’s South Island, The Remarkables remain a must-do!

Just a 40-minute drive from central Queenstown, the ski resort is known for its friendly atmosphere. The Remarkables features a dedicated space for those just beginning their ski/snowboarding journey as well as fun freestyle parks, and freeride ungroomed natural terrain for the off-piste pros. Can it get any more remarkable?

The mountain promises stunning mountainous views and offers visitors exciting, high-altitude fun on sun-drenched slopes.

Tūroa, Mt Ruapehu

ski new zealand
Image: Supplied

Situated on the southwestern slopes of Mt Ruapehu, Tūroa Ski Field is home to the nation’s longest vertical drop at 722m.

The mountain’s High Noon Express chair lift helps visitors ascend to the highest lifted point in Aotearoa New Zealand where you’re able to bask in panoramic views of the North Island.

The natural landscapes of Tūroa Ski Field challenge skiers and snowboarders alike with the area offering plenty of gullies, drops, natural hits, wide trails and world-class terrain parks.

Best ski resorts to stay at and when

Ski resorts in the North Island:

Ski resorts in the South Island:

  • Cardrona Ski Resort, Wanaka – 17 June to 22 October 
  • Treble Cone, Wanaka – 24 June to 24 September 
  • The Remarkables, Queenstown – 16 June to 8 October 
  • Coronet Peak, Queenstown – 16 June to 24 September 
  • Mt Hutt, Methven – 9 June to 15 October 
  • Roundhill, Lake Tekapo – 23 June to 10 September 

And there you have it, the best places to ski and snowboard in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Don’t forget to pack your ski goggles!

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