It’s that time of the year again – snow and ski season! The snow has been steadily accumulating at our treasured ski fields and the snow sports enthusiasts are once again flocking to the mountains. New Zealand is one of the premier ski and snowboard regions in the Southern Hemisphere, thanks to its natural beauty and excellent resorts. If you’re not familiar with our ski fields, today’s post will help you decide where to plan your next visit!
With a name like “The Remarkables” you know you won’t be let down! Nestled on north-facing slopes of the Remarkables mountain range just outside of Queenstown, this ski field is a favourite among beginners and families. In 2015, construction of a new base facility was completed. This beautiful building overlooks the beginner’s slopes, so parents can observe their children’s lessons while enjoying a cuppa. The ski field is home to three terrain parks, suitable for snowboarders of all abilities, and varied terrain so more seasoned skiers and snowboarders will find plenty of challenges.
Also located a short drive from Queenstown, Coronet Peak is home to New Zealand’s largest snowmaking system, which ensures a long ski and snowboard season on this mountain. From early June until late September, skiers and snowboarders of all levels can enjoy the 280-hectares of varied terrain. While Coronet Peak has plenty of options for beginners and a great children’s ski program, it also has plenty of challenging runs and terrain for experienced skiers and boarders. On the weekend, the slopes are lit up by a powerful light system, allowing you to pack in a full day and experience the slopes at night.
Located close to Queenstown and Wanaka, Cardrona is the largest ski field in the area. In addition to being New Zealand’s most visited ski field, Cardrona has another claim to fame – it is home to New Zealand’s first “chondola”! This innovative combo of chairs and gondola cabins means that everyone can get up the mountain quickly and safely. Thanks to the chondola, skiers and riders of all levels can get to the top of the mountain on day one because there is no need to master a chairlift first! While great for beginners, Cardrona is famous for it’s more challenging and diverse terrain, which has helped it attract enthusiasts from all over the world. Cardrona has a massive terrain park that attracts Olympic and X Games athletes, so you never know who you’ll be rubbing shoulders with at Cardrona!
Located just outside of Wanaka, Treble Cone offers long, challenging runs and access to world-class backcountry terrain for more experienced skiers and riders. Spread across two basins, Treble Cone is the largest ski field on the South Island. The resort has recently developed a more extensive beginner’s area to ensure that guests of all abilities can enjoy the area. Treble Cone boasts incredible views over Lake Wanaka and across to Mount Aspiring, which is sure to add to the pure thrill of zooming down these slopes.
Located in the Canterbury region, Mt Hutt is known for its snow – it receives about 4m of snow per year, which is more than other large ski fields on the South Island. It’s fortunate to receive an abundant amount of natural snow each year. The natural snow combined with a powerful snow system, means that Mt Hutt enjoys one of the longest ski season in New Zealand. The resort tends to be relatively uncrowded and caters to skiers and riders of all levels. The terrain is varied and the whole mountain has a backcountry feel to it, with plenty of off-piste runs to enjoy. With Christchurch about 1.5 hours away, most visitors tend to stay in Methven while they enjoy Mt Hutt.
For much of its history, Roundhill was a small ski area on top of a rounded mountain top (hence the name). Essentially a large, gently-sloping dome, Roundhill was the perfect place to learn how to ski and master your skills. In 2010, a massive renovation connected the original ski area to a massive adjoining mountain face. The new area boasts the largest vertical drop in New Zealand and offers challenging runs to intermediate and advanced skiers. The ski field offers stunning views across Lake Tekapo and offers access to backcountry skiing and riding. Despite all the changes, Roundhill maintains its original laid-back vibe and is usually uncrowded.
Bring the kids!
You really can’t go wrong when choosing New Zealand for your next ski or snowboarding holiday. If you’re bringing the family along, you’ll be pleased to hear that all of the mountains mentioned above offer extensive childcare facilities. Your kids can have fun (older ones can take lessons!) while you and your partner hit the slopes unencumbered.
If you’re looking to book the perfect trip to the snow, we encourage you to contact us. We have the insider knowledge necessary to help you pick the right resort for your needs and time of year you wish to travel. We offer a variety of ski and snowboard packages and activities and can customise a package to suit your needs. We look forward to getting you on the slopes!