Are you looking for an epic and unforgettable skiing and snowboarding experience?
Explore New Zealand’s breathtaking alpine scenery and well-developed skiing infrastructure. The winter wonderland offers plenty of uncrowded slopes with fresh powder and world-class ski resorts.
The ski resorts offer excellent skiing packages that suit beginners, families, and pro athletes. They provide top-tier accommodation, lift passes, ski rentals, ski lessons, and grand tours for the perfect getaway.
Don’t know how to ski? It gets better.
New Zealand’s ski fields are the best places to learn skiing and snowboarding. The ski resorts offer quality training by experienced instructors to get you from a beginner to a confident skier or snowboarder. They also provide both private and group lessons at affordable rates.
To help you plan for your next adrenaline-packed adventure, we have compiled a list of the seven best ski resorts in New Zealand.
So, dig out your cold-weather gear, dust off your skiing boots, and explore the following nine ski resorts.
Mt. Hutt is the most popular ski resort in New Zealand.
The World Ski Awards has crowned it the best ski resort in New Zealand for the past six years. This is partly due to its superb skiing and snowboarding conditions for both beginners and pros.
It is located in the Canterbury region, about one and a half hours drive from Christchurch. It occupies a roomy 365-acre expanse with pristine, groomed runs. Nestled within the Southern Alps, it has some of the best skiing and snowboarding terrains, fit for people of all skill levels.
It also features a spectacular view of the Canterbury plains, Mt. Cook, and the Pacific Ocean.
Why skiers and snowboarders love Mt. Hutt
Mt. Hutt Ski Resort is famous to locals and tourists due to its wide-open terrain. And if you enjoy speed, this is the best place. Snowboarders and skiers can achieve incredible speeds on the steep pitches and substantial vertical drops.
Its key attractions include:
- Four terrain parks, with the longest run being 2 kilometers.
- Two learner lifts
- Four mountain park runs for freestyle skiers and snowboarders
- Special ski passes for different skills and abilities
- Cheaper rates than most resorts with free entry for kids under ten years.
When you need to rest and have a bite, the resort has a lodge at its base offering accommodation and dining.
As you prepare for an action-packed adventure on Mt. Hutt, check the weather forecast beforehand. This is because the lack of a tree line exposes the runs to occasional high winds leading to closure.
Also, check out our Mt. Hutt resort guide for more information.
At just under 1400 acres, Treble Cone is the most extensive commercial skiing and snowboarding resort on South Island. It has incredible views and is home to the steepest rise in the Southern Lakes.
The ski resort is about half an hour’s drive from the magnificent lakeside town of Wānaka. It is accessible via an unpaved road suitable for RVs and cars.
Getting to the access road takes a 15-minute drive across Lake Wānaka. You then take a detour to the top, effectively reaching the resort.
Why skiers and snowboarders love Treble Cone
Treble cone’s off-piste areas have deep, dry and fresh snow fit for intermediate and pro skiers.
The steepest vertical rise is about 700 meters with over 4 kilometers of groomed vertical runs. The terrain also features plenty of rails and jumps, making it a popular choice for freestyle skiers and snowboarders.
With an average of 5.5 meters of snowfall, Treble Cone boats fresh lines of dry snow all winter long. It also has more reliable weather, experiencing fewer closures than the resorts in the north.
Treble cone is also a favorite pick for powder enthusiasts and is often voted the best skiing and snowboarding destination. Skiers especially love:
- Long uncrowded powdery slopes
- Unrivaled views of Lake Wānaka, Mātukituki Basin, and Mt. Aspiring
- Terrains for both intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders
- On-site private lessons by qualified and experienced instructors that run for one to two hours, half a day and full day.
- 6-seat express lifts so skiers and snowboarders can do multiple runs.
When you are ready to retire after an eventful day on the slopes, Wānaka town offers exquisite accommodation with great restaurants.
Coronet Peak is New Zealand’s oldest commercial ski field.
It occupies a 280-hectare area that offers groomed runs for beginners, intermediates, and pro athletes. Skiers and snowboarders also get a magnificent view of the snow-capped Mt. Hutt and The Remarkables.
The resort experiences lower average snowfall but has automated snow guns to maintain snow levels.
The Coronet Peak Resort is located a mere 20-minute drive from Queenstown.
As one of the three resorts around Queenstown, Coronet peak is more popular due to its ease of access. You can get to the resort by bus or car from Queenstown. In addition, the sealed access road is a boon to thrill-seekers, especially when there is a blizzard.
Why skiers and snowboarders love the Coronet Peak resort
Coronet Peak has the longest operating hours in New Zealand. The ski field opens from 8 AM to 9 PM, with night activities on Wednesdays and Fridays. Its Night Skiing and Fast Tracks also allow skiers and snowboarders extended snow time.
Aside from skiing and snowboarding, the resort features various activities, including:
- Cross-country skiing
- Events such as The Big Easy for beginners and the Exchange Drop for more experienced thrill-seekers.
Key attractions include:
- A 6-person chairlift gondola for quick ascents
- New glass and steel buildings at its base for excellent viewing
- Skiing and snowboarding equipment for hire and retail
- Practice spots along the base for beginners
- A tubing park
After a day of shredding the runs, Queenstown offers great accommodation and dining options. The town has fantastic nightlife, restaurants, bars, and outdoor roaring fires.
Our Coronet Peak guide has more information, including the best times to get to the ski field.
The Remarkables or Remarks are part of the three sister mountains along with Mt. Hutt and Coronet Peak. The ski resort is located within the mountain ranges, overlooking the shores of Lake Wakatipu.
The ski field offers an alpine experience with mesmerizing black and blue runs. The craggy peaks that dot the landscape make the Remarks one of the most photographed peaks in all of New Zealand.
The Remarkables ski field is also located near Queenstown and can be accessed by road over a 35-minute drive. However, the trip can take longer in the wake of heavy snowfall. Also, it is recommended to take the shuttle bus as it can be hard to get parking space, especially during the weekends and holidays.
You can find more information on accessibility and services offered in our Remarkables ski field guide.
Why skiers and snowboarders love the Remarks
The Remarkables ski field has dedicated freestyle areas, seven trails, and three terrains that beginners and pros love.
The ski field is famed for its relaxed atmosphere and tranquil weather. It also provides scenic views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountains.
Pro athletes like to test their limits on the three alpine bowls that provide the ultimate adrenaline rush. Likewise, beginners love the treeless, wide-open spaces that give them endless thrills.
- Off-piste trails where experts enjoy shredding the fresh powder.
- Skiing and snowboarding lessons from expert instructors
- A learners area offering progression for beginners
- A Ski Bus that ferries thrill-seekers from Queenstown
- Free day lift passes for kids under seven years.
Cardona is New Zealand’s fun and friendly mountain and home to the Olympic halfpipe.
The resort has a relaxed and friendly ski resort with vast beginner runs, and expansive freeride trails. Due to innovative snow management systems, it is reliable with great snow throughout the ski season.
Cardona Ski Resort is located up in the mountains, tucked between Queenstown and Wānaka. It is about 33 kilometers from Wānaka and approximately 57 kilometers from Queenstown.
It occupies over 400 hectares of skiable domain whose uneven terrain is favored by beginners, intermediates, and experts.
Why skiers and snowboarders love Cardona
Also known as the Cardies, the ski field has wide pistes and large parks.
Its expansive four terrain parks and halfpipe facilities thrill many skiers and snowboarders. It also features double black diamond trails for pro athletes, newbies, and intermediate runs.
- A ski school program for beginners
- Convenient shuttle bus services to and from the nearest towns
- Seven types of chair lifts
- The Alpine Tobogganing Run
- An array of food outlets
Don’t forget to view our handy Cardona Ski Field guide for more information.
Unlike the other ski fields we’ve mentioned, Whakapapa is located on the North Island.
The strangest thing about Whakapapa is that it sits on the slopes of an active volcano. As if that is not strange enough, the ‘wh’ in Whakapapa is pronounced as ‘f.’
Whakapapa is the biggest and the busiest ski area in New Zealand, featuring the Sky Waka – the longest gondola ride.
The ski resort is situated on the north-western slopes of the unassuming Mt. Ruapehu. It is the only one located atop an active volcano on a UNESCO world heritage site. It shares the mountain with Turoa, the neighboring ski resort.
Whakapapa occupies an expansive 550-hectare terrain in Tongariro National Park.
Why skiers and snowboarders love Whakapapa
The Whakapapa ski field has the most extended ski season in New Zealand.
It has 12 lifts and 67 named runs, with the longest trail being 2.9 kilometers. Covering an expansive area, it has plenty of variety for pro shredders and beginners alike.
Thrill-seekers love the downhill skiing and snowboarding facilities. The downhill skiing trail runs through:
- The Red Peak
- Green Glades
- Gold basin
- White Mist Basin
Whakapapa also offers cross-country trails with breathtaking views if skiing and snowboarding are not for you.
Hungry for a bite? Head over to the Giant Café, which overlooks the Tongariro National Park. You are also spoilt for choice with the numerous restaurants on the resort.
Check out our Whakapapa guide for more on the resort and how to plan your getaway.
Are you looking to rack up your vertical meters?
Turoa has the largest vertical drop in Australasia at a staggering 722 meters. For this reason, the ski field is often referred to as "The Giant."
The Turoa ski field is located on the south-western slopes of the volcanic Mt. Ruapehu on the North Island.
Why skiers and snowboarders love Turoa ski field
The Turoa ski field is a thrill-seeker's heaven.
Aside from the long vertical drop, it has a fantastic vertical playground for skiers and snowboarders. This is because the South facing slopes of Mt. Ruapehu have seasonal dry powder loved by experts and beginner revelers.
The terrain also features challenging black runs, hidden powder stashes, and volcanically forged halfpipes. The powder also lasts longer than in other ski fields in New Zealand.
- A long ski season starting in late June to October
- Easy mountain access road
- Breathtaking view of the mountains
For more information, including opening dates and times, see our handy Turoa resort guide.
Let Us Help You Plan Your Next Action-Packed Skiing or Snowboarding Getaway
Whether you are an expert or a beginner, New Zealand has many ski resorts to suit your needs.
There's something for everyone, from large commercial ski fields to backcountry skiing and snowboarding thrills. And with long winters from July to early November, there are plenty of destinations to explore.
Planning a skiing or snowboarding getaway can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. At Brealpa, we have the information to help you plan the perfect holiday.
Not sure which sites to visit or activities to do while in New Zealand? Our site has information on:
- Holiday inspirations
- Flight, hotel, tour, and travel insurance bookings
- Exciting activities
- Top-tier accommodation options
- Fun destinations