Don’t like summer? Ski season is approaching in New Zealand

Spring is in the air and summer is coming. But some people may not like the heat or may already be nostalgic for winter. Luckily for them, the world is made up of two hemispheres with reversed seasons. Summer in the United States means skiing in New Zealand! The best places to ski in the Southern Hemisphere are in South America and New Zealand (options are very limited in Australia).

Going to New Zealand is one of the best ideas for a winter vacation while it’s summer. New Zealand has the advantage of having a well-developed ski infrastructure and breathtaking mountain ranges. New Zealand’s Southern Alps must be explored in both summer and winter.

What makes New Zealand the perfect southern ski destination

New Zealand is a major ski destination in the Southern Hemisphere with most ski resorts located in the country’s South Island (there are also a few on the North Island). A typical ski season here begins in mid-June and with good winters can run until early November. The North Island is warmer and its mountains are shorter than the South Island, so its seasons are normally shorter.

  • Season: From mid-June to the end of early November

New Zealand is also considered one of the best places to learn to ski for the first time. There are plenty of qualified instructors at each of the South Island resorts offering group and private lessons for skiing and snowboarding.

New Zealand offers a range of skiing opportunities – large commercial resorts, smaller intrepid and club ski areas, ski touring and heliskiing.

  • Mount Cook/Aoraki: New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3,754 meters (12,316 ft)
  • Mount Ruapehu: A volcano with the largest commercial ski area in New Zealand (located in the North Island)

Related: 20 photos showing why New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth

The main ski areas of the South Island

There are three main ski regions on the South Island (Mount Hutt – not far from Christchurch, Wanaka and Queenstown).

Mount Hutt Ski Area

Mt Hutt has been voted New Zealand’s best ski resort seven years in a row at the World Ski Awards. It offers a true alpine experience, with open terrain, leg-burning runs, monster snowfall and spectacular views. It is one of the largest and highest ski areas in New Zealand and is ideal for all ages and abilities.

Gateway: the small town of Methven (also accessible from Christchurch)

  • Facts: Altitude: 2086m, Ski area: 365 hectares

Wanaka Ski Area

Wanaka is just a 45 minute drive from Queenstown Airport and offers another stunning alpine vibe. With stunning alpine lakes as a backdrop, Wanaka boasts two of New Zealand’s best ski areas, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone.

  • Cardrona Alpine Resort: New Zealand’s most popular ski area and has the most varied Terrian of any New Zealand ski resort
  • Acute cone: Has something for everyone and has 700m of vertical drop

Queenstown Ski Area

The Adventure Capital of the Southern Hemisphere for summer and winter adventure sports is Queenstown. The experience and stunning natural beauty of skiing at its resorts of Coronet Peak Ski Area and Remarkables Ski Area in Queenstown. The breathtaking vistas will stay with you forever.


  • Queenstown ski areas: Coronet Peak Ski Area and Remarkables Ski Area

Wanaka and Queenstown are so close together that they are sometimes considered a single ski area. These four ski resorts offer one of the longest seasons in the Southern Hemisphere and some of the best ski areas in the South Island.

Related: 20 Reasons Hidden New Zealand Is An Adventurer’s Paradise

An endless number of ski passes in New Zealand

It’s impossible to list the many ski passes here, but there are ski passes for every budget, level of experience, sense of adventure and duration. You can go and book your own accommodation and pay the ski pass individually. Or you can book everything in one package.


Package example: Queenstown 7-day winter ski pass

This 7 day 6 night Queenstown winter ski package offers 6 nights accommodation in Garden Court suites and apartments in Queenstown, car hire and an NZSki New Zealand Superpass: 2 Day Lift Pass. The package comes with a comprehensive suggested itinerary on how to spend your trip and get the most out of it.

  • Duration: 7 days and 6 nights
  • Understand : Accommodation, Car rental, 2-day lift pass
  • Itinerary: A complete suggested itinerary
  • Cost: From NZD$1,508 ($950)

Ski New Zealand lists many other ski and winter holiday packages to suit all preferences and needs.


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