Best time to visit New Zealand

Skiing in New Zealand

New Zealand's slopes are excellent for a ski holiday

Best time: mid-June–September


Skiing in pristine New Zealand's snowfields carries away and provides an unforgettable experience. Ski resorts are scattered all over New Zealand. The ski areas are located mainly in the South Island between Queenstown and Christchurch, namely around Lake Wanaka and the regions of Mackenzie and Methven. The ski season starts in mid-June and closes either in September or early October.

Practical info

What are some good ski destinations in New Zealand?

New Zealand has an abundance of ski resorts, each with its own unique features. Ski enthusiasts will appreciate those located mainly on the South Island, especially around Lake Wanaka and Methven. Treble Cone, The Remarkables, and Coronet Peak are suitable for experienced skiers, while Cardrona, Mount Hutt, and Ohau are ideal for novice skiers and families. Visitors will enjoy their trip to any of these picturesque spots, which all offer exhilarating skiing experiences. Show more

When does the ski season in New Zealand typically occur?

New Zealand's ski season typically lasts from mid-June to early October. July and August offer the best chances for optimal weather and snow conditions across most of the South Island's ski resorts. September is an excellent time for visitors to secure better value for their money, given the lighter crowds and typically lower snowfall. Overall, the weather can be unpredictable, making it essential to check snow reports before heading out to the slopes. Show more

What are New Zealand's snow conditions like for skiing in the winter season?

New Zealand's ski season can yield vastly different snow conditions, ranging from heavy snowfall to lighter, more moderate conditions. June tends to bring wetter and heavier snows, while July and August typically boast more consistent and favourable skiing conditions. The snow conditions from resort to resort can vary considerably. Thus, researching each area beforehand and ensuring up-to-date snow reports is the key to a successful skiing trip. Show more

Are there ski resorts in New Zealand suited for beginners?

Yes, New Zealand has several ski areas specifically designed with novice skiers in mind. Cardrona and Mount Hutt have numerous slopes intended for beginner skiers, as well as exceptional instructional and programming offerings for skiers of all ages. The Remarkables boasts lovely nursery slopes, while Whakapapa on Mount Ruapehu features suitable beginner terrain as well as that for more advanced skiers. Visitors of all skill levels are sure to find something to appreciate throughout New Zealand's ski areas. Show more

Where in New Zealand can one participate in off-piste skiing experiences?

Off-piste skiing is a favourite in New Zealand, and enthusiasts will relish the opportunity to explore some of the South Island's prime off-piste areas. The Craigieburn Valley ski area at Broken River has plenty of hidden routes and steep terrain for off-piste lovers. The Turoa Ski Fields offer extensive backcountry and off-piste skiing opportunities, with intermediate and expert skiers well-catered for. Adequate preparation is essential, including carrying appropriate equipment and closely monitoring any updates to avalanche and weather reports. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin