New Zealand ski areas

Southern Lakes Heliski

New Zealand ski areas

With 24 ski areas across the North and South Islands, local skiers and snowboarders are spoilt for choice.

A small population ensures relatively uncrowded slopes even in the best ski areas, and the laid-back vibe of the smaller club fields offers a refreshing change from big mountain resorts overseas. A good snow base and warmer temperatures make spring skiing in New Zealand a big drawcard, and several operators offer world-class heli skiing all across the Southern Alps.

Central North Island 

The central North Island boasts New Zealand’s largest and highest ski areas, and the only commercial fields in the North Island. Ski areas in the central North Island are Whakapapa Ski AreaTūroa Ski Area and Tukino Ski Field.


Great snowboarding is to be had on Mount Taranaki at Manganui Ski Area. Here, you can snowboard in the morning and surf in the afternoon!


Just a snowball’s throw from Nelson Lakes National Park lies Rainbow Ski Area with its uncrowded slopes.


Boasting nine brilliant ski areas, Canterbury offers New Zealand’s biggest variety, so skiers and snowboarders are spoilt for choice. The following ski areas are found in the Canterbury region: Hanmer Springs Ski Area, Mt Lyford, Broken River, Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, Temple Basin, Mt Cheeseman, Mt OlympusPorters and Mt Hutt.


New Zealand’s highest mountain, skiing on glaciers and snowboarding in remote backcountry – the Mackenzie region has it all. Blue lakes and mountains are an awesome scenic backdrop for Fox Peak Ski Area, Mt Dobson Ski Area, Roundhill Ski AreaOhau Snow Fields and the super-secret Awakino Ski Area in the Waitaki Valley.

Southern Lakes

The region around winter ski resorts Queenstown and Wanaka offers six diverse ski areas and New Zealand’s biggest winter event, the Queenstown Winter Festival. Downhill, freestyle and cross-country action await at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona Alpine ResortTreble Cone Ski Area and Snow Farm Ski Area.

Away from the fields

If you’ve mastered the groomed runs of the commercial ski areas and are seeking something more challenging, you may wish to try a heli skiing adventure. Heli skiing is the ultimate way to ski or board New Zealand – and it's not just for experts. You simply need to be of intermediate skiing or boarding ability and have a reasonable level of fitness – then jump in a helicopter and fly to untracked slopes that are deep in the mountains and inaccessible by any other means. You can even ski New Zealand’s longest glacier – twice.

An expert guide will be on hand to lead you through the experience. Heli skiing operations extend across huge areas of backcountry and can include anything from wide-open basins to steep descents and glacier travel.





Travel Guides, See & Do


See & Do

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