31 best things to do in the central North Island
Dominated by the enormous Lake Taupō and a trio of volcanoes including Mount Ruapehu, the Central Plateau is sporting a plethora of natural ...
With over 20 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.
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 Area, Tūroa 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 Olympus, Porters 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 Field, Mt Dobson Ski Area, Roundhill Ski Area, Ohau Snow Fields and the super-secret Awakino Ski Area in the Waitaki Valley.
The region around winter ski resorts Queenstown and Wānaka 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 Resort, Treble Cone Ski Area and Snow Farm Ski Area.