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Skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand

Skiing Treble Cone New Zealand

Skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand

Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities in New Zealand. Skiing is mainly possible on the South Island around Queenstown, but there is also one public area on the North Island of New Zealand. Read below about the 6 largest ski areas in the country and what each one has to offer.

As a reminder, winter in New Zealand runs from June to August and skiing is from June to October (varies by region and year).

Mt Hutt

Mt Hutt is a ski resort located west of Christchurch on the South Island. Methven is a popular place to stay if you want to ski here, you will find affordable accommodation and there are good apres ski bars. This ski area is certainly not the largest or the most challenging, but it is very suitable for families. Children under the age of 10 get a lot for free, under the motto of “kids4free”. They can, for example, get a free ski pass and a free meal (when purchasing a full meal for the parent). For the advanced skiers and snowboarders they have a fun park and half pipes along with some black runs.

Unique: Mt Hutt is known for the best snow and the longest season.

Con: It is difficult to drive here yourself as the road is very steep. You need a four wheel drive with snow chains. There are shuttle buses from Methven and Christchurch.


  • 365 hectares in size
  • 4 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% difficult terrain.


Ruapehu is the only place where you can ski on New Zealand’s North Island. This ski resort is located in the Tongariro National Park, near Taupo. Ruapehu is located on an active volcano and is divided into two areas; Whakapapa and Turoa. You have access to both areas with one ski pass. Ruapehu has an excellent beginner area, but also more challenging slopes, half pipes and a fun park for advanced tricks. The nice thing about this mountain is that you can drive there yourself, all the roads leading here have asphalt.

Unique: Ruapehu is New Zealand’s largest ski area. This mountain also has the steepest descent in New Zealand.

Whakapapa Facts:

  • 500 hectares in size
  • 6 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate and 25% difficult terrain.

Facts Turoa:

  • 1050 hectares in size
  • 11 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% difficult terrain.

The Remarkables

The Remarkables is located near Queenstown in the South Island. This ski area is an excellent place for both beginners and advanced skiers. The Remarkables has a wide variety of slopes, there is something for everyone. There are even four different fun parks for the advanced skiers and boarders. From Queenstown you can easily take the shuttle bus to this ski area. But you don’t necessarily have to ski to enjoy this area, they also have a snow tubing track. You will go down the mountain on a large inflated donut, a very cool experience! Are you with young children? All children under 6 years receive a free ski pass.

Unique: The Remarkables has the best black diamond slopes in New Zealand, so this is a perfect place for advanced skiers and boarders.


  • 220 hectares in size
  • 7 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 30% beginner, 40% intermediate and 30% difficult terrain.


Cardrona is located between Wanaka and Queenstown on the South Island, so this ski area is easily accessible from both places. This is a good option if you are with children because this ski area has no less than four child-friendly areas. Cardrona is known for the good snow as it is higher than the other mountains in the area. For advanced skiers this is not the best option around Queenstown, but they do have a large fun park and it is excellent for intermediate and novice skiers.

Unique: This ski resort is the only place in New Zealand where you can find accommodation on the mountain. These are always sold out quickly so if you want to experience this, book well in time.


  • 345 hectares in size
  • 7 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 25% beginner, 55% intermediate and 20% difficult terrain.

Did you know …

The Winter Games NZ is an international multi-sport event held every two years in the South Island.

Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak is another area close to Queenstown. This is the South Island’s most accessible mountain as it is the only one with an asphalt road leading to it. Therefore you can drive here yourself without having to take a shuttle bus, but make sure you have snow chains. Coronet Peak is the most modern mountain in terms of snow cannons, so on worse days there will be better snow in Coronet Peak than on the surrounding mountains. It is also a very lively mountain with many bars with live music and events.

Unique: Coronet Peak is the only mountain in New Zealand that offers night skiing. However, this is only possible on weekends.


  • 280 hectares in size
  • 8 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 25% beginner, 45% intermediate and 30% difficult terrain.

Treble Cone

And last but not least: Treble Cone, this ski area is also located between Queenstown and Wanaka. You can take shuttle buses from both places. Treble Cone is a popular mountain for advanced skiers or snowboarders. There are good areas here for going off piste, which is great on days with fresh snow. There are also many challenging slopes and good fun parks. This ski area is therefore not a great option if you are a novice skier or boarder.

Unique: Treble Cone is the largest ski area on the South Island of New Zealand. It is also known for the many powder days per season.


  • 550 hectares in size
  • 5 ski lifts
  • The area is divided into: 10% beginner, 45% intermediate and 45% difficult terrain.

Other activities in Queenstown:

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