A quick guide to ski resorts in New Zealand’s South Island

By | Category: Travel destinations

Mt Hutt

Canterbury – Mt Hutt
At the foot of the Southern Alps in Canterbury, Mt Hutt is renowned for some of the best snow in Australasia. It offers spectacular views across the Canterbury Plains to the Pacific Ocean, creating an amazing sense of space.

The big bowl-shaped mountain caters well for all levels of skiers and riders with adrenalin-pumping Black Diamond runs, awesome off-piste skiing and wide open trails for novices. The extensive terrain park, including a beginner park and half pipe and the immense runs off the Triple Chair are a favourite with freestylers and big mountain riders whether on one plank or two. Beginners love their dedicated area complete with a fully enclosed magic carpet. Opening: 15th June Closing: 6 October
• Adult lift ticket: $NZ93
• Terrain: Beginner = 25%, Intermediate = 50%, Advanced = 25%
Kids 4 Free makes Mt Hutt a favourite family snow destination. Children aged 10 years and under get free airport transfers from Christchurch International, accommodation, meals, return mountain transport from Methven, day lift passes at Mt Hutt. $NZ20 application fee.
Skiwiland Early Learning Centre is licensed for children aged 3 months to 5 years. A variety of programmes are offered by qualified Early Childhood Educators, and these include time on snow on specially designated terrain for kids aged 2 – 5 years.

Canterbury – Porters
The closest ski area to Christchurch city, Porters is a family-focused ski area with a complete range of ski and snowboard terrain to suit all abilities, great snow-making and grooming facilities. From panoramic mountain vistas of Lake Coleridge and the Southern Alps to the expansive views over the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, Porters offers breath-taking scenery for all to enjoy. Children under 7 ski for free.

• Opening: 21st June, Closing: Mid-October
• Adult lift ticket: $NZD84
• Terrain: Beginner = 30%, Intermediate = 30%, Advanced = 40%
Porters in the Craigieburn Range has a world class snow-sports school, fully equipped rental department and workshop, and fully licensed cafe and bar offering hearty local fare and delicious espresso coffee.

An alpine lodge at the ski area base offers fully catered, rustic Kiwi accommodation on site, plus close proximity to the rural townships of Springfield (20 mins), Castle Hill (5 mins) and Methven (50 mins) provide a full range of accommodation and restaurant options for skiers and riders to enjoy. The high country resort of Terrace Downs is nearby and Christchurch has 4 and 5 star accommodation options.

Canterbury – Mt Dobson
Mount Dobson has a great balance of groomed trails and off piste for the more adventurous. There is a large area of developed trails and miles of fresh untracked snow.

• Opening: mid-June , Closing: Mid-October
• Adult lift ticket: $NZD75
• Terrain: Beginner = 25%, Intermediate = 50%, Advanced = 25%

Canterbury – Ohau Snow Field
Ohau Snow Fields – one of New Zealand’s smaller South Island ski-fields – sits in the Mackenzie Basin near the Southern Alps main divide, and not far from Aoraki Mount Cook. It offers reliable snowfall and usually fine weather.
Lake Ohau Lodge guests are offered a discounted lift pass voucher that can be purchased from the Lodge reception daily and redeemed on the mountain. The Ohau Snow School offers ski and snowboard lessons for all ages and ability levels. There is a Mountain Goats school for children and the Ski Racing Academy. There are many natural features but no dedicated terrain park.

• Opening: 29 June , Closing: 6 October
• Day passes, Multi Day passes and Season passes available
• Terrain: Beginner = 20%, Intermediate = 50%, Advanced = 30%

Coronet Peak

Queenstown – Coronet Peak
Coronet Peak is just 20 minutes from Queenstown with easy access up a sealed road, modern facilities, extensive snowmaking and grooming plus the rolling off-piste terrain that makes it a truly world class ski area. Coronet Peak offers night skiing on Friday and Saturday evenings, and from 8am the First Tracks pass lets the early bird make their mark on the freshly groomed snow.

• Opening: 8th June, Closing: 6th October
• Adult Lift Ticket: $NZD 97
• Terrain: Beginner = 25%, Intermediate = 45%, Advanced = 30%
Skiwiland Early Learning Centre – Coronet Peak is licensed for children aged 3 months to 5 years. A variety of programmes are offered by qualified Early Childhood Educators. These include time on snow on specially designated terrain for kids aged 2 – 5 years.

Queenstown – The Remarkables
The Remarkables is the natural choice for beginners and families. Its alpine location, sunny slopes, dedicated learning facilities and network of terrain parks is the place for a relaxed day on the snow. Extensive trail work makes the progression from beginner to intermediate enjoyable and for the experts there is plenty of advanced terrain to explore.

The Remarkables

The Stash – a completely different kind of run that adds a new dimension to snowboarding – is only the third run of its kind worldwide and the first in the southern hemisphere. Created by Jake Burton and the Burton team riders, The Stash concept is an evolution of freestyle terrain in the ultimate natural environment.

The Steeps comprise some of New Zealand’s finest expert runs. The Alta Chutes start gently then progress in difficulty and technique towards the Double Cone peak of The Remarkables. The Terminator, Eliminator, Diangulator and Exterminator runs leave hearts pumping – and that’s just the beginning.

• Opening: 22nd June, Closing: 29th September
• Adult Lift Ticket: $NZD 93
• Terrain: Beginner = 30%, Intermediate = 40%, Advanced = 30%
Skiwiland Early Learning Centre – The Remarkables is licensed for children aged 3 months to 5 years. A variety of programmes are offered by qualified Early Childhood Educators. These include time on snow on specially designated terrain for kids aged 2 – 5 years.

Wanaka – Cardrona
Cardrona offers something for everyone, from those wanting to experience the joy of skiing for the first time to those that just can’t live without their fix of winter excitement. All levels of skiers and boarders will find paradise at Cardrona on abundant wide open trails that meander across three bowls as well as a world class terrain park. Cardrona is renowned for comprehensive children’s facilities which include four centres, and slopes dedicated to under-fives.

• Opening: 21 June, Closing: 6 October
• Adult Lift Ticket: $NZD 97 (online $NZD 95)
• Terrain: Beginner = 20%, Intermediate = 55%, Advanced = 25%
‘Flexi Fun’ half-day options at Kids Ski and Snowboard School are aimed at parents who want the best of both worlds – part family skiing, part lessons with morning and afternoon activities, group lessons and lunches.
Cardrona Alpine Resort

Treble Cone, Wanaka

Wanaka – Treble Cone
Treble Cone is the largest ski area in New Zealand’s South Island and offers the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes. Famous for its long uncrowded groomed slopes, legendary off-piste terrain and unrivalled views, Treble Cone is a place you have to see to believe.

• Opening: 27th June, Closing: 29th September
• Adult Lift Ticket: $NZD 97 (online NZD$95)
• Terrain: Beginner = 10%, Intermediate = 45%, Advanced = 45%
Kids Fun Trail is new for winter 2013 – in the Home Basin with rollers, colour, and fun features perfect for children to enjoy both in Snow Sports School lessons and when skiing with the family. There’s also a new Kids Trail Map designed specifically for children as a resource through the children’s programmes of the Snow Sports School. Free kids helmet rental with all children’s rental skis or a snowboard from Treble Cone on-mountain hire. New Treble Cone Ultimate Ski Day – pulls together all that’s unique about a snow holiday in New Zealand including the spectacular landscapes and big mountain vistas, helicopters, big ski areas with fantastic natural terrain, jet boats, and après ski (NZ$721).

For a quick conversion there are about $NZ2 to £1

Images © Tourism New Zealand
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