October 13, 2011

Skiing in New Zealand by Willia Robb

If you decide to take a wonderful skiing adventure, then you absolutely must consider New Zealand's superb ski areas. You will find the Southern Alps stretching down the South Island and various mountains covered with pristine silver snows. The perfect place for someone who wants to just go sightseeing or someone who wants to go skiing while on holiday vacation. New Zealand does not have warmed chairlifts or sophisticated restaurants on the slopes like the big ski resorts in the Northern Hemisphere. What they do have is brilliant skiing areas with great terrain and well maintained ski runs. It's a skiers ski destination!

The mountains in New Zealand can be inhospitable plances so it is important for you to wear the appropriate ski gear when hitting the slopes. The general rule of thumb is to dress like an unpeeled onion with numerous layers! You should also wear sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin the UV rays, as well as insulated gloves.

The Southern Alps scenic views are remarkable, making it well known as a holiday destination around the world. Whether you are a snow ace or a beginner, you will find the perfect area to master your skills. The slopes in Southern Alps range from straightforward to a super challenging escapade. Ski resorts in New Zealand are generally accessed by some rugged roads, usually dirt or gravel. However, you should not worry as this definitely adds to the sense of adventure. Looking at some of the most well known ski areas in New Zealand's Southern Alps let's start in the north and then head south and see some destinations that are worth considering.

From the Top of the South Island towards North Canterbury

The first spot would be the Rainbow, which is a two-hour drive from Nelson or Blenheim. They are equipped with facilities such as a caf and ski and board hire. If you want a destination for all levels of skiing experience, then consider the Mt. Lyford. They have first-class facilities for beginners as well as a tough terrain park. If you consider yourself an immediate or advanced skier, go for the Hanmer Springs Ski Area which is 17 km from Hanmer Springs.

Mid-Canterbury or Christchurch

If you are into a beginner or extreme boarder, check out the Temple Basin which is 4km west of Arthur's Pass. The Craigieburn Valley has an excellent ski area with excellent off-trail skiing adventure. Broken River has a club field which is wonderful for "powder hounds" of all skill levels.


The Coronet Peak offers outstanding facilities combined with superb views. The slopes are perfect for both skiing and sightseeing.

There are a lot more ski destinations in the Southern Alps that will surely be a great holiday. The ski season fluctuates from various regions, although many choose to take their ski holiday from June to early October.

About the Author

Willia is an independent travel editor in NZ. If you are considering a ski trip in NZ then grab some Icebreaker gear while you are here...it's perfect for skiing.


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