New Zealand Ski Fields
Most of us missed out on the 2020 Ski season but with the Australian New Zealand travel bubble opening up most of the NZ ski fields are preparing to open up! Whether you like to hit up the main spots or want to visit a lesser-known gem this time there is a snow field for everyone.
Coronet Peak in Queenstown is the most easily accessible ski field in New Zealand, just a short 20-25 minute drive or bus transfer from town. It’s an ideal place to learn to ski or snowboard and great for mixed groups with terrain suitable for all abilities. There is also weekly night skiing with live music and ‘PlayStation Fridays’ where the whole family can take part in a trail hunt for PlayStation symbols with prize giveaways.
If you are looking for big mountain experience, The Remarkables in Queenstown is definitely the place for you. Whilst a 1 hour drive or bus ride from Queenstown, the views are simply incredible. The wide learners area is huge and confidence inspiring and there are fantastic terrain parks, sun-soaked bowls and hair raising chutes for the more experienced. Add a great range of long intermediate runs and more available terrain from the new Sugar Bowl chairlift and you’re on to a winner.
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Cardrona just seems to keep getting better, with more terrain added in recent years thanks to the new Willows Quad and Valley View Quad chair lifts. Along with the McDougall’s Express ‘Chondola’ (a mix of 40 6-seater chairs and 10 8-person Gondola cabins), access to incredible terrain has never been quicker or easier, just a short drive from Wanaka but also reachable from Queenstown.
Cardrona is known for its world-class terrain parks and superpipe, attracting the world’s best riders during the Southern Hemisphere winter. Look a little further and you’ve got a fantastic resort for families and couples with long sweeping green and blue runs, plus some great black diamond terrain. Basing yourself in Wanaka? Not far from Cardrona, at Snow Farm, you can give cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing a try.
One of the largest ski fields on NZ’s South Island, Treble Cone features backcountry-like terrain within the resort boundaries. Treble Cone is the ideal resort for confident intermediates and expert skiers looking for challenging runs, more so than catering for families and beginners. It is also the best spot for views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.
Consistently voted New Zealand’s best ski resort at the World Ski Awards, Mount Hutt will be one of the first ski fields to open for 2021 in early June. The addition of a new chair lift will increase capacity for the mountain, and the full moon night skiing with fireworks, live music and entertainment is not to be missed. Easily accessible by flying in to Christchurch, people will typically base themselves in the small town of Methven at the bottom of the peak. What is lacking in the way of a major cosmopolitan town is made up for by the fantastic terrain atop the mountain.
The North Island is home to New Zealand’s only skiable volcano, Mt Ruapehu. On the southwest-facing side of the mountain is Turo. one of the largest ski areas in NZ and boasts a unique volcanic terrain that is renowned for some of the longest slopes in the country and vast terrain parks.
Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, Craigieburn Valley has steep narrow, and wide-open powdery runs with the bonus of being less crowded and some of the best snowfall than other ski fields.
Under the radar, Mount Lyford is perfect if you want a quieter option. The family-owned and operated ski field has laid back vibes and some amazing mountain views.
In the heart of the South Island with stunning views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo, the Roundhill resort is another family-friendly option with smaller crowds.
Mt Dobson is another one that is great for beginners, set inside a treeless basin it gets plenty of sunshine for ideal skiing weather. Experts can take advantage of the natural half-pipe for an uncrowded thrill.
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