| July 10th, 2023 | No comments

Looking to do some skiing in New Zealand? 

New Zealand is a haven of indescribable beauty, a paradise for adrenaline-junkies. With just 4.8 million people scattered over its two islands, most of New Zealand is an untouched wilderness of the most sublime kind. Cascading mountain peaks, dense forests, pristine lakes, and dramatic coastline make New Zealand one of the most aesthetically and atmospherically enchanting places on the planet. 

New Zealand offers world-class skiing opportunities on both its North and South Island. From the volcanic slopes of Mount Ruapehu in the north to the mystifying peaks of the Remarkables in the south; skiing in New Zealand is a lifetime experience that no one should miss out on.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an alpine expert, skiing in New Zealand can be tailored to any level. We’ve put together this guide to skiing in New Zealand including all of the best New Zealand ski resorts so you can plan ahead during the busy ski season.

Obviously, you don’t want to spend hours commuting back and from between the mountain and your hotel either. So we’ve added some accommodation recommendations alongside each ski resort. We’ve taken into consideration the accommodation’s proximity to the ski resort, the facilities it offers, and the overall atmosphere of the place when choosing our recommendations.

So, buckle up your ski boots, and let’s carve our way through this list of the best resorts for skiing in New Zealand.

Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links. These allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links enables us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge.

Skiing in New Zealand – North Island

Mt Ruapehu – Whakapapa Ski Resort

whakapapa skiing new zealand

Situated on the north-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa ski and snowboard area is one of the best ski resorts in New Zealand and offers a variety of terrain suitable for any level. It is also home to a great learner facility called Happy Valley if you’re still a bit unsteady on your skis. No one can be worried in a place with a name like Happy Valley, right?

There are over 30 groomed jumps ideal for intermediate-level skiers, as well as 24 black diamond runs for those of a more advanced level. As the biggest ski field in New Zealand with 44km of powdery goodness, you can carve or snowplow to your heart’s content.

At Whakapapa you’ll find an equipment hire facility as well a ski school with experienced instructors for little ones or first-timers. It’s also home to the most elevated cafe in New Zealand, where you can warm up with a comforting hot chocolate as you take in the breathtaking mountain scenery.

Mt Ruapehu – Turoa Ski Resort

turoa best skiing in new zealand

Turoa ski and snowboard area is situated on the southwestern side of Ruapehu and offers two spaces for beginners, as well as many intermediate and advanced trails. It’s the perfect alpine playground for skiers of any level and is definitely one of the best places for skiing in New Zealand.

Turoa also hosts the largest vertical drop in the country, so take the High Noon Express and admire some of the most insanely panoramic views of New Zealand’s majestic landscape, before zooming daringly down the 722-meter descent. You’ll also find a rental office, ski or snowboard lessons, as well as a charming cafe to replenish your energy.

Where to stay on Mount Ruapehu

Chateau Tongariro Hotel

  • Address: State Highway 48, Whakapapa Village
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Located at the foot of imposing Mt Ruapehu, Chateau Tongariro Hotel is the closest accommodation option you’ll get to the ski slopes of Whakapapa and Turoa, two of the best New Zealand ski resorts. The fantastic location means you’re just a short 10-minute drive from the ski slopes on Ruapehu and surrounded by stunning nature walks. You can arrange transfers to the mountain straight from the hotel, just ask the friendly staff at the reception.

Erected in 1929, Chateau Tongariro Hotel provides modern facilities and comfortable lodgings for guests. Its grand exterior houses a games room with a pool table, an indoor swimming pool, and fitness center, and cinema. You’ll find a restaurant and bar inside where you can indulge in delicious food and a range of quality beer, wine, and cocktails as the perfect wind down.

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South Island

Coronet Peak Ski Resort

cardrona skiing in new zealand

A New Zealand ski resort of the most epic proportions, Coronet Peak can be found between the South Island cities of Queenstown and Wanaka. The ideal spot for keen skiers, Coronet Peak offers a variety of pistes, slopes, and bowls for every ability. The Big Easy is a popular spot for learners to gain some confidence in their ski boots before attempting more difficult runs, and the more advanced Exchange Drop challenges skiers of a more advanced level.

But wait – there’s more! Who said the fun had to stop once the sun goes down? Coronet Peak hosts nighttime skiing events where you can cascade down flood-lit slopes before joining the party where you can dance your ski boots off to a live DJ. Alpine enthusiasts curious about Queenstown skiing definitely shouldn’t skip out on this one!

Where to Stay – Millbrook Resort

millbrook resort skiing in new zealand

  • Address: Malaghans Road, Arrowtown
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

If you’re looking for a fantastic accommodation close to Coronet Peak, then award-winning Millbrook Resort is the perfect place. Just a 20-minute drive from the center of Queenstown, this tranquil retreat is the ideal relaxation spot after a day in the snow. The brilliant slopes of Coronet Peak are just 7km away.

Offering stunning suites with breathtaking views of the cascading mountains, you’ll find everything you need and more at this all-encompassing hotel. Choose to stay in one of Millbrook Resort’s modern suites and enjoy access to a fully-equipped kitchen, golf-course access, and a fantastic fitness center. Millbrook Resort also features 2 outdoor hot tubs where you can marvel at the surrounding scenery as you soak in the hot water. What better to way is there to end the day?

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Cardrona Ski Resort

cardrona alpine apartments best skiing in new zealand

Another one of the best New Zealand ski resorts, Cardrona is a paradise for snow bunnies whether you’re still learning how not to face plant or you don’t hesitate before jumping on the ski lift right to the top. The ideal skiing spot for families, beginners, and seasoned skiers – Cardrona has something for everyone.

Located in a spectacular spot between Queenstown and Wanaka, you can admire the unique scenery from Cardrona’s highest elevation point of 1860 meters. Don’t worry, if extreme heights aren’t your thing there are breathtaking views to be found all around – this is New Zealand after all!

Where to Stay – Cardrona Alpine Apartments

  • Address: Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Unlike most New Zealand ski resorts, Cardrona offers accommodation ON the mountain – just a 1-minute walk from the chair lifts! If you want to be right in the middle of all the action, then one of the mountainside self-catering apartments is the perfect spot to head back to after a day on the slopes. Each apartment features comfortable bedding, a kitchen, and a bathroom facility. There are only 15 apartments available though – so be sure to book in advance if you want to secure a spot!

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The Remarkables Ski Resort

the remarkables best skiing new zealand

The Remarkables mountain range isn’t just one of the most outrageously beautiful areas in the country, it’s also one of the best places for skiing in New Zealand. If you’re serious about your skis, then this Queenstown skiing destination should undoubtedly be at the top of your bucket list.

Ideal for skiers of any level, the Remarkables ski field features gentle slopes perfect for beginners, more challenging terrain for intermediate skiers, and plenty of higher-level drops for those experts out there.

Where to Stay – The Spire Hotel

  • Address: 3-5 Church Lane, Queenstown
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

A stylish boutique hotel, the Spire Hotel is the ideal place to rest your weary head if you want to experience some of the best Queenstown skiing on the Remarkables. The Remarkables ski field is just over 12km away and can be reached easily by road. Rooms are stylish and elegant, each featuring a fireplace and balcony. The en-suite bathrooms even have a bathtub – perfect for soothing your burning muscles after a day on the slopes. You’ll also receive a complimentary cocktail upon arrival!

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Treble Cone Ski Resort

treble cone skiing in new zealand

With over 550 hectares of snow-covered mountain terrain to be explored, Treble Cone is the largest ski resort on New Zealand’s South Island. Perfect for skiers of any level, Treble Cone offers plenty of wide runs and thrilling drops for snow lovers. Ski down the uncrowded groomed runs and you’ll feel as though you’re the only one on the mountain.

Enjoy spectacular views of the city and lake of Wanaka while you slide gently down the hillside. If you need some guidance, Treble Cone offers skiing and snowboarding lessons on-site, so you can learn from an experienced instructor and feel completely ready to get stuck into the snow (not literally, we hope).

Where to Stay – Edgewater Hotel

  • Address: Sargood Drive, Wanaka
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Located 2km from the center of Wanaka, Edgewater Hotel is within 35 minutes from all the excitement of the Treble Cone ski field. Offering modern, spacious rooms with lakeside views – you won’t find a more peaceful spot than this. Guests can also relax in the spa area, work up a sweat in the sauna, or have some fun on the tennis courts. If you’ve got any energy left after a day of skiing, you can organize trips to go kayaking on the lake or mountain biking in the surrounding countryside at reception.

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Snow Farm Ski Resort

snow farm skiing in new zealand

Located a bit further afield than the other New Zealand ski resorts on this list, Snow Farm is a 40-minute drive from Wanaka and 1.5 hours from Queenstown. The only non-profitable ski resort in the Southern Lakes Region, Snow Farm is the ideal spot for cross-country skiers as well as newbies and intermediate levels.

Snow Farm offers a large beginner field, perfect for becoming steady on the snow, a reasonably sized intermediate-level field, and a huge snowy playground for advanced skiers. Snow Farm Lodge is situated on the mountain and houses a restaurant, cafe, and bar, and the Snow Fun Zone includes a 150m tubing or sledding hill.

A great choice for families, Snow Farm offers some of the best skiing in New Zealand.

Where to Stay – Snow Farm Backcountry Huts

Snow Farm’s mountainside accommodations offer a sleeping experience that definitely isn’t for the faint-hearted. These authentic huts don’t offer wifi, electricity, or running water – but if you can imagine yourself snuggled up by a fireplace, playing cards, and listening to the sweet sound of silence, then you should definitely consider.

Each hut features a cooker, log burner, and firewood – so just bring your own food, drink, and company and you’re all set to disconnect from technology and the chaos of reality for a night or two. There are only 3 huts available at any given time, so be sure to book well in advance to secure your spot in nature.

Roundhill Ski Resort

roundhill lake tekapo skiing in new zealand

Roundhill is a fantastic family-friendly New Zealand ski resort in stunning Lake Tekapo. From the ski fields, you can marvel at the other-worldly views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps, and Lake Tekapo.

First-time or novice skiers can learn the basics in the large beginner’s area. Those of a more intermediate level can enjoy endless runs along the hill, and advanced adrenaline junkies can zoom down from the imposing slopes above. If you’re more of a freestyler, the terrain park has an excellent range of jumps, rollers, rails and boxes to keep you busy. Roundhill offers some of the most epic skiing in New Zealand and is a must-do for any avid alpine adventurer.

Where to Stay – YHA Lake Tekapo

YHA Lake Tekapo best skiing in new zealand

  • Address: 5 Motuariki Lane, Lake Tekapo
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Situated right on Tekapo lakefront this scenic spot is the ideal place to rest your weary feet if you want to experience Roundhill ski resort. YHA Hostels are trusted all over the world, and for good reason. High standards of quality and cleanliness mean that you can always rely on the fantastic staff to keep the place in good shape.

YHA Lake Tekapo is in the perfect location to explore beautiful Lake Tekapo, and ideal if you want to embark on skiing, cycling, and hiking adventures. Rooms are basic, comfortable, and affordable and offer spectacular views of the sparkling blue waters of the lake as well as the surrounding mountains.

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Mt Hutt Ski Resort

mt hutt skiing in new zealand

Situated in New Zealand’s Canterbury region, Mt Hutt can be reached from Christchurch in 90 minutes. Peaking at 2190 meters above sea level, you’ll be in a state of constant awe as you take in the magnificent views from the mountain. Just don’t get distracted while you’re skiing!

A fabulous New Zealand ski resort ideal for all levels, it’s no wonder why Mt Hutt has been voted the best place for skiing in New Zealand for two years in a row. The resort features a fantastic area for learners, 4 freestyle terrain parks, and special passes tailored to the level of ability. Covered in incredible runs, monster drops, and some of the country’s best scenery – Mt Hutt is a truly unforgettable New Zealand ski resort.

Where to Stay – Ski Time Hotel

  • Address: 43 Racecourse Avenue, Methven
  • Independent Reviews: Booking.com

Located in Methven, Ski Time Hotel is just a 30-minute drive from the slopes of Mt Hutt and is one of the best spots to stay if you want to experience skiing in New Zealand. Choose from affordable self-catered or private rooms, each equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and much-appreciated heating. The hotel offers a delicious continental breakfast and features an on-site restaurant and bar with an a-la-carte menu. If you’re looking for a comfortable budget accommodation option close to Mt Hutt ski field then Ski Time Hotel ticks all the boxes.

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All the best places for skiing in New Zealand! Adrenaline-junkies take note, here is your guide to slipping and sliding down New Zealand's best slippery slopes! And everything you need to know to decide if the North Island or South Island is for you.

sara monty

Written by Sara Monty

Sara first met the team behind Just a Pack at the back of a rickety bus in Vietnam. Little did she know she'd still be writing for us years later.

Born in Wales, she moved to New Zealand as a teen. After living in Italy and Spain, she has settled in London (for now) where she divides her time between writing and teaching. Over the years, she's traveled to more than 30 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia - and has no intention of stopping anytime soon! The next place on her bucket list: South America.


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