New Zealand skiing can match the best skiing found anywhere, so you'll certainly not be foregoing a top notch experience. One of the great things about skiing in New Zealand is that the country is found in the Southern Hemisphere, which means that the seasons are opposite what they are in the Northern Hemisphere. After the ski season ends in the northern countries, the New Zealand skiing is just getting started, offering die-hards the chance to extend their winters, so to speak. Yep, June through October is the ski season here, so fret not once the powder begins to melt back home.
Skiers and snow boarders of all skill levels can have a blast skiing in New Zealand, and if hitting the slopes is the main aim of your vacation, you might look into the many different New Zealand ski packages that are out there. Chances are there is one that fits your preference. Of course, you can always just show up, book a resort or hotel room near a major New Zealand ski area, and head to the slopes on your own. There are approximately 14 main commercial ski areas in New Zealand, and you'll find plenty of chances to enjoy back country skiing as well. If you are an advanced skier, there might be no greater thrill than trying New Zealand heli skiing, which involves being taken to the summit of a snowy peak by helicopter. Cat skiing operations are pretty abundant in New Zealand as well, so you might board one of these snow and ice-defying vehicles to get to an otherwise unattainable choice run.
Both the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand
have ski fields that you can enjoy, and if you book one
of the extended New Zealand ski packages, you might get
to hit the slopes at different fields all over the country.
The best New Zealand skiing is arguably found on the South
Island near Queenstown and
Wanaka, though some might argue that the slopes found
on the North Island at Mount Ruapehu are the best. The
biggest and busiest New Zealand ski area is found at Mount
Ruapehu, and it's named Whakapapa. Mount Ruapehu
is the highest peak on the North Island, rising just over
9,000 feet, and it's also an active volcano. The
crater lake found here helps to make for an ideal setting.
It sure gives Lake
Tahoe a run for its money. Turoa is another popular
ski field found here, and it boasts Australasia's
biggest vertical drop.
On the South Island, you'll find some five great
ski fields that are just within a couple hour's
drive from Queenstown. Among the best found here are Treble
Cone and the Remarkables. The South Island city of Christchurch also has some excellent ski fields that are within a 2-hour
drive. Among the best is Mt Hutt, which tends to be the
area's first ski area to open, as well as its last.
The smaller ski areas of Craigeburn, Temple Basin, and
Porter Heights have among them a myriad of adventurous
runs that are surely worth experiencing. South of Christchurch,
you'll find Mount Cook, which is the country's
highest peak, topping out at around 12,800 feet. Skiing
the glaciers here is quite a different experience that
what you will find at the New Zealand ski resorts. Speaking
of the New Zealand ski
resorts, you'll find all the facilities and
services you should need, including a nice array of restaurants
and hotels. Perhaps a luxurious lodge at Wanaka is right
for you, or maybe you're looking to save money for
lift tickets and just want to stay in a more affordable
motel. The motels in New Zealand tend to be pretty nice,
so you shouldn't have to completely sacrifice comfort
to save a few bucks.
Beginners who are feeling uneasy about skiing in New Zealand can always book some lessons to help them hone their skills. Most of the main commercial ski centers here have great ski schools with quality instructors that can have you feeling like veteran in no time. Some of the top New Zealand ski resorts offer beginners' packages that are worth checking out if you are not comfortable on skis. Snow boarders can find plenty of New Zealand snow board packages and tours that are tailored just for them, so they need not feel left out by any means. You can rent ski or snow board equipment if you are not bringing your own, so as you can see, there's no excuse to not your New Zealand ski vacation today. You will be glad you did.