Ski Resorts on New Zealand’s South Island
Most skiing in New Zealand is found on the South island, where there are nine commercial resorts. Here below I will discuss the resorts to help you decide which you might think about going to when the 2015 season kicks off in June or July:
Cardrona, near Wanaka, is a good family resort, and has a lot of terrain and many pistes that are suitable for intermediate skiers. The ski area is 320 ha.
This resort, also near Wanaka, has the largest skiable area on the South Island, offering a range of skiing and boarding both on and off piste. Ski into the backcountry for amazing off-piste views.
This action-packed resort, whose closest town is Queenstown, has a wide range of facilities and infrastructure, meaning that it is perfect for skiers and boarders of a range of abilities. The new six-seater Curvey Basin Chairlift which goes for 1.2km through the resort, is just one example of how remarkable the facilities here can be. Expect top-notch skiing conditions, but expect the crowds to match on busy weekend days in peak season.
This resort which is a short twenty minute or so drive from Queenstown is renowned for its snow conditions and terrain. It has a varied skiable area of 280 ha. This is also the only resort where you can ski at night. You can do so here on Friday and Saturday nights.
This resort with stunning views out over the Canterbury Plains has an outstanding mix of terrain to suit a variety of skiing and boarding abilities. Another good thing about this resort is that it is just a ninety minute drive from Christchurch airport. There is a skiable area of 365 ha and the closest town is Methven.
This is the closest ski location to the city of Christchurch. It is one of the best resorts for families, who are catered to by the wide range of skiing and boarding, and by the après ski facilities. This is also a good resort for intermediate skiers who are looking for a bit of a challenge, and there is some lovely off-piste skiing to be had in the 600ha skiable area of the resort.
Come to Ohau for power snow, and perfect conditions. This resort on the Ohau Range offers excellent skiing and boarding, and best of all, the slopes are never crowded. They also have a new double chairlift.
This family oriented ski area has outstanding views of Mount Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. There is a huge beginners area and for the more adventurous, the longest and steepest rope-tow in the world!
This sunny, friendly resort offers excellent skiing and boarding from smooth, gentle baby slopes to challenging black runs, Mount Dobson has it all. The uncrowded and peaceful runs make for a pleasant snow experience.
If none of the resorts seem challenging enough, then know that New Zealand also offers some first class heli-skiing opportunities.
Wherever you go, the snow will be great and the Kiwi people welcoming, so why not consider a summer ski trip and head to New Zealand between June and September next year?