If you are buying a car in New Zealand and plan to hit some of the ski slopes around the country, check out our quick guide on the ski fields around New Zealand.

Skiing in New Zealand can be quite a different experience if you are used to the powder and depth of the snow in some Northern Hemisphere regions. Generally our terrain is treeless and rocky. The season kicks off around June and can run as late as November depending on the snowfall.

Gear is easy to hire and rental shops will be located either at a resort in the in the townships near to the slopes.

Consider that school holidays and long, public holiday weekends, are the busiest time of year for the skifields and a time that you might want to avoid skiing. You can research when the holidays are here.

Queenstown hosts the popular Winterfest in June each year while Ohakune in the North Island hosts the popular Ohakune Mardi Gras in June.

Road conditions can be treacherous in winter, which is another great reason to get your car insurance purchased before driving in New Zealand.

North Island

Manganui (Mt Taranaki)
This small skifield is run by volunteers. There are no snowmakers, chairlifts or lessons here. If you are keen to surf and ski in the same day, this is the part of New Zealand to do it. The ski field is just a 56km trip from the surf beaches of New Plymouth.

Whakapapa (Mt Ruapehu)
Whakapapa is located on the north east side of the active volcano, Mt Ruapehu. It’s slopes are expansive. It is located near to National Park Village and travel a little further to Ohakune.

Turoa (Mt Ruapehu)
Turoa is located on the south west side of the active volcano, Mt Ruapehu. The township of Ohakune is located nearby and the skifields offer a variety of treeless terrain.

Tukino (Mt Ruapehu)
Tukino is a club field located off the Desert Rd on the Eastern side of Mt Ruapehu. The nutcrackers tows will transport you to slopes that are suitable for beginners through to advanced skiers. This is definitely the most laid back and basic option on the plateau.

Snowplanet is located on the North Shore and is New Zealand’s only indoor ski centre.


South Island

Mt Hutt
Mt Hutt has almost 500 hectares of terrain and is located close to the small township of Methven. It is a popular field for people from Christchurch to drive to.  The facilities are excellent and you can grab a shuttle from either Methven or Christchurch to the mountain.

Coronet Peak
One of the many options near Queenstown, and one of the few fields in New Zealand that offers night skiing. It is just a 25 minute drive from Queenstown and each season hosts international ski races and events.

Located near to Queenstown, the Remarkables offers an equal range of ski options for beginners, intermediate and advanced. There is also a half pipe and tubing park.

Cardrona is located between Queenstown & Wanaka and is the largest skifield in the Queenstown vicinity. With less inclined slopes, it is a great option for beginners or intermediate skiers. There are 7 chairlifts and the capacity to shift up to 10,000 people per hour on the slopes.

Treble Cone
Treble Cone is located approx.. 30 minute from Wanaka and is the largest ski area in the South Island. It has great terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers.

Club fields:
Rainbow, Temple Basin, Craigieburn, Broken River, Cheeseman, Mt Olympus, Fox Peak & Hanmer Springs are all club fields located in the South Island.

These club fields are small and often only offer tow ropes of T Bars to transport you up the slopes. Facilities can be limited but the fields have their own personality and vibe. Accommodation is often in lodges and the atmosphere is considered to be fun and social.

The Chill Pass includes access to many of these club fields.

Mt Dobson (Fairlie)
This is ideal for beginner to intermediate skiers. This small field includes a chairlift.

Is located near to Wanaka. It offers night skiing, dog sledding and cross country skiing.

Handy websites for all things snow:

The team at www.snow.co.nz have a great website with comprehensive information about all things ski related in New Zealand. You can sign up for their handy Thursday afternoon ski update, to help you stay in the know about conditions on the mountains over the weekend.

Nzski.com offers a pass that covers Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt. Early bird season passes go on sale around October each year.

Heliskiing is offered in the South Island and will get you to the most untouched terrain