The South Island is the main ski and snowboard destination in New Zealand offering snow conditions unsurpassed in the Southern Hemisphere. To help you decide which ski fields to visit during your winter holiday we have put together some key information on the most popular destinations and ski fields.
Set in a spectacular landscape on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and surrounded by mountains it’s easy to see why Queenstown is a favourite destination for visitors and locals alike. During winter there is a constant buzz as the town celebrates with their winter festival and a steady stream of visitors make for a lively atmosphere. You’ve probably heard that Queenstown is known as the Adventure Capital of New Zealand and this title applies to both on and off snow activities. So when you’re not hitting the slopes there are an endless range of activities to keep you entertained as well as fantastic selection of cafes, bars, restaurants and great shopping. With 4 ski fields located within a 25 to 90 minute drive there is plenty to excite and challenge beginners all the way through to experts.
The closest ski fields to Queenstown are:
National Geographic voted Wanaka one of the World’s 25 Best Ski Towns, the only Southern Hemisphere destination to make the list and once you’ve visited you’ll understand why. Smaller and quieter than neighbouring Queenstown, Wanaka offers a laid back winter holiday with stunning lake and mountain vistas and naturally some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country. The team at Ski New Zealand are based in Wanaka and we love sharing our inside knowledge of the best runs at local resorts, best on and off snow activities and hidden gems of our home town.
The closest ski fields to Wanaka are:
Methven is the gateway to Mt Hutt Ski Field and lies at the foot of the Southern Alps in Canterbury, a short 1 hour drive from Christchurch. For most of the year Methven is a sleepy rural village, but come winter it throws off this quiet facade and becomes a lively ski resort. As well as being the closest base to Mt Hutt Ski Area, Methven is also the perfect jumping off point to explore the numerous small Canterbury club ski fields. Methven is a fantastic family destination especially if you’re travelling with children under 10 years, as the Kids 4 Free programme makes it easy on your trip budget.
Overlooking the pristine turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo and the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps, the village lies in an enviable position making it a popular year round tourist destination. There are a diverse mix of activities to keep young and old entertained including horse trekking and the Tekapo Springs hot pools which in winter include an outdoor ice skating rink and snow tube park.