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12 day Epic South Island Ski Tour

Starting in Christchurch and finishing in Queenstown, spend 12 days touring the South Island ski fields with 5 days skiing or snowboarding and 5 days of rental equipment included! Get your snow fix and enjoy plenty of extra leisure time to explore the different regions of the south and maybe throw in an adventure activity or two!

  This Ski New Zealand package starts at (per person, based on quad share)
  12 days / 11 nights arriving Christchurch, departing Queenstown
  Accommodation on this package is: Motels (Customisable? YES )
  11 days rental car, inc. insurance, unlimited kms, snow chains and ski racks
  Ski pack: includes everything you need to have a great winter holiday - see here
  This package can be customised to suit you precisely - - just request here

12 day Epic South Island Ski Tour - at a glance (See detailed itinerary)  

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch, collect your car then head to Methven
Accommodation: Methven Motels

Day 2: Today you'll head to Mt Hutt for some big snow fun
Accommodation: Methven Motels

Day 3: Continue along the Inland Scenic Route to the alpine village of Lake Tekapo and an afternoon of relaxing at the hot pools
Accommodation: Lake Tekapo Village Motel

Day 4: Today you'll enjoy a very kiwi ski experience at Roundhill
Accommodation: Lake Tekapo Village Motel

Day 5: Head south to Wanaka and the Southern Lakes Region
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 6: Experience Cardrona Ski Resort
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 7: If the weather's good maybe spend another day on the slopes or try one of the many activities on offer in Wanaka
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 8: Cross the Crown Range Road to Queenstown, the 'Adventure Capital' of New Zealand
Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 9: Choose from either the Remarkables or Coronet Peak for your first Queenstown ski day
Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 10: Another day's skiing and maybe try one of the other adrenalin activities Queenstown is famous for.
Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 11: If you have time consider a drive to Glenorchy or maybe sample the wines from the Central Otago vineyards
Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

Day 12: Today you'll depart from Queenstown for home

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12 day Epic South Island Ski Tour - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Welcome to Christchurch, collect your car then head to Methven

Your itinerary, lift passes, car and accommodation bookings

As well as getting everything you need to have a great trip sent to you electronically (yes we are really clever like that!), a super dooper tour pack containing everything you need will be waiting for you at your accommodation. In short - we take care of the paperwork!

Collect your Ski New Zealand rental car

Ski New Zealand rental cars are all specially equipped with ski racks and chains (for grip in the snow - not evening entertainment!). We have a superb range of cars from all the top companies and with a range of insurance options and inclusions that will suit you perfectly.

Christchurch to Methven

Follow the inland scenic route through the tiny villages of Glentunnel, Glenroy and Windwhistle towards the Rakaia Gorge taking time to stop and enjoy the spectacular views on this route.

Your Accommodation: Methven Motels

Methven Motels offer premium and economy self-catering accommodation, just a short 5 minute walk to the cafes and restaurants of Methven. No matter your budget this is the place to base yourself for your skiing Mt Hutt adventurer.

Day 2: Today you'll head to Mt Hutt for some big snow fun

Mt Hutt Ski Field 1 Day Lift Pass

Mt Hutt is the most popular ski field in the Canterbury region, and a favourite with Christchurch locals. We recommend you stay near the village of Methven which is just a short 40 minute drive to the ski field or take one of the regular shuttles. There is 365 hectares of skiable terrain for you to enjoy, with the longest run a rewarding 2km. Mt Hutt ski field is a mixture of 25% beginners, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced, so there are trails suitable for everyone. Food and beverages are available at Huber's Hut and Ski High Cafe where you can recharge your batteries for your next run. For visitors to New Zealand it's easy to hire all the gear you need on the mountain, so all you need to bring is your enthusiasm. For the littlies there is a licensed child's creche for 3 months to 5yrs and snow sports school for both kids and adults who are finding their snow legs.

Equipment Rental

Everything you need for Mt Hutt Skifield is available directly on the mountain, no need to carry it all up. You'll find the latest gear, from clothing to equipment, and the on-site technicians keep it in top condition. Use the revolutionary Head BYS ski fitting system designed to reduce the amount of time taken to fit boots and skis allowing you maximum time on the slopes. The snowboard gear is the industry leading Burton 'Learn to Ride'. If you want to swap, exchange, upgrade or if you find something is not quite right, they'll take care of it on the spot.

Your Accommodation: Methven Motels

Methven Motels offer premium and economy self-catering accommodation, just a short 5 minute walk to the cafes and restaurants of Methven. No matter your budget this is the place to base yourself for your skiing Mt Hutt adventurer.

Day 3: Continue along the Inland Scenic Route to the alpine village of Lake Tekapo and an afternoon of relaxing at the hot pools

Methven to Lake Tekapo

Hugging the foothills of the Southern Alps and Peel Forest you arrive into the township of Geraldine, another ideal refreshment stop (local ice cream, cheeses, bakery etc) before you head into the Mackenzie country. Turning west you continue towards the high country and passing through places such as Beautiful Valley it's not hard to understand how the names originated. Ascending Burkes Pass and onto the high country plateau and the picturesque town of Lake Tekapo, the first of the large Southern Lakes. It's a great place to take a scenic flight, enjoy a guided horse trek, ski at the nearby family-owned ski fields, or just enjoy the magnificent views.

Lake Tekapo hot pools

What better way to relax after a day on the slopes than soaking in the Tekapo Springs hot pools overlooking Lake Tekapo.  With three pools of varying temperatures, massage jets and fountains you’ll ease those aches and pains while taking in the spectacular views.

Your Accommodation: Lake Tekapo Village Motel

Set in the centre of Lake Tekapo village, Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort is just a short walk to the lake, shops and restaurants. Most of the rooms also enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Day 4: Today you'll enjoy a very kiwi ski experience at Roundhill

Roundhill Ski Field 1 Day Lift Pass

Ski or Snowboard in the heart of the South Island of New Zealand. Roundhill is a fantastic family ski field with breath-taking views of Aoraki Mt Cook, the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Learners and little ones can practice in the massive beginner’s area, which features a platter lift and 2 easy rope tows for a fun and gentle way to find your feet in the snow. The 2 T-Bars give access to loads of wide, perfectly groomed intermediate trails with lots of natural dips and curves making for fun and interesting skiing and riding. For the more adventurous, head up the world’s longest and steepest rope tow and see what Australasia’s biggest vertical drop (783m) is all about. Offering super long natural half pipes, chutes this is skiing and riding at its best.  You can hire all your ski and snowboard gear on the mountain and there’s a ski school to help get you onto the slopes.  When you’re starting to tire head to the café or refreshment hut to relax and refuel.

Roundhill Ski Field Rental Equipment

Roundhill Ski Field stock ski and snowboard rental equipment for all ages. Beginning with the best brands including Rossignol Dynastar and Solomon, the friendly team at Roundhill will make sure you get the best service and style of gear for your day on the mountain. All the rental equipment is late model and precisely tuned for the best fit and enjoyment.

 

Your Accommodation: Lake Tekapo Village Motel

Set in the centre of Lake Tekapo village, Lake Tekapo Scenic Resort is just a short walk to the lake, shops and restaurants. Most of the rooms also enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Day 5: Head south to Wanaka and the Southern Lakes Region

Lake Tekapo to Wanaka

Lake Pukaki is just another 30 minutes from Lake Tekapo and its from here you can be rewarded with spectacular views the full length of the lake and into Mt. Cook National Park. In Mt. Cook Village a myriad of activities are available from glacier landings by ski plane or helicopter, kayaking on a glacial lake and a host of walks to suit all abilities and time frames. At The Hermitage Hotel the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre is a must see.
Twizel, just south of Mt. Cook was the location of many Lord of the Rings movie scenes and a little further on is Omarama, the gliding capital of New Zealand. Wrinkly Rams is a local café and also offers an informative sheep shearing demonstration. The Lindis Pass is one of New Zealand’s highest roads with the summit reaching 971 metres. The tussock covered hills offer an unusual contrast as you pass from the Mackenzie Basin and into Central Otago.
Bendigo, just off the main highway, was one of Otago’s original gold mining settlements and well marked paths will guide you to explore the remains of stone cottages and other buildings from this bygone era.
Approaching Wanaka the wonderful alpine lake welcomes you to the town. Despite its size Wanaka has a wide variety of activities available. In winter it is without doubt New Zealand's premier ski destination with its very close location to Treble Cone and Cardrona. Mt Aspiring National Park sits to western edge of the lake and offers some wonderful walking tracks for all abilities. Fishing, sailing and kitesurfing are popular pastimes on the lake and the many beach access points provide some great picnic and relaxing spots.

Arrive into Wanaka and collect your Flexi-Pass or Cardrona card

Welcome to Wanaka for your winter ski or snowboarding holiday.  It’s not just the skiing that makes Wanaka a fantastic winter destination, there’s also the spectacular scenery, amazing adventures and endless activities to keep you entertained when you’re not on the slopes.  After each action packed day, you’ll also find a superb variety of cafes and restaurants to relax and refuel at.

Today we recommend you visit the Cardrona Alpine Resort Wanaka Office located at the corner of Helwick and Dunmore Streets and collect your Flexi-Pass or Cardrona card.  This will save you heaps of time tomorrow as you’ll avoid the morning queues and can head straight to the mountain with more time to ski and ride.  When you visit the Cardrona Wanaka Office please take your Ski New Zealand itinerary with you as the staff will need the reference number off this.  Each person in your group receives their own card and must collect their own card as your photo will be taken at the time of issue.  All your lift passes, rental equipment, lessons etc will be loaded onto your card.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape.

Day 6: Experience Cardrona Ski Resort

Cardrona ski field 1 day lift pass

Cardrona ski field is located between Wanaka and Queenstown so it's handy to both alpine resorts. Set over 345 hectares with 20% beginner, 55% intermediate and 25% advanced there are runs to suit all abilities. Cardrona offers parks and pipes of different levels for those that enjoy jumps and freestyle snow fun. If you're bringing the family, Cardrona offers the best facilities for kids with a nursery for 3 months to 3yrs, ski kindy for 3-4 yrs and kids ski school for 5yr+. There's also ski school for the big kids no matter their skill level. With onsite full ski and snowboard gear rental available you don't have to worry about packing gear and when you need to rest the legs or fuel your fire, there are 5 cafes on the mountain so you'll find whatever you're craving.

Cardrona Rental Equipment

Make life simpler and hire your rental equipment and clothing for Cardrona ski field up the mountain. Cardrona has a huge range of the latest ski and snowboard gear for a great day out. Rent skis and snowboards including twin tips, Burton Learn to Ride snowboards, Performance skis and beginner skis at Cardrona. Hire up the mountain and have the option of dropping off in Wanaka or Queenstown at the end of your ski holiday. Best of all your hired boots and skis can be changed at any time throughout the day if necessary.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape.

Day 7: If the weather's good maybe spend another day on the slopes or try one of the many activities on offer in Wanaka

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Treble Cone Ski Field 1 Day Lift Pass

Treble Cone Ski Field was awarded ‘New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort 2013’ at the inaugural World Ski Awards held in Kitzbuhel Austria. Located just a short 35 minute drive from Wanaka township, it offers 550ha of diverse ski area for both skiing and snowboarding as well as some of the most magnificent views you will see in New Zealand.  Home to the longest ski and snowboard runs in the Queenstown and Wanaka lakes district, the longest being 4km with a 700m vertical drop - perfect for those who never want to leave the snow.  Famous for its long uncrowded groomed slopes which can be accessed from Saddle Basin and Home Basin chairlift, and for the more adventurous there is amazing off-piste terrain in the Saddle Basin and Motatapu Chutes area. The Jazz intermediate fun park is a great place to practice your tricks and for the kids there is a fun trail to play on. With 10% beginner terrain, 45% intermediate terrain and 45% advanced terrain, this is a fantastic ski field for those wanting to get the most out of their day on the snow.  When you're not out on the slopes you can enjoy the fare on offer at the Cafe and bar while sitting on their sun deck enjoying the views.  Learner ski and snow boarding packages are available, along with the onsite complete gear rental, this makes for a hassle free snow experience for visitors to New Zealand.  There are childcare facilities for 3-6yr olds and group kids lessons suitable for all abilities.  You can catch the shuttle service from Wanaka and Queenstown, or from the bottom Treble Cone carpark.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling world

Stuart Landsborough’s remarkable Puzzling World is home to the original Great Maze as well as numerous illusion rooms which will leave you scratching your head in wonder.  This is a great destination for those days when the weather doesn’t play ball or you need to rest the legs and still keep the kids entertained.  Great for all ages this is a must for your winter holiday in Wanaka.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Central Otago Afternoon Wine Tour

Winter in Central Otago is a magical time, with crisp days and frosty mornings.  A great way to unwind from your previous days adventures on the slopes is to join an afternoon wine tour of the boutique vineyards and wineries that the region is famous for.  Travelling in a small group you’ll explore the countryside surrounding Wanaka as you visit 4 specially chosen vineyards.  You’ll taste the delicious Pinot Noir the region is best known for as well as excellent examples of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay.  Enjoy a gourmet canapé matched tasting at one of the vineyards and throughout the tour take in the magical Central scenery.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Explore the magical Mou Waho Island at the heart of Lake Wanaka

Located just a short 35 minute cruise from Wanaka is the idyllic nature reserve of Mou Waho Island.  On landing at the island your enthusiastic local guide will take you on a unique one hour walking tour, along the way you’ll discover the picturesque lake on top of the island.  Here you’ll stop for a relaxing tea and snack break while enjoying the delightful birdsong and breath-taking views.  If you’re lucky the rare flightless Buff Weka might join you for tea, these curious birds love visitors.  To top off your Wanaka experience you’ll leave part of yourself behind on this magical island, as you plant your own native tree to help with island conservation.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape.

Day 8: Cross the Crown Range Road to Queenstown, the 'Adventure Capital' of New Zealand

Travel from Wanaka to Queenstown

From Wanaka there are two routes you can take to get to Queenstown.  Either head over the Crown Range Road, New Zealand’s highest sealed road (make sure you’re carrying snow chains and check the road conditions) or take the longer route via Cromwell and the Kawarau Gorge.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Jet Boating on the Shotover

Take the ride of your life this winter through the spectacular canyons of the upper Shotover River.  Your Shotover Jet Boat driver takes you careering past rock faces, boulders and jutting crags with an ease that belies the power of the ‘Big Red’ jet boat.  Just when you think you can’t scream any more the boat suddenly stops with a 360 degree spin amidst a spray of water.  To keep warm during this winter adventure wear your ski jacket and gloves and keep your hands firmly on the heated hand rail.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Leap from the AJ Hackett bungy jump off the Kawarau Bridge

Take a leap from the original AJ Hackett commercial bungy jump – off the historic Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown.  If you’re feeling brave why not throw in an optional mid-winter river bungy dip in the Kawarau River as well, the best way to know you’ve reached the bottom of your 43m free fall.

Your Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

At Blue Peaks Lodge you’ll find clean and comfortable self-catering motel accommodation, just a short 5 minute walk from the buzz of Queenstown’s dining and shopping area. Ski field transport picks up from across the road and free off street parking make it a doddle to get up the slopes.

Day 9: Choose from either the Remarkables or Coronet Peak for your first Queenstown ski day

The Remarkables Ski Field

The Remarkables offers a laid-back atmosphere which is fantastic for families and those new to skiing or snowboarding. Located just 45 minutes from Queenstown, the Remarkables features a fantastic network of trails with wide, gentle slopes for beginners of all ages and big mountain runs for the experts in the family. With 30% beginners, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced, the Remarkables offers challenges for all levels and for those wanting to progress quickly, the friendly team of instructors can be with you every step of the way. While you're up there don't forget to check out the purpose-built snow tubing lanes before you round off with a steaming hot chocolate or drink at Remarkables cafe. With regular shuttles from Queenstown, childcare for 3 months onwards and lessons for 3yrs+ and complete gear hire on the mountain, this is a fun and easy day out for visitors to the South Island.

Queenstown Superpass 2 Day Lift Pass

With 2 days of Queenstown Superpasses you've got lift access to New Zealand's premier ski areas plus the fun and excitement of a range of off mountain attractions in and around Queenstown. You can mix it up a little and ski a day at the Remarkables and a day at Coronet Peak, or maybe you've got your eye on a run that you want to conquer over 2 days. And remember if the weather doesn't play ball on one of your days you can always exchange one of your superpass days for an exciting off-mountain activity or towards a feast at your favourite Queenstown restaurant or cafe.

Equipment Rental

Everything you need is available directly on the mountain, no need to carry it all up. You'll find the latest gear, from clothing to equipment, and the on-site technicians keep it in top condition. Use the revolutionary Head BYS ski fitting system designed to reduce the amount of time taken to fit boots and skis allowing you maximum time on the slopes. The snowboard gear is the industry leading Burton 'Learn to Ride'. If you want to swap, exchange, upgrade or if you find something is not quite right, they'll take care of it on the spot. There is the added flexibility of returning your rental equipment to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables or the Queenstown Snow Centre, irrespective of where you picked it up. If you want to get fitted out the day before you start skiing or boarding, and know that you have your gear early, pick it up at Snowbiz in Queenstown.

Your Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

At Blue Peaks Lodge you’ll find clean and comfortable self-catering motel accommodation, just a short 5 minute walk from the buzz of Queenstown’s dining and shopping area. Ski field transport picks up from across the road and free off street parking make it a doddle to get up the slopes.

Day 10: Another day's skiing and maybe try one of the other adrenalin activities Queenstown is famous for.

Coronet Peak Ski Field

Want to challenge yourself on exciting terrain in some of the best conditions in the Southern Hemisphere?  Then Coronet Peak should be top of your list.   This theme park created by mother nature offers gripping trails and the extensive snowmaking facilities, makes for complete snow coverage on multiple trails. Coronet is also home to night skiing for a different take on these roller coaster trails try it under lights. For those just getting to know the snow the dedicated learner and novice areas make finding your snow feet easy and all gear can be hired on the mountain. With 25% beginners, 45% intermediate and 30% advanced, Coronet Peak has the trail for you.  For a break from the snow, enjoy live music at the base building, or wet your whistle with a hot chocolate or cold beverage at Heidi's Hut. The pizza and pasta meals are great for warming you up and giving you an energy boost for the afternoon. For the little ones there are supervised kids' programmes for 3 months upwards and snow sport school for kids and big kids alike. There are regular shuttles to and from Queenstown, which is only a 20 minute drive away. 

Equipment Rental

Everything you need is available directly on the mountain, no need to carry it all up. You'll find the latest gear, from clothing to equipment, and the on-site technicians keep it in top condition. Use the revolutionary Head BYS ski fitting system designed to reduce the amount of time taken to fit boots and skis allowing you maximum time on the slopes. The snowboard gear is the industry leading Burton 'Learn to Ride'. If you want to swap, exchange, upgrade or if you find something is not quite right, they'll take care of it on the spot. There is the added flexibility of returning your rental equipment to Coronet Peak, The Remarkables or the Queenstown Snow Centre, irrespective of where you picked it up. If you want to get fitted out the day before you start skiing or boarding, and know that you have your gear early, pick it up at Snowbiz in Queenstown.

Discover Queenstown this winter

Queenstown in winter is a magical destination.  Surrounded by snow-capped mountains the town takes on a festive atmosphere that is contagious.   If you’re here for the powder you’re spoiled for choice with 3 mountains within an hour’s drive, you can choose from The Remarkables, Coronet Peak or Cardrona Ski Resort.  When you’re not slip-sliding-away there is plenty of off mountain entertainment in the ‘Adventure Capital’ of New Zealand.  The iconic Jet Boat ride on the Shotover River is a must, as is luging at the Skyline Gondola.  For a bigger thrill Queenstown is the birthplace of commercial bungy jumping or take it easy with a tour of the Gibbston Valley wineries.  Queenstown also has a great range of restaurants, cafes and take-out options, ranging from the famous Fergburger takeaways (it’s worth the queuing) to Rata restaurant with Michelin starred Josh Emett at the helm.

Your Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

At Blue Peaks Lodge you’ll find clean and comfortable self-catering motel accommodation, just a short 5 minute walk from the buzz of Queenstown’s dining and shopping area. Ski field transport picks up from across the road and free off street parking make it a doddle to get up the slopes.

Day 11: If you have time consider a drive to Glenorchy or maybe sample the wines from the Central Otago vineyards

More free time in the Adventure Capital of Queenstown

If the weather plays ball and you’re legs are up to it take to the slopes again, maybe even venture over to Treble Cone for the day.  Just a 90 minute drive from Queenstown, this ski field has been voted New Zealand’s best ski resort for 2 years running.  If you need a rest day you can always slip in a spot of retail therapy at Queenstown’s many shops or take the short drive to Arrowtown.  This historic village is perfect for strolling and as an added bonus is home to a fantastic range of shops, cafes and restaurants.  A winter holiday in Queenstown doesn’t need to be all about the snow there are many other ways to spend your day, including golf at Millbrook Resort, a day trip to Glenorchy to explore Mt Aspiring National Park on the Dart River Wilderness Safari, or maybe take a scenic flight over snow covered Fiordland National Park to the spectacular Milford Sound.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Skyline gondola and luging to the max

For amazing views of Queenstown’s snow covered mountains, take the Skyline gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak.  During your 450 metre ascent you’ll have magnificent views of your favourite mountains Coronet Peak and the Remarkables, as well as the surrounding countryside.  On arrival at the Skyline Queenstown building complex you then take a chairlift higher up the mountain to the start of the luge track.  Then there’s only one way down, but don’t worry you’re in control!

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Afternoon Boutique Wine Tasting Tour

Take a break from the slopes and explore the award winning wineries and vineyards from Gibbston Valley along the Kawarau Gorge to Bannockburn and Cromwell.  Appellation Wine Tours have a long history with the vineyards in the region and will take you to 4 wineries for tastings, carefully selecting those that best match the interests of that day’s small tour group.  You’ll also enjoy a delicious platter lunch at Carrick Winery and take in the gold mining history and magnificent scenery of the area.

Your Accommodation: Blue Peaks Lodge

At Blue Peaks Lodge you’ll find clean and comfortable self-catering motel accommodation, just a short 5 minute walk from the buzz of Queenstown’s dining and shopping area. Ski field transport picks up from across the road and free off street parking make it a doddle to get up the slopes.

Day 12: Today you'll depart from Queenstown for home

Take one last spin around Queenstown before returning your car to the airport.

If time allows sneak in a few more Queenstown sights or maybe take an early morning ride on the Skyline gondola before returning your rental car to the airport and catching your flight home.

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