New Zealand’s clear blue skies, lofty mountains and dazzling snow slopes guarantee its popularity as a skiing and snowboarding destination. The New Zealand Information Network has compiled this guide to New Zealand ski fields and heli-ski areas, to enable visitors to plan their winter travel itineraries.

There are commercial ski fields, club ski fields, Nordic cross-country, and heli-ski areas in New Zealand. They provide a broad range of skiing terrain, from cool running on carefully groomed downhills, to cross-country touring routes, and the ultimate challenge of off-piste descents. Snowboarders can choose from gentle slopes to radical half-pipes that give the maximum buzz.

The North Island has three fields on Mt Ruapehu, including Whakapapa, the largest in New Zealand, and on Mt Egmont there is a club field with good volcano-slope skiing.

The South Island fields are spread widely throughout the Southern Alps with Coronet Peak being the southernmost, and arguably the best in the country. South Canterbury has six fields with good downhill, cross-country and ski touring opportunities. Mt Hutt is rated as one of New Zealand’s best fields, and Porter’s Pass is the closest to Christchurch. Arthur’s Pass region has five fields, Hanmer Springs three, and the Nelson region two.

Heli-skiing and glacier skiing operators cover an extensive range of off-piste skiing throughout the Southern Alps from July to October. Club fields generally represent value for money, as they have good facilities and are less crowded, but may require you to walk some distance from the car park. Visitor centres are situated in nearby towns and have up to date information on transport, equipment hire and weather conditions.

New Zealand’s ski fields are the favourite off-season training venue for numerous Northern Hemisphere ski teams. Check out some of the best snow country south of the equator, and enjoy magic moments where views of glistening slopes and snow-capped peaks go on forever.

Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites: Clubs, Grounds and Facilities

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Round Hill

    Only a few minutes drive from Lake Tekapo township is the ultimate snow sport destination for the whole family. Round Hill ski field was established in 2001 as a dedicated ski field ‘For Mum, Dad and the Kids’. The field has gentle slopes, good snow cover and long undulating runs to ensure enjoyable skiing and snowboarding for all ages.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Awakino

    The majestic St Mary Range receives big dumps of wind-packed powder snow in southerly storms. The Waitaki Ski Club have capitalised on this by setting up the Awakino ski field on these hallowed slopes, high above the Waitaki River hydro lakes in North Otago.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Mt Potts

    A uniquely different ski field is set amongst the high peaks of a sheep station near the Rangitata Gorge in Canterbury. Mt Potts Backcountry ski field and lodge offers superb skiing and snowboarding on virgin powder slopes that can only be accessed by helicopter and snow cat.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Fox Peak

    The mountains of South Canterbury are home to a large ski field with a distinguished pedigree, and a rapidly growing fan club. Fox Peak Ski Club has the distinction of being one of the oldest clubs in New Zealand. It originated in the 1920’s as the Tasman Ski Club based at Mt Cook

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Mt Dobson

    High in the Two Thumb Range, 30 minutes drive from Fairlie, is a family owned and operated commercial field that becomes more popular with every season. Mt Dobson has well groomed slopes for novices and intermediates, and soft, smooth powder up to 2,046 metres to challenge the die-hard powder-pumpers.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Mt Cheeseman

    Watch the sunrise from your room, enjoy breakfast, clip on your skis and head for the lifts. Mt Cheeseman has to be the ultimate in user-friendly club fields. You can start the day in this way at the Snowline Lodge. Ski holiday packages include bed, 3 meals, lift pass and lessons at a reasonable daily tariff. Guests assist staff with light duties.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Mt Olympus

    ‘The Playground of the Gods’, lies on the western flank of the Craigieburn range, where it is ideally placed for trapping powder snow dumps. Mt Olympus is a small club ski field set in a wide south-facing basin, with 60 hectares of varied terrain providing challenging runs for skiers, boarders, novices and die-hards.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Porter Heights

    The closest commercial ski field to Christchurch also boasts the steepest downhill run in New Zealand. Porter Heights is a mecca for serious powder hounds who rave about the challenging steeps of Big Mama and Bluff Face, dropping an awesome 670 vertical metres.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Mt Hutt

    The greatest variety of skiing in New Zealand is found in the Canterbury region, with four commercial and six club fields, including an area that is arguably the best ski field in the Southern Hemisphere. Mt Hutt is simply awesome, enjoying the longest and most consistent season in New Zealand - from early June to October.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Broken River

    Five club ski fields in the Arthur’s Pass and Craigieburn regions provide affordable alpine adventure; all within 2 hours drive from Christchurch. These are Broken River, Temple Basin, Craigieburn Valley, Mt Cheeseman and Mt Olympus.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Turoa

    Turoa 'The Giant', towers above the central North Island, extending into glacier country below Mt Ruapehu's summit ridge. Turoa is located on Mt Ruapehu along with Whakapapa, and both can claim fame to being the North Island's only two commercial ski fields.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Ohau

    A well kept secret in New Zealand skiing circles, is a remote ski field, which can be found midway between Christchurch and Queenstown. Ohau ski field is by-passed by winter sports enthusiasts dashing to the Southern Lakes, even though the field is clearly visible from the main Mackenzie Plains highway.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Tukino

    Mt Ruapehu is revered as the focus for fantastic winter fun on the expansive slopes of Whakapapa and Turoa - the largest snow sports area in New Zealand. Tukino, a club field on the remote eastern slopes, offers the chance to ski and snowboard on the ‘wild’ side of the mountain.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Whakapapa

    The broad white flanks of Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest active volcano, are an irresistible attraction for thousands of snow sport enthusiasts each winter. Whakapapa is the North Island’s premier ski field and lies within the magnificent Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage Area.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Cardrona

    The Southern Lakes ski fields are superb. One in particular has wonderful, safe, open terrain that puts it in a category of the best family ski fields in the world. Cardrona is a top shelf skiing and boarding experience, and everyone can have a great time here. Introduce a beginner to these smooth rolling slopes and after several days of lessons.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Waiorau Nordic

    Classic cross-country skiing is now firmly established in New Zealand with the advent of the Southern Hemisphere’s first all mountain terrain park. Waiorau Snow Farm on Otago’s Pisa Range lies directly across the valley from the Cardrona Ski Field.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Coronet Peak

    Queenstown ‘The Adventure Capital of the World’, takes pride of place as our best winter wonderland. Right on its doorstep are glistening snow slopes, and a hundred different adventure options from heli-skiing to jet boating and bungee jumping.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    The Remarkables

    The snow-capped serrated peaks of the Remarkables Range rise majestically above Queenstown. The scene is breathtaking. So too is the spectacular setting of the Remarkables ski field, a true alpine environment just 45 minutes drive from Queenstown.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Treble Cone

    The biggest and steepest ski field in the South Island has a commanding position in the Southern Alps, and in the hearts of New Zealand’s skiing fraternity. The name, ‘Treble Cone’, conjures up vivid images of ‘Ski Heaven’ - epic views, natural half pipes, big mountain chutes and powder.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Heli-Skiing Locations

    Heli-skiing and heli-boarding are New Zealand's ultimate adrenalin-rush in the mountains. The Southern Alps offers countless virgin snow slopes and glaciers, which can only be accessed by helicopter or ski plane. Gliding effortlessly down untouched powder slopes.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Manganui

    The symmetrical volcanic cone of Mt Taranaki (also called Mt Egmont) rises dramatically above the plain, thrusting up its snow-capped peak as a beacon to snow lovers. Manganui ski field sprawls over the eastern flanks of this silent sentinel, offering the sort of spine-tingling volcanic-slope skiing that pushes the pulse rate to the max.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Craigieburn

    One of New Zealand’s most challenging club fields has achieved cult status among our advanced skiers due to its steepness, deepness and cheapness. This field is uniquely devoid of any slopes that would form a comfort zone for the novice skier. Craigieburn Valley ski field nestles under the steep face of a prominent mountain in the Craigieburn Range called Hamilton Peak.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Mt Lyford

    North Canterbury boasts a beautiful resort that promotes itself as New Zealand’s sunniest snow park, where the atmosphere is charged with the excitement of winter fun. Mt Lyford also has the distinction of being one of New Zealand’s first true alpine developments. Below the ski field is a picturesque village of log chalets, which includes a subdivision known as Mt Lyford Wilderness Retreat.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Rainbow Valley

    High in the St Arnaud Range, amidst the northermost peaks of the Southern Alps, is a commercial ski field that regards itself as a legend in the making, and which offers visitors a spectacular alpine experience. Rainbow ski area is the only commercial field in the sun-drenched Nelson/Marlborough lifestyle region.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Temple Basin

    A broad snow-filled basin nestling under the main divide of the Southern Alps in the beautiful Arthur’s Pass National Park, attracts skiers from around the world. Temple basin is a fabulous ski field blessed with prolific snow, a sunny northerly aspect and a pervading sense of adventure and isolation.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Hanmer Springs

    Set within one of New Zealand’s favourite holiday resorts is a small club field that has much more to offer than just a wonderful day’s skiing. Hanmer Springs ski field is only a 40 minute drive by car or shuttle bus from the Hanmer Springs Thermal Resort, New Zealand’s best alpine spa, and one of the South Islands main tourist attractions.

  • Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites New Zealand

    Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites

    New Zealand’s clear blue skies, lofty mountains and dazzling snow slopes guarantee its popularity as a skiing and snowboarding destination. The New Zealand Information Network has compiled this guide to New Zealand ski fields and heli-ski areas, to enable visitors to plan their winter travel itineraries.