There are certain things New Zealand is just so renowned for Lord of the Rings, Pineapple Lumps, steaming geysers – and the number of picturesque locations around the country that offer a snowy, winter wonderland ready to inspire any traveller young or old. New Zealand ski fields start opening for the 2016 season from mid-June, and depending on the weather, the season often lasts until the end of October.
Pondering a winter holiday on the slopes? Here are some handy hints for you!
Skiing holidays are great for the kids: Depending on what you are after, individual ski fields each offer their own perks. If you are travelling with kids, Mt Ruapehu in Central North Island region offer a wonderful selection of ski fields of all levels for families, and includes the internationally-renowned beginners’ slope Happy Valley, with kids passes starting from just $14 for sightseeing passes or $38 for ski field access, and adults $20 and $62 respectively.
Want to ski the big slopes and still ensure the kids have fun? Easy! Have some fun with the kids and then enjoy some adventure time on the slopes while your young ones play. Most ski slopes offer kid-friendly options. Popular ones include Mt Ruapehu in the North Island that offers the Turoa Yeti Childcare Centre where kids can relax or learn to ski; and Coronet Peak in the South Island offers the Skiwiland Early Learning Centre where children under five can enjoy a safe environment while their parent hit the slopes. Cardrona, near Queenstown, is also renowned for their children’s activities.
The right accommodation: Finding accommodation suitable for couples or families (big or small) is easy with the help of Family Parks in New Zealand, and their range of parks located near some of the country’s top ski fields. In the South Island, head to the Rakaia River Holiday Park which is just 25 minutes’ drive from the Canterbury region’s nearest ski field, while Christchurch’s North South Holiday Park is also nearby too.
Why choose a great holiday park? Simple – you can make it what you need it to be. They have a bit of everything from powered sites to comfortable cabins. Many of them have soothing pools or hot tubs onsite or near by, great to soak away the aches of a great day on the slopes; and because they are dotted throughout the country, they are always where you need them to be.
Don’t have your own gear? Easy! Rent your ski boots, skis and boards on your arrival, either from the ski fields or you will often find great rental locations in towns nearby. An example of this is Outside Sports in Wanaka, who hire out snowboarding and skiing gear at all levels – from backpacker level to premium, with rental prices beginning at just $25 per day for ski boots or boards and you can mix and match from there.
Don’t forget to use a reputable company for your hire gear as to ensure the boards and skis are well maintained over the whole season, making your ski holiday a lot more comfortable and memorable. When trying on ski boots, remember it’s more than just matching your shoe size – make sure you get them fitted which will minimise the risk of sore feet and blisters after a day of adventure.
So come and visit us! New Zealand has some of the best glacier landscapes in the world, and is internationally-renowned for its powdery slopes and stunning icy vistas. New Zealand ski holiday? Why not!