Our Top 6 list of the Best Ski Spots Across New Zealand’s South Island
What comes to mind when you hear the words “New Zealand”? Sheep, rugby, and (thanks to Peter Jackson) hobbits are usually the most popular answers. But what about snow sports? It’s probably not the first thing that pops into your head, but you might be surprised at the enthusiasm both tourists and locals exhibit in hitting the slopes, Kiwi-style.
We may be a tiny country tucked away at the bottom of the Southern Hemisphere, but when it comes to skiing, snowboarding and any other number of snowy endeavours, we can manoeuvre the ice just like the pros.
Before we dive in, check out the bottom of this post for an Infographic that breaks-down our Top 6 South Island Ski Spots!
South Island Skiing – Let’s break it down
New Zealand’s South Island is home to a smorgasbord of incredible ski destinations, stretching from the beginner-friendly Porters ski field near Christchurch down to the aptly-named The Remarkables ski area by Queenstown.
There’s something for everyone when it comes to New Zealand’s snow-capped mountains: challenging off-piste trails for the experts to show off their craft, gentle slopes and friendly instructors to guide the newbies, plus a great range of fun activities such as snow tubing and tobogganing for those looking for something a little different.
The fantastic variety of attractions and events on offer across New Zealand’s ski regions continue to reel in visitors from near and afar. 2012 saw 65,000 visitors from neighbouring Australia flood into Queenstown to test out the snow, comprising New Zealand’s largest ski market, while Singapore and the UK came in at second and third respectively, with holiday tourists from these countries also reporting high ski participation during their visits.
Hitting the Snow
Each of the six major ski slopes offer a unique skiing experience, and the best way to choose your favourite is to zip around the South Island and try them all out. The aforementioned Porters ski field is located within the Christchurch/Canterbury ski area, alongside the sumptuous Mt Hutt, also known as the ‘Capital of Speed’. The diverse range of beginner, intermediate and expert slopes within this area caters well to seasoned pros, families and any other combination of groups keen for action.
Meanwhile, the four ski fields further down similarly draw large crowds every winter, due to the exciting attractions of nearby Queenstown and Wanaka. These picturesque towns are famed for their annual snow events, such as the ever popular Queenstown Winter Festival, as well as for their luxurious accommodation options, charming array of shops and boutiques, and multitude of alternative adventure sports such as bungy-jumping and jet-boating.
If you’re flying in from afar and wanting to drive at your own pace, Europcar has plenty of options to get you up to the slopes fast, and booking a rental car couldn’t be easier.
Can’t quite decide which area sounds best? Just bundle up, grab your gear and round up the troops – it’s quick and easy to hop into a car and venture up and down the South Island, hitting all your favourite slopes along the way. If you’re just visiting the country, or find yourself without a suitable vehicle, Europcar has a long and trusty reputation of transporting groups, families and friends around the country, helping them to explore New Zealand’s best snow regions.
Having partnered up with the Cardrona Ski Alpine Resort this ski season, we’re offering an exclusive car rental and lift pass discount to the first 200 ‘Standard Snow Package’ or ‘All Inclusive Snow Package’ bookings to snag a cool 50% off voucher for a one-day Cardrona lift pass. With such an amazing deal for ski enthusiasts, what are you waiting for?
Start packing those scarves and fluffy socks now and prepare yourself for an amazing winter adventure. See you on the snow!
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