Skiing and Snowboarding in New Zealand

New Zealand is a recognised international ski holiday destination, with northern hemisphere skiers in particular appreciating our reverse seasons. New Zealand offers numerous ski areas, one Nordic cross-country area and a host of heliskiing operators, where choppers are used to lift skiers to the top of long, isolated stretches of snow.

Those who come to ski and snowboard in New Zealand will find the variety staggering, the terrain spectacular, and the lines comparatively short. All ski and snowboard areas in New Zealand are treeless offering wide-open slopes and a perfect mix of undefined terrain and marked trails.
You’ll also find fantastic, fast terrain for snowboarding in New Zealand. The sport has grown in New Zealand in recent years and all major fields welcome those passionate about this sport. There are some excellent natural and man-made halfpipes as well as dedicated terrain parks, and some of the most awesome off-piste powder snow around.

Snowboard shops, instruction and facilities are widely available at most New Zealand slopes.
Most commercial fields have highly qualified ski schools, catering for the novice through to experienced skier and snowboarder, equipment rental, and cafe/restaurant facilities.
World-class ski fields combined with top quality accommodation options and great nightlife at nearby towns make New Zealand the perfect ski holiday destination.

General Information
To get you geared up for a season of skiing and snowboarding, here are some tips for those who are beginners at skiing and snowboarding.
* Alpine weather is very unpredictable – even experienced skiers and snowboarders can come to grief if they’re not careful. Be wary of other skiers and boarders above and below you.
* Safe skiing and boarding has a lot to do with consideration for others and observing the snow code. If you’re a novice, take a lesson first.
* Make sure you bring a friend to ski or snowboard with you, especially if you plan to head out to the back-country.
* Whether you’re hiring your ski gear or you own it – make sure your boots and bindings are professionally tuned. It’s also good to have a screwdriver on hand for any binding problems you may have on your snowboard.
* Wear warm and layered clothing, including gloves and a hat. It’s also a good idea to carry a spare change of clothing just in case you end up falling over more times than you expected!
* Carry food and water if you’re planning to ski off-piste.
* Winter sun can be harsh up on the mountain. Make sure you have some good sunglasses or goggles that are UV protective and lots of sunscreen on hand.
Ski Season
New Zealand Skiing, Skiing in New Zealand, Snowboarding in New Zealand

New Zealand’s ski seasons vary but are generally, in the South Island, from early June until early October, and in the North Island, from late June to mid November. The prevailing westerly weather patterns and maritime climate produce unique conditions for snow sports.

Daily snow reports are available giving the most current snow and weather conditions, road conditions and chain requirements, boundary and closure information, and which lifts and facilities are operating.

Ski Accommodation
Most skiers commute daily to the slops from nearby ski towns. Unlike other countries, New Zealand’s commercial ski areas are generally not set up as resorts with chalets, lodges or hotels. Rather, accommodation and apres-ski nightlife are often in surrounding towns that connect with the main ski areas via daily shuttles.

Ski Equipment Hire
Most of New Zealand’s ski fields have plenty of rental equipment avaliable on hand for your skiing and snowboarding trip. There’s plenty on offer – Recreational and performance skis and snowboards, as well as jackets and pants.
Ski, boots and poles can be hired for around NZ$30 to NZ$40. Snowboard equipment is a little bit more expensive, starting from NZ$50 for snowboard and boot hire.

Jackets and pants can also be hired from NZ$30 for the full day.

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