Ski Season in New Zealand: A Quick Family-friendly Guide

With the heat turned up in Singapore, the temperature has become almost unbearable. However, in New Zealand, Winter and Ski Season has just begun.

New Zealand has over 25 ski areas combined (Yes, that many!). Unfortunately, not all are suitable for learners or children due to the terrain difficulties. Fret not, we have collated the best ski resorts and ski fields suited for families/beginners.

*Please note: The ending dates for Ski Season are estimated based on previous historical data. The dates may change according to weather circumstances.

South Island

Cardrona Peak


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A post shared by Cardrona Alpine Resort (@cardronanz)

Ski Season:
Jun 17 2023 – Oct 22 2023
Nearest Airport:
Queenstown Airport (33 Mi)

Cardrona is a local favourite and rightfully so. It features a wide variety of terrain, great views and robust infrastructure that competes with the best of all worlds. If you’re travelling with family, this is a great option due to the ease of convenience and plenty of terrain for children and novices.

Cardrona has accommodation on the mountain itself, though it is harder to secure due to its popularity. Instead, if you don’t mind driving, you can find accommodation at Queenstown or Wanaka, which are both roughly an hour away.

Lodging Recommendations:

City Wyndham Wanaka – 5 Minutes Drive from Lake Wanaka and That Wanaka Tree

Edgewater – Beachfront, 5 Minutes Drive from Lake Wanaka


The Remarkables


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A post shared by The Remarkables (@theremarkables)

Ski Season:
Jun 17 2023 – Oct 08 2023

Nearest Airport:
Queenstown Airport (11 Mi)

If you’re inexperienced and want to learn how to ski, The Remarkables is an excellent place for that. Though a small ski area, it has one of the best terrains in New Zealand. One of the best things about this ski resort is the views it boasts.

Families with beginners may want to start their ski journey at The Remarkables. You can find accommodation in Queenstown as there are not much lodging options at the ski resort itself.

Lodging Recommendations:

Ramada Suites by Wyndham Queenstown Remarkables Park – 14km from The Remarkables

Holiday Inn Queenstown Remarkables Park – 5 min drive from Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown Events Centre

LQ Queenstown – 5 min drive from Remarkables Park Town Centre and Lake Wakatipu


Mt Hutt Ski Area


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A post shared by Mt Hutt Ski Area (@mthuttnz)

Ski Season:
Jun 09 2023 – Oct 15 2023

Nearest Airport:
Christchurch Airport (66 Mi)

Mt Hutt is South Island’s highest mountain with very reliable snow. You can enjoy a good selection of terrain, with ample space for beginners, loads of wide groomers for intermediates and more. This is super-value choice for families as kids under 10 can ski for free!

If you’re planning on visiting, you look to stay at Methven, where accommodation is near and reasonably priced. Mt Hutt usually enjoys a longer ski season due its higher altitude.

Lodging Recommendations:

Methven Resort – 26.6km from Mt Hutt Ski Area


North Island

Turoa Ski Area


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A post shared by Tūroa Ski Area (@turoaskiarea)

Ski Season:
Jul 09 2023 – Oct 15 2023

Near Airports:
Auckland Airport (226 Mi)
Taihape Airport (47 Mi)

North Island’s Ski season starts and ends a little later. One of the only 2 ski resort in North Island, Turoa is located on the country’s largest active volcano. It is known for having he largest vertical drop in Australia and Asia.

According to their website, 25% of their terrains are dedicated to beginners so it is a great place for anyone looking to learn. Turoa also has great nightlife and restaurants on the mountains and in the nearby ski town of Okahune.


Whakapapa Ski Area

Ski Season: Jul 09 2023 – Oct 15 2023
Nearest Airports: Auckland Airport (207 Mi), Taihape Airport (71 Mi)

Whakapapa is Turoa’s neighbouring ski resort. It is located on the same volcano, Mt Ruapheu, as Turoa Ski Area. With almost 70 runs, Whakapapa has everything for beginners to experts. It has New Zealand’s largest dedicated beginner’s area.

Whakapapa also happens to be the filming location for Mordor in The Lord of the Rings saga. Lodging and accommodations are more convenient than Turoa, with lodging at the bases and at National Park.

Lodging Recommendations:

Chateau Tongariro Hotel – 7.1km from Whakapapa Ski Area

Plateau Lodge – 0.8km from Tongariro National Park, 22.9km from Whakapapa Ski Area

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