Skiing in New Zealand: The Top Resorts and Best Places for Families

  • Preschoolers
    All Ages

As soon as the Trans-Tasman travel bubble was announced earlier this month, it didn’t take Aussies long to start dreaming up vacation plans to go skiing in New Zealand. It’s been a hot minute since we’ve heard “Kia Ora” in the land of the long white cloud, so if you’re keen on jumping across the ditch for a winter getaway, let’s take a look at everything you need to know before digging out the passport (finally)! From the best time of year to visit the ski fields, to which resorts are best for kids, how much it will cost you and where to stay—we’ve got you covered.

When is the New Zealand Ski Season and What’s the Best Time to Ski in New Zealand?

Depending on when the first considerable dusting of snow sets in, this will dictate the beginning of the ski season. However, typically you’ll find the season runs anywhere from early June to mid-October. For up-to-date announcements on when they’re opening lifts, it’s best to keep an eye out on the official ski resort websites. The best months to hit the powder in New Zealand are August and September, so make sure you book in then to get prime slope time.

Is Skiing in New Zealand Expensive?

Skiing in New Zealand
Take the plunge and book some flights to New Zealand for ski season—it's sure to delight even your littlest family members!

Ah yes, the age-old debate—is it cheaper for Aussies to ski in New Zealand or Australia? It’s hard to definitively answer whether skiing in New Zealand is more expensive as there are quite a few variables to consider. Flights, car hire, lift passes, ski hire, accommodation and meals can all add up but there are definitely ways to keep within your budget. Make sure you book well in advance to get early bird multi-day passes, weigh up all-inclusive packages and keep an eye out for deals. Considering both the Australian and New Zealand governments are keen to encourage travel between the two countries to stimulate the economies, you better believe there will be some cracking deals floating about online. Stay vigilant and you’ll stay thrifty! 

Top Places to Ski With Kids in New Zealand

1. Cardrona

If you’re wanting to ski Cardrona the best option is to stay in Wānaka, an hour from Queenstown. Daily shuttles run from the town centre into Cardrona where you’ll find a ski resort that will suit all members of the family. Kids as little as 3 months can head to ski school while parents can challenge their slope skills with more intermediate runs.

Cost: You can bundle lift pass, hire and classes starting at $165 per day for adults and $125 per day for children.

2. Mt Hutt

It’s suggested you stay in the quaint town of Methven just outside of Christchurch if you want to seize the day at Mt Hutt. With wide open terrains, new ski lifts and the chance for kids under 10 to ski for free, this is a no-brainer for those wanting a great experience without the hefty price tag!

Cost: Early bird 4-day multi-passes start at $340 for adults, $168 for kids over 10.

3. Coronet Peak

Just 16km from town, Coronet Peak is the closest and easiest ski resort to get to from Queenstown. One of New Zealand's most popular ski destinations, Coronet Peak is an ideal pick for the little ones with plenty of gentle slopes and ski school options.

Cost: Early bird 4-day multi-passes start at $340 for adults, $168 for kids.

4. The Remarkables

The Remarkables
A great pick for older kids, The Remarkables is a must-do destination on the NZ ski scene!

Slightly further out from Coronet Peak, 24km outside of Queenstown you’ll find The Remarkables. There aren’t too many ski school or care options for little ones under 4-years-old so The Remarkables are a better option for kids a little older who are still finding their feet (or skis) on the runs as these slopes are definitely for beginners.

Cost: Early bird 4-day multi-passes start at $340 for adults, $168 for kids.

5. Treble Cone 

Just 20 minutes from Wānaka you’ll find Treble Cone, the ski resort that will be best suited for the family who is well seasoned with the slopes of Saint Anton, Whistler and Courchevel. There are still ski school options for kids aged over 4 but note that the more advanced terrains are not for beginners!

Cost: Early bird lift pass and hire bundles starting at $175 per day for adults and $100 per day for kids.

Best New Zealand Ski Resort Accommodation for Families

1. Hotel St Moritz

Stay for: incredible views over Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown and a luxury stay for you and the family. Right now they’re offering a deal for 50% off a second room for families.

Cost: Approx $1,000 per night for a one-bedroom Alpine Suite.

2. The Rees Hotel

Stay for: the option to choose from 60 hotel rooms, 90 apartments and five private, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom lakeside residences all within a stone's throw of the town centre of Queenstown.

Cost: Standard hotel rooms start at around $500 per night.

3. Cardrona Alpine Apartments

Cardrona Alpine Apartments
Stunning alpine interiors like this, in a family-friendly resort? Sign us up!

Stay for: relaxed self-contained accommodation. These beautifully designed alpine apartments are perfect for families who want to make Cardrona feel like home.

Cost: Contact them directly on +64 800 440 800 to find out rates.

4. Beechtrees Cottage

Stay For: a rustic and quaint cottage stay in Methven with a view of Mt Hutt from the living room.

Cost: Rates start at $160 per night.

5. Edgewater

Stay For: the chance to stay at one of the most beautiful properties in New Zealand on the shores of Lake Wānaka. The sprawling grounds are so breathtaking you might not want to leave.

Cost: Rooms start at approx $450 per night.

More Family Getaway Ideas

Why NRMA Holiday Parks Are Perfect For Families
5 Awesome Australian Islands That Are Great For Kids
Ultimate Guide to Camping with the Family

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