Your Guide to Skiing in New Zealand

New Zealand is among the best places to hit the slopes in the southern hemisphere. The ski season there generally runs from early June to late October. While in the North Island there’s Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s only skiable volcano with two commercial fields, the South Island has nine established ski fields dotted around Christchurch and Queenstown. My pick of the bunch when I want to go off-piste is Treble Cone.

Make a beeline for Treble Cone

Treble Cone in the Queenstown-Wanaka region is New Zealand’s most popular place to ski. Plus if you buy your 2014 season pass before November 30 you’ll get bonus Treble Cone dollars to spend the following year as well as special access to Bonus Day 2014, which means even more great-value fun in the snow, (scheduled for 25 June 2014, subject to weather and snow conditions).

Treble Cone boasts legendary off-piste terrain and slopes that stay generally uncrowded, not to mention the all-round gorgeous views as you set about hurtling down those undulating runs. With 45 per cent of the ski terrain in the advanced or expert categories, you’ll be among those who love a challenge. Me included. See you there?

Where to stay

When you’re looking for a place to stay you’ll probably realise, as I did my first time there, that the standard of accommodation will vary drastically depending on your budget. Hostels in Queenstown are a good idea, and you’ll meet likeminded people this way. It’s never a bad idea to make more ski buddies, right? It will just give you a chance to get your skis out more often.

If you’re planning to ski at Treble Cone over a few days or longer, keep in mind that there’s no on-mountain accommodation, but the nearby town of Wanaka has plenty of options, plus it’s closer to the slopes than Queenstown.

How to prepare, and get there

Flying to Queenstown is a good idea, but book those tickets in advance. I got stung once because I left booking too late. I found that bus companies tend to run trips to most resorts and ski fields from New Zealand’s major cities, Treble Cone included. If you hire a car, you’ll find the drive from Queenstown to Treble Cone is breathtakingly beautiful.

Planning a road trip?

If you’re holidaying in New Zealand and decide to make the drive from Christchurch, Treble Cone is located 450 km or a lovely five-and-a-half hour scenic drive past the spectacular Mt Cook (Aoraki) glacier – a sight that’s worth the trip alone and one that induced a massive amount of gasps from all my friends. You’ll also pass the jaw-droppingly awesome Lake Tekapo. In fact, if you’re looking for a road trip in the snow, you can’t do better than this. And just imagine the slopes at the end of it!

What does it cost?

A full-day lift pass at Treble Cone starts at $95 for adults and $48 for children if you book in advance. For more information on skiing in NZ take a look at Student Flights and start planning that ski trip with your mates!

Author: Student Flights consultants love to travel, from adventure travel to backpacking in Peru, they’ve travelled far and wide to bring you the most up to date travel advice.

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