Best Ski Resorts in New Zealand (For Skiing and Snowboarding)

This article will list the very best ski resorts in New Zealand.

I am Aspen, an NZSIA certified ski instructor, and APSI certified snowboard instructor. I have been teaching snowsports for over 15 seasons, over the years, I have been skiing and teaching in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, and China.

New Zealand is a must-visit destination if you love skiing, snowboarding, and stunning nature. Both the North and South Islands. Other than being one of the best places for seeking “July Powder”, it is also a great place if you want to become a ski or snowboard instructor or a better skier/snowboarder.

I believe that Cardrona and Treble Cone ski resorts should be considered the best ski resorts in New Zealand. You can find everything you need here: ski slopes suitable for all levels, excellent park facilities, tip-top quality snow in New Zealand, a variety of accommodations, excellent transportation network.

Of course, there are other great ski resorts in New Zealand, and let’s walk through these resorts one by one accordingly!

Best Ski Resorts in New Zealand

Here are our most recommended ski resorts in New Zealand.

Treble Cone, Wanaka, South Island

Treble Cone is my favorite ski resort in New Zealand with a 550HA (1359 Arches) ski area, 2088M (6850FT) of summit elevation, it is considered the largest ski area in South Island.

If you enjoy freeriding, challenging slopes, you should visit the off-piste area at saddleback, and I particularly love the Hollywood Bowl there. For advanced skiers or snowboarders, you will have so much fun with our so-called “free flow moguls”. On a snowy day, it brings you world-class powder!

Compared with Cardrona (another ski resort located in Wanaka), it is less busy, so it’s a great place to practice. This is also a place offering world-class ski and snowboard training, I got my NZSIA ski instructor here!

Where to stay: There is no ski-in-ski-out accommodation, most skiers will stay in Wanaka and take shuttles to Treble Cone.

How to get there: 58 KM away from Queenstown (around 2 hours), 40 mins away from Wanaka town center. (Don’t drive up if you have no experience driving in snowy conditions!)

Suitable Levels: Experts, Advanced level skiers or snowboarders, Off-piste, powder lovers

Cardrona, Wanaka, South Island

Also located very close to Wanaka and Queenstown, Cardrona is an all-rounder ski resort suitable for all-level skiers and snowboarders. Compared with the Treble cone, there are more groomed runs.

This is an excellent resort for first-timer because there is quite some flat and easy slope. Facilities and rentals are great, and with eight restaurants on-site! 

If you are an expert skier or snowboarder who loves freestyle, Cardrona has a well-constructed park. You can even find a standard-size half pipe in Cardrona. Many national teams from different countries in Northern Hemisphere will all gather here for their off-season training.

Cardrona combined with Treble Cone a few years ago, and you can purchase a duel pass for both mountains.

Where to Stay: There is a ski-in-ski-out hotel onsite, or else, if you are looking to stay there for a more extended period, do consider staying in Wanaka town. Edgewater Hotel, Bella Vista Motel Lake Wanaka, Central Luxury Apartment 205, Archway Motels & Chalets are all great accommodations.

How to get there: It’s pretty much the same as Treble Cone, around 2 hours by drive from queens and 45 mins from Wanaka town center.

Coronet Peak, Queenstown, South Island

Being the closest ski resort to Queenstown (only 20 mins drive), Coronet peak ski resort is one of the most accessible ski resorts in New Zealand. We love this ski resort because of its super-long operating hours (8 am to 9 pm), from early morning to evening.

This is an excellent place for beginners to intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The groomers are super great for practicing. Yes, there are fewer chair lifts than Cardrona and Treble Cones, but they are super speedy and have great capacity.

You can enjoy the breathtaking view by overlooking Lake Wakatipu and Lake Hayes at the peak. Oh yes! Queenstown has the best after-ski activities!

However, if you love natural snowfall, you may want to head to Cardrona or Treble Cone. Because of the relatively low elevation, Coronet Peak relies on snow machines to keep the resort running.

Where to stay: Queenstown’s or Arrowtown, here are some great hotels: Millennium Hotel Queenstown, Tahuna Lakefront Luxury, Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa, Hulbert House Luxury Boutique Lodge Queenstown

How to get there? It takes only 20 mins from Queenstown to Coronet Peak, a very easy drive!

Useful Tips and Information

Most of the ski resorts in New Zealand offer rentals, and it cost around 50 – 60 NZD to rent full gear. If you plan to visit there for just one day, renting your equipment and snow wear directly onsite is the easiest way.

If you are going to stay for a few days, consider renting the gears from the shops in town, it’s going to be cheaper, just you will have to carry your gears around.

Driving up to the ski resort may be difficult because of the road conditions, icy, slippery, snowfalls, muddy road… You may require chains to drive up, so it’s wise to take shuttles up to the mountain on the first day of your trip to check out the road conditions first.