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7 Best Ski Resorts in New Zealand

Get your skis on and your snowboards ready, New Zealand is a snow sports playground right now!

Winter is coming. And New Zealand is a Winter Wonderland. The glacial landscapes make for a diverse variety of runs, and the guaranteed snow makes New Zealand an international destination for skiing holidays. Here’s our pick of the Kiwi crop:

1. Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort

Cardrona is the crowning jewel in the ranges surrounding Lake Wanaka. Here the terrain is evenly split, with 25% for beginners, 50% for intermediates and a quarter reserved for the more advanced skiers. Add in the stunning scenery and three huge bowls across the Crown Ranges, and you have a winning ski resort.

2. Coronet Peak

Coronet Peak has to be one of the most accessible resorts here, as it’s only a 25 minute drive from Queenstown. If you’re looking to develop your ski skills, they have a brilliant Snow Sports School that you can sign up with today.

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3. Treble Cone

Treble Cone’s cracking views are reason enough to visit this resort, but the natural gullies might also twist your arm. It’s a brilliant area for free riding, but newbies should note the slopes here aren’t that easy. If you’re an old timer looking for a cruisy ski weekend, this is where you should go.

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4. Mt Cook, Mackenzie

You might say Mt Cook is a natural playground of ski slopes. Within the area you will find the individual ski fields of Ohau, Roundhill and Mount Dobson, all of which have their own merits. Ohau is the most developed, based on powder snow slopes, whereas Roundhill is a great destination for families. From here you get a great view of the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo. Mount Dobson is the more daring option of the 3 – the slopes are littered with black runs, ready for your arrival.

5. Mt Hutt, Canterbury

This enormous mountain makes a great family destination, as kids go free! They have a variety of runs with a 50-25-25 split between medium, easy and hard slopes, so you can develop your snow sport prowess whatever level you’re at.

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6. Whakapapa, Tongariro Park

Whakapapa and Turoa are the only ski resorts in New Zealand based on the side of a volcano, Mount Ruapehu. If that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush for you, they have 24 black and black diamond runs to choose from – the volcanic landscape has carved out many chutes, barrels and bumps for you to conquer. Not to mention, it’s based in the beautiful Tongariro National Park.

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7. Turoa, Tongariro National Park

Turoa boasts the longest vertical descent in Australasia, and two exclusive backcountry areas for ski & snowboard aficionados. If you’re looking for the Kamikaze run, venture onto Hamilton’s Face for the thrill of a lifetime. That said, Turoa also caters for beginners: they have a spacious Alpine Meadow with a 120m carpet ski lift for newbies!

Picked your peak? Now, check out our Ski Kit Essentials for 2014.