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Skiing New Zealand

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I'm heading off to the Kiwis end of March hoping to extend my skiing season a little - serioulsy... I'm writing my thesis in NZ but I hope to get some skiing in anyway.

Does anyone of you have infos on skiing in NZ or has anyone skied there yet? What are the best resorts? Are there any worthwhile on the North Island?

Thanks for your help!!
post #2 of 8
First of all, get ready to have a hell of a time. Anyone who goes to NZ and doesn't is not to be trusted. I was there in '99 for the beginning of the season, and was able to get out a few times. I went to a few of the areas around Queenstown, which all have a fair amount of vert and are in close proximity to a great party town. Really fun resort area. The Kiwis are more fun than a barrel of kiwis. As far as actual skiing, I have had a bunch of people tell me that the best inbounds skiing is to be found at Treble Cone in Wanaka.
Kia ora, mate, and down a few Speightys (the pride of the South) for me.
post #3 of 8

March is a bit early for skiing. Sometimes you get lucky end May/early June, but usually you ski man made snow until early July. All the best skiing is in the South Island, and pmayer1 is right, the best is Treble Cone in Wanaka. What part of the country are you going to?

pmayer1 - interesting to see you mention the Speights beer, they brew it here in Dunedin where I reside. I don't drink it myself but the rest of the population does.
post #4 of 8

I should not be so critical about the North Island because I have never skiied it !Yes, they do have skifields there, they are all on the one volcano. Had a few problems with eruptions which messed up the ski season but has been settled for the last couple of years.

check out

The north island fields are Ruapehu, Turoa and Whakapapa

They are a four hour drive from the major cities of Auckland and Wellington. So if you are based there, it might be quicker to hop on a plane and fly to Queenstown. The bit of water in between the islands is a bit of a nuisance, the ferries are expensive and slow.
post #5 of 8
Far and away the best skiing when there is good snow cover is Whakapapa on Ruapehu in the north island. Ohakune, the town that supports Turoa on the other side of Ruapehu is worth staying at for partying, it is a bit barren socially at Whakapapa.

Best of the rest, Wanaka - Cardrona for cruising and Treble Cone for some good steeps, if there is enought snow. Wanaka for good fun and a busy social scene.

Don't waste your time in Queenstown, good fun, but over-run with hardcore tourists, and unreliable snow at Coronet and Remarks are sketchy as well.

Mt Hutt near Methven will give you good snow from June through early October, and Methven is a fun town to live in. Mt Hutt is a bit on the boring side though. Good as part of a tour.

But...one of the great secrets of NZ skiing, the club fields in the south island. There are some gems in the southern alps, with the greatest atmospheres, people and good skiing (epic hiking) to be had. Try Broken River, Mt Olympus, Craigieburn, Temple Basin, Porter Heights, and Dobson.

An awesome itinerary for 3-4 weeks of skiing:

Week 1: Whakapapa and Turoa, head down to Christchurch, rent a camper van, and spend Week 2: Mt Hutt, Porter Heights, Craigieburn, Broken River, Mt Cheesman, then head south to Wanaka for
Week 3: Treble Cone, Cardrona, Dobson
Week 4: See Q'town and ski Remarkables (go jetboating as well).

The season in general in NZ is south island mid/late June - early October; North island early July - early november.

Have a great time, there isn't another country on earth that comes close to NZ.
post #6 of 8
Excellent report from TheRockSkier.

I went to Craigieburn last year for the first time. Went mid week and there were 20 poeple skiing the mountain, and 4 of those were ski patrol and staff. There are not many places where the ski patrol introduce themselves to all the guets on the mountain. Facilities are marginal - take your own lunch, there is no cafeteria - but the atmosphere is amazing. No such thing as a snow groomer so don't go unless you are on off piste addict, and don't go if you don't like wide open bowls with no trees and people.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Kia ora all,

Thanks for helping me out so far. I appreciate it very much. pmayer1 - I assure you that I will drown more than a couple of Speighteys for ya'! [img]smile.gif[/img]

Deep pow & safe skiing to all of you!

post #8 of 8
I spent August/September '99 in New Zealand.

Of the bigger areas, I agree that Treble Cone wins. The double chair to surface lift to snowcat loop makes for some outstanding skiing. Wanaka's a servicable ski town. There's also some good heli-skiing there with Harris Mountain heli-ski and you can sometimes find inexpensive walk-up deals.

If you're making the tour, you shouldn't miss out on Ohau Ski Field. It's a totally retro experience... 1000 vertical foot diesel T-bar with some fun terrain. The lodge by the lake is a great spot to spend the night.

> Mt Hutt is a bit on the boring side though.
> Good as part of a tour.

I thought it was better than that. If you do the triple to the T-bar and traverse over, the chutes in the Tower rocks are a fun challenge and the South Face has a pretty good pitch to it. From there, it's an entertaining ski down Montezuma back to the lift. If there's snow, you can traverse beyond the ski area boundary and ski out to the road. No argument that the main face of the mountain is pretty booooring.
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