So, you’ve read blogs and heard tall tales of the breathtaking scenery, fantastic ski resorts and fresh virgin snow in New Zealand? You’ve seen those amazing images of the pistes and backcountry terrain on the South Island in 'Ski & Snowboard' magazine? However, you will never get to ski in Queenstown, simply because you live on the opposite side of the planet.
Think again! Skiing and snowboarding devotees ... we implore you to consider New Zealand for your next summer holiday. It’s possible, it’s affordable and it's every bit as good as you have heard. It is, without doubt, absolutely worth the trip. If you are chasing an endless winter, then head to 'Aotearoa – ‘Land of the Long White Clouds’. Or slopes, perhaps?
There's no getting around the monster journey to get there – nothing we can do about that. However, once you’ve clocked off the long-haul miles you’ll find a heartfelt welcome in a country more beautiful than any other on God’s earth. Each of the ski areas has its own unique character, yet all are framed against New Zealand's stunning scenic backdrop – lakes, rivers, golden plains, dense forests and the deep blue ocean.
It's fair to say that we’re head over heels in love with New Zealand at Different Snow, having spent many of our better years living down there near the ski fields. We’ll use our expertise and on-the-ground knowledge to make the best use of your available time and get the most from your budget.
There we go – an introduction to New Zealand without mentioning a Hobbit once. Doh!
The ski season typically runs from June through until late October. Early in the season its colder, therefore the chance of some good powder skiing. August is considered the peak ski month and then from mid / late September onwards it all becomes a bit of a lottery – ranging from perfect powder to slush and mush.
You’ve come all this way for the snow, so we only focus only on the best of the best – the ski resorts with reliable snow, world-class facilities, and then the most lively and characterful ski towns. If Different Snow feature it then it isn’t a tiny little private ski club, with one hut and two lifts (of which there are many in NZ).
On the South Island, these best ski fields are grouped on the eastern flank of the Southern Alps. Here, Mother Nature has been particularly kind, sculpting exciting undulating runs feeding in to huge natural bowls. You’ll find long, uncrowded trails, some legendary off-piste terrain and those iconic, unique views down to the valley.
In New Zealand, be prepared for a different type of ski holiday. We will rarely, if ever, base you on the ski mountain itself, meaning ski-in/ski-out accommodation is not an option. Instead, you’ll likely find yourself in a lively ski town down in the valley, from which you then commute to the ski fields each day. It may not be what you’re used to, but the big advantage is that you can choose to ski on a different mountain each day if you like!
Tap on the resorts below to find out more:
Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Coronet Peak are the ski fields. Queenstown and Wanaka are the ski towns down in the valley. We help you decide where you want to stay and then where you want to ski each day.
From Europe it’s a long, long haul. Expect a 26-30 hour journey if you’re going to do it in a one’er – many choose to break the journey in either Asia or Los Angeles. Different Snow can help with hotels, transfers, tours and suchlike if a stopover takes your fancy.
Once you arrive in to either Auckland (North Island) or Christchurch (South Island), it's then possible to catch an internal flight to Queenstown. Alternatively, if you fly via Australia then direct flights can take you directly to the Southern Alps.
Many choose to hire a vehicle in New Zealand, driving yourself to the ski resorts and making a holiday of it along the way.
Different Snow are a fully licensed and financially bonded tour operator – we can your organise international flights to New Zealand. Often we have access to better fares than those available directly to you – at the very least, as good as. For your piece of mind, it's better to keep all your travel arrangements under one roof. Therefore, if one element fails for whatever reason, it's our responsibility to get things back on track.