Christchurch is the gateway to many of New Zealand’s top peaks, with a huge number of ski fields in the area. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly field, or an adrenaline-pumping slope away from the beginners, Christchurch is a great place to start. Need a cheap car hire? Check out Hertz Christchurch Car Rental before you go.
Just an hour’s drive from Christchurch, Canterbury’s largest ski area caters to all types. Ease in at snow school or in the terrain park, then chill out at Methven village at the end of the day. Off-piste action can be had here, too.
Mount Hutt spans 365 hectares of skiable area and is 90 minutes from the Hertz Christchurch Airport Car Rental location. The season runs from June to October.
Hanmer Springs Ski Area is run by the nonprofit Amuri Ski Club from June to September, offering 52 hectares of terrain, more than half of which is for intermediate skiers. The skifield is 20km from the Hanmer Springs township, where you can relax in the thermal pools or enjoy a soothing massage afterwards.
The closest ski area to Christchurch is Porters, a local favourite that’s just an hour from Christchurch airport. The easy access and learner slopes are a big draw, but it also caters to experts with more challenging terrain. The season runs from June to September.
Meanwhile, another family-friendly ski field is Mount Cheeseman, while adventure seekers head to Craigieburn or Broken River for off-piste skiing. Alternatively, at Mt Olympus you can spend a day out in the backcountry, followed by a soak in New Zealand’s highest altitude hot tub.
The stunning Aoraki / Mt Cook region is under 3 hours from Christchurch, and offers a number of ski fields. Roundhill and Ohau are ideal for first-time snow bunnies, while Fox Peak offers thrills and spills. Mount Dobson is famous for its sunshine and wide runs, welcoming visitors of all abilities. It has the country’s largest learner and intermediate area, along with a massive natural halfpipe. The season runs from July to October, and is 2.5 hours from Christchurch.