Calling all powder hounds! Kiwi ski adventures are back, and the South Island is ready and waiting with a fresh and exciting new offering: Aotearoa’s very own Snow Highway.
This all-new itinerary will deliver more of what you love about winter in New Zealand: accessible and fun skiing, warm hospitality and stunning scenery. So, what exactly is the Snow Highway, and where will it take you? Let’s dive in.
What is the Snow Highway?
The Snow Highway is the brainchild of SOUTH* (Christchurch Airport’s regional tourism partnership), and NZ’s youngest Olympic Gold-medallist, freestyle skier Nico Porteous.
Designed to highlight the best of South Island skiing, the Snow Highway ticks all boxes in one incredible week-long (or longer) itinerary.
In a nutshell: fly to Ōtautahi Christchurch, then drive to nearby Methven to ski Mt Hutt, then from here it’s off to explore the mountains in the Mackenzie Region before capping it all off in style in Queenstown or Wanaka. Sound pretty good? Yep, we thought so too.
The incredible ski fields starring in NZ’s freshest ski adventure
With a mix of big names and backcountry gems, this ski adventure showcases something for everyone. Here are the mountains you can enjoy on the Snow Highway.
Mt Hutt, Methven
Winner of the ‘best NZ ski resort’ award for 7 years running, Mt Hutt boasts an expansive skiable area, predictable snowfall and affordable prices. It’s a short drive from the alpine town of Methven, which is itself just one hour’s drive from Christchurch city, so you could either stay overnight in the city or head directly to Methven from the airport.
Mackenzie Region ski fields
Next up are some fantastic boutique ski resorts in the Mackenzie Region. We recommend staying in Tekapo for this part of the journey, or a little further away is Twizel.
Roundhill offers panoramic views across Lake Tekapo all the way to Mount Cook, and fun for all ages with a huge beginner area.
Just under an hour from Tekapo is Mt Dobson, which has beautiful uncrowded runs and dry powder snow — perfect for those bluebird days. And if you’re looking for something extra special, further south towards Queenstown is the small high-country resort Ohau, but you’ll need to stay at the lodge to ski here.
New Zealand’s tallest mountain can be seen from afar, but it’s even more impressive up close. Staying in the small township at Mount Cook is recommended for those keen to explore the ice caves and long ski runs as part of the Ski the Tasman glacier skiing experience.
Queenstown & Wanaka ski fields
Queenstown and Wanaka offer a dream line up for skiers and boarders of all abilities — not to mention the jaw-dropping scenery literally everywhere you look.
The Remarkables has incredible backcountry terrain and a brilliant learner offering, while Coronet Peak is a family favourite just 20 minutes’ drive from Queenstown. In Wanaka, you can enjoy Cardrona, the snowboarder’s paradise with excellent terrain parks, or Treble Cone, which is a great workout for intermediate and advanced skiers.
The conclusion of the Snow Highway is a short flight from Queenstown to Christchurch, then back home — but of course, you could choose to extend your adventure and stay a little longer …