New Zealand is an awesome place for skiing and snowboarding, that's for sure, but there are plenty more Kiwi winter activities on offer – from adrenaline thrills to thoroughly relaxing. Brown Bear reckons your best bet is to mix up your mountain days with other winter mayhem!
New Zealand is unique – where else can you ski an active volcano, the remotest backcountry or an international-style resort? Yes, Mount Ruapehu in the Central North Island is a real-life volcano! In Taranaki you can board in the morning and then go surfing at the foot of the mountain in the afternoon. Head to Canterbury to take your pick of a vast array of ski areas, or head to the dedicated terrain park at Snow Park or the cross-country ski field at Snow Farm (both near Wanaka). Check out New Zealand's ski areas.
Snow package options range from backcountry snowboard charters, private heli ski experiences and snow school packages to family holidays, blokes' weeks and women's pamper packages. Early season packages are great value – some vehicle rental companies offer free lift passes. Check out the NZSuperpass for your ticket to five South Island ski areas plus off-mountain attractions like hot air ballooning and bungy jumping.
This is the ultimate way to ski or board New Zealand! Imagine being airlifted deep into the backcountry with a small group of fellow thrill-seekers to find slopes well off the beaten track. Heli ski operators have access to a huge range of areas and will drop you in the middle of your ultimate dream mountain landscape. And it's not just for experts – some operators have intermediate-friendly heli ski options, so leave your excuses at the door! Check out heli skiing operators.
New Zealand not only offers awesome slopes and challenging terrain parks for your winter holiday – Kiwis are also great at hosting first-rate wintertime events with heaps of entertainment on and off the slopes. In New Zealand there are no limits to après-ski partying, from world-class skiing or boarding competitions to celebrations like the Queenstown Winter Festival and Gay Ski Week! Check out NZ winter events.
Off-mountain day? Never mind. New Zealand has an awesome range of other activities to keep you busy all through the day – and night. Adrenaline-pumping adventures like bungy jumping and jet boating are a must, of course, but other fun things to do include ice skating, tubing and soaking in a deliciously hot thermal pool or cedar hot tub. Check out more winter activities.