When the temperature drops, Canterbury's peaks become a winter playground – with more ski areas than anywhere in the Southern Hemisphere.
From family friendly fields to off-piste exhilaration, our region caters to anyone looking for snow-fuelled fun and adventure. When you're planning your adventures on the slopes, remember to factor in some time to experience the warm Canterbury welcome waiting for you après ski.
Mt Hutt & Mid Canterbury
Canterbury's largest ski area, Mt Hutt, is just 90 minutes' drive from Christchurch. Whether beginner or top of your game, you'll be right at home here, with a world-class snow school and 4 terrain parks.
If off-piste trails are calling your name, take a chopper ride up to some great terrain with Methven Heliski, opening up freeriding across 3 mountain ranges. Mt Hutt Heliski offer a heli-taxi service to Mt Hutt Ski field allowing you to jump the queue and get the first run of the day while taking in the views of Mt Hutt and the Canterbury Plains en route.
When the sun goes down, Methven Village at the base of Mt Hutt is the place to go for après snow fun and relaxation. Warm up and revive with some great Kiwi hospitality at some of the bars, restaurants and places to stay in this lively township.
20km from Hanmer Springs township lies Hanmer Springs Ski Area, great for beginner and intermediate skiers and boarders. Relax after a day up the mountain with a soak in Hanmer's thermal pools or a massage at one of the town's many spas. Check out nearby Mount Lyford Alpine Resort, with chalet-style accommodation. Here, you're just 45km from Kaikoura, so you can ski and surf in the same day!
Selwyn 6 – six superb ski areas often referred to as Canterbury's best kept secrets – right on Christchurch's doorstep. Porters Ski Area - just 89km from the city - is a local favourite, popular with both families and advanced skiers and boarders.
Mount Cheeseman is also well known for its family friendly fun and relaxed culture, perfect for beginners and intermediates. While the raw alpine environment of Temple Basin is praised worldwide for its unique atmosphere and terrain.
Mount Olympus is a powder paradise for the backcountry adventurer. Stay at the cosy lodge, and soak in New Zealand's highest altitude hot tub after a hard day on the slopes.
For some of New Zealand's best off-piste adventure, with uncrowded powder basins and chutes, the passionate ski club of Broken River is your pick.
Craigieburn is a holy grail for the advanced or expert rider, with some of the country's easiest access advanced off-piste skiing. For heli-accessed freeriding and powder play in 660 hectares of awesome backcountry terrain, give Helipark a go.
Discover more about the Selwyn 6.
Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie
There's a great snow holiday to be had by basing yourself in the beautiful Aoraki / Mount Cook region, or Lake Tekapo, a leisurely 3 hour drive from Christchurch.
Nearby, ski or board Mount Dobson, and enjoy the spectacular vista from one of the country's highest ski areas at 1,725m. Roundhill is great for first timers, with fabulous beginner and intermediate runs, and the picturesque Ohau Snow Fields cater for all abilities. Fox Peak offers high altitude adventure, and for off-piste adrenaline junkies, ski on the Tasman Glacier in the stunning UNESCO Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage area. When you're done with snow, thaw out, unwind and enjoy the view at Tekapo Springs Hot Pools.