New Zealand’s South Island ski fields are legendary. Stunning views. Great conditions. Easy to visit. That should be more than enough to make you say hell yeah, let’s go! In case you need a little more encouragement, here are four more reasons the South Island is worth visiting this season.
Flurries and frost are common, but we don’t get much snow sticking at sea level here. The South Island’s permanent snowline is above 1,500 to 2,200 metres, with nearly 35% of the Island snow-covered in winter.
The result of this fun weather fact? There are heaps of things to do after you hit the slopes or on the odd bad-weather day. Bike some of the 750-kilometres of cycle trails in Wanaka, or try your hand at winter stand-up paddle-boarding or kayaking on the lake. In Christchurch, visit the quirky port town of Lyttleton or brave a winter surf. Queenstown? Too many adventures to list. You won’t be bored. Trust us.
Spend the day on the slopes and enjoy takeaway fish-and-chips on the beach afterwards. There aren’t too many places in the world you can do that.
Kiwis love to celebrate. That doesn’t stop in winter. Consider timing your visit to coincide with a festival or event.
In Wanaka, the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival runs early July. In August, check out the Merino Muster or the Audi Quattro Winter Games.
Queenstown hosts colourful week-long parties like the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival and Gay Ski Week QT. Or try an outdoor race like the Peak to Peak, or Jacks Point Trail Run.
Christchurch always has concerts and plays on the calendar, as well as ongoing social events like the Friday Street Food Market.
Snow-capped mountains might not conjure up images of delicious dining and exquisite wines, but the South Island more than holds its own. Some of the world’s best wine regions are found here. And food? You’ll have no problem finding a tasty meal to carbo-load for tomorrow’s snowy adventure. Check out each region’s website for more detailed wine and dining information.
Kiwis are a fun, friendly bunch. The locals who live here love living here, and we’re proud to show it off. From locals, to travellers who are staying for a season, to visitors, it’s easy to make new friends. Start with a smile and hello, and see where it takes you.