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Ski New Zealand: South Island Snow Odyssey

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 Trip Length
12 Days
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12 Day Ski New Zealand: South Island Snow Odyssey Itinerary (Intrepid)
Countries Explored: New Zealand
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Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Intrepid's 12 Day Ski New Zealand: South Island Snow Odyssey. If you’re an intermediate to advanced skier or snowboarder looking for an epic and diverse guided snow tour in New Zealand, we have the South Island's winter wonders all packaged up for you. Our expert guides will show you the ropes on both well-known and beautifully uncrowded slopes on this twelve-day snow tour which takes you to no less than ten epic ski/boarding areas: Mt Hutt, Ohau, Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Coronet Peak, Porters Alpine Lodge, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple...read more Basin and Craigieburn.

This exhilarating tour takes you from the slopes of the Southern Alps’ most iconic snow fields to the lesser-known but amazing Club Fields, small, private or family-owned ski areas where you can get into the snow with minimal fuss and maximum fun minus the crowds. We’ve got everything organised: your transport and transfers to the mountains, your accommodation, lift passes, breakfast, and an expert local crew ready to show you the best runs and powder stashes across the ten different mountains.

We can also arrange your ski gear and clothing if you want to pack light. Add time away from the slopes to discover the South Island's best ski towns like Lake Tekapo, Wanaka and Queenstown, and time under the stars at the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve, and you’ve got the perfect trip.


Kia ora and welcome to Queenstown, the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and gateway to New Zealand’s awe-inspiring Southern Alps. Start with an early 6am welcome meeting at the hostel, pick up your hire gear then transport to one of New Zealand’s finest ski fields.

Picture wide open trails, powder snow, spectacular views, sun-drenched terrain and unforgettable runs and you’ve got The Remarkables. Set in a vast natural amphitheatre high in the rugged ranges, this is the highest ski field in Queenstown at 1943m. Being so far up is a major plus, giving the ski field a long, reliable season – and the north facing aspect makes it a natural sun-trap. To help beginners get into the swing of things you may want to book a morning & afternoon beginner ski/boarding lesson. And if you need more we're happy to arrange that too.

While there are plenty of options for beginners, The Remarkables ski area also boasts a new international standard Super Pipe. At 150m long and 22m wide it’s for advanced level riders and skiers only, and an absolute blast if you have the skills. The expanded Xbox Terrain and Rail Park and other features, combined with the big mountain possibilities, make The Remarkables a top choice for freeriders. At the end of an exciting day on the slopes, it’s time to head back down to Queenstown and either rest up or catch the vibrant nightlife at the many bars dotted around town. (B)

Coronet Peak is the oldest and most developed ski area in the South Island, with an astounding variety of runs and on-field facilities that are some of the finest in the region. Everything is designed to ensure you make the most of skiing and boarding, whatever your level of ability. Everyone can ski like a pro at Coronet Peak – there are dedicated slopes for first-timers, wide groomed trails and plenty of choice for more experienced skiers. Your group leader will help show you the best option for your abilities. Once you know the ropes, you can zoom down the slopes and enjoy gently rolling terrain with plenty of dips and drops for great variety. For boarders, Coronet Peak is a natural terrain park, full of endless hits and powder stashes. After your final run, it’s time to enjoy Queenstown’s excellent bars, restaurants and cafes beside the lake then kick on into the night, or head back to the hostel for a well-earned sleep. (B/D)

After four days on the slopes, it’s time to rest your legs and experience everything Queenstown has to offer. From a relaxing cruise on Lake Whakatipu, Lord of the Rings tour, or winery visit at nearby Gibbston, to a leisurely bike ride along the (mostly flat) Queenstown Trail or adrenaline-pumping jetboat rides, white water rafting or even bungee jumping, there is sure to be an adventure to suit. If you can't bear to be away from the snow for a day, there are a number of carbon-neutral heli-ski options that will take you to untouched powder in the area. Whatever you choose to experience, try and save some energy for the next two days – you’re going to need it! (B)

Leave Queenstown behind and drive north towards Wanaka, but not without stopping for a full day at Cardrona Alpine Resort, renowned among skiers and boarders for inspiring terrain and dry natural snow. Blessed with ‘New Zealand’s most reliable snow’, it's one of the top mountains in the country. With 345 hectares of wide, undulating trails, open slopes, steep chutes and awesome terrain parks, your group leader will be happy to recommend runs to best suit your ability. A wide area of the mountain is serviced by chair lifts, so access is easy and Cardrona’s three basins offer wide-open spaces and a mixture of terrains that are suitable for snowboarders and skiers of all abilities. On-mountain facilities include five cafes, so there’s plenty of opportunity to relax between your epic runs. After a full day on the slopes enjoy a relaxing drive (approximately 1 hr) all the way to Wanaka, New Zealand’s ‘ultimate hub for outdoor adventures’, and your home for the next 2 nights. (B)

Start the day early with a short drive to Treble Cone in the heart of the Southern Alps, home to the highest lift-accessed terrain, longest groomed intermediate runs, and highest vertical drop on the South Island. This is also the South Island’s largest ski area with plenty of varied terrain, amazing views across Wanaka and trails to suit all ages and abilities. For those newer to snow sports there is a purpose-built learner area and long, groomed beginner and intermediate trails. More experienced skiers and boarders are drawn to the natural half pipes, challenging advanced runs and ungroomed powder. Renowned for its reliable snow conditions and weather, and Home Basin Express chairlift so you can enjoy more runs per day, Treble Cone really is skiing and boarding heaven. After a day on the slopes, you’ll head back to Wanaka. With a huge number of places to dine, drink and dance the night away, your choices on this free evening are endless. (B)

Start the day with an early morning drive (approximately 2hrs) to nearby Ohau, a remote ski field that can be found midway between Christchurch and Queenstown. While the drive is stunning - you'll definitely pause for a photo stop at the aquamarine Lake Pukaki and beautiful Mackenzie Basin - the ski fields of Ohau are the true highlight. Ohau also offers exquisite dry powder snow and epic terrain – and will get you away from the tourist trail to experience an awesome range of ski fields for all abilities. For those wanting an extra thrill, there are also alternative field options, with Mount Dobson and Roundhill offering amazing skiing and boarding. Your group leader will be happy to explain your choices in this epic snow destination. After a day on the slopes, continue north (approximately 1.5 hours) to our accommodation on the shores of beautiful Lake Tekapo, your home for the night. Chill out at a local café or wander the southern shores of this stunning turquoise lake and soak in the magnificent views of the nearby snow-covered mountains. Lake Tekapo also sits' within the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the world's largest reserve so don't forget to check out the night sky - it's stunning. (B)

Enjoy a hearty breakfast and start the day with a drive (approximately 2. 5hrs) across the Canterbury Plains to the incomparable Mount Hutt Ski Area, Voted New Zealand's Best Ski Resort six years in a row. Located high in the Southern Alps, Mt Hutt receives some of the lightest and driest powder in Australasia. A big mountain with 365 skiable hectares and great terrain, this ski field is an awesome winter experience for first timers and seasoned powder hounds alike. Collect your included lift pass and choose your own snow adventure, from adrenalin-pumping black diamond runs to wide, open trails that provide easy learning for novice skiers or a chance to brush up on existing skills.

After a great day on the snow it’s time to put your feet up and enjoy the relaxing 2 hour drive back towards the coast and the cosmopolitan city of Christchurch. (B)

Depart Christchurch at 6am and take a short drive inland (approximately 2hrs) to Porters, the closest ski field to Christchurch and renowned for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and stunning mountain backdrop. The skiing and boarding here ranges widely and your guide will help you access the right level for you. Try Big Mama (which towers above the left of the base area) or Bluff Face (which towers above the right). At 620m, Big Mama boasts one of the largest vertical drops in one lift-accessed run in New Zealand. For those looking for easy backcountry skiing, that’s available too from the top of the T3T-Bar – your options are endless. For the next two nights we stay off the mountain in or near the small town of Springfield, a snow sports enthusiast’s haven, complete with majestic views to enjoy after a busy day on the slopes plus some great bars and restaurants - ask your group leader to recommend their favourites. (B)

A short morning drive (approximately 1 hr) takes you further into the Southern Alps and ready for a true alpine adventure at the unpretentious Broken River ski area, one of New Zealand's unique Club Fields where members and non-members alike are welcome. This ski field was born in the early 1950s and offers some of New Zealand's best off-piste, soft-snow skiing and snowboarding. Broken River offers a more intimate experience as chairlifts are replaced by ‘nut crackers’, five electrically driven, high capacity rope tows. After a 15 to 20-minute hike to the first rope tow, learn the techniques you'll need to get started on these amazing slopes. Don’t worry if you have not ridden tows before – your guide will help you with your technique. Most people take a few times to get it right; it’s all part of the experience. A short trek offers access to the back basins, Craigieburn Valley and some incredible terrain. Finish the day with a short drive back to Springfield. (B)

Today you leave Springfield behind and drive north (approximately 1. 5hrs) to the tiny ski hamlet of Craigieburn, in the heart of snow country. Depending on weather conditions, you’ll head to either Mt Olympus or Temple Basin. Mt Olympus ski area, a south-facing basin set high in the Craigieburn Range – is perfect for trapping powder dumps and affectionally known as ‘the playground of the Gods’ and has more than 60 hectares of ski fields. Far from the commercial groomed slopes, chairlifts and latte-filled cafes, Temple Basin was founded in 1929 and still has that rustic pioneering feel that represents a true alpine environment at the heart of Arthur’s Pass National Park. When you come off the hill at the end of a big day, we will grab a well-earned drink and dinner (included) at our cosy lodge in Craigieburn, your accommodation for the next two nights. (B/D)

For big mountain skiing, Craigieburn has a well-deserved cult following among the locals. Steep and deep, with wide open powder bowls and lofty narrow chutes accessed by three high-capacity rope tows servicing a vertical rise of 503m, Craigieburn leaves little to be desired. Terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging, with the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle Basin (which is often compared to a heli-skiing experience) accessible by a short traverse from the tow. Craigieburn Valley offers something for intermediate to advanced skiers, and is sure to be a highlight of your skiing experience. After an amazing day on the slopes retire back to the cosy Craigieburn Lodge and exchange stories over your included dinner. (B/D)

Enjoy a hearty breakfast and one last snow day in the Southern Alps mastering the slopes of Craigieburn before driving back (approximately 2hrs) to cosmopolitan Christchurch where your trip finishes on arrival around 8pm. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Enjoy twelve days of off-piste powder heaven in New Zealand’s famed Southern Alps ski areas like the legendary ‘Remarkables’, Treble Cone, Cardrona, and Coronet Peak
  • Leave the beaten track behind and sample four of New Zealand’s best and friendliest club fields at Porters, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple Basin and Craigieburn.
  • Stay 'on mountain' in the tiny ski hamlet of Craigieburn with the ski fields literally outside your front door, or under the world’s largest International Dark Sky Reserve at Lake Takapo.
  • Enjoy the benefit of local knowledge as our experienced crew show you the best runs and powder stashes across ten different mountains.
  • Rest your legs and enjoy New Zealand away from the snow at the adventure playgrounds of Lake Tekapo, Wanaka and Queenstown.
  • Everything is arranged for you, from transport to hiring snow equipment and clothes – all you have to do is choose your favourite slopes and hit the snow.

  • Ski Lodge Hostel
  • shared dorms & shared facilities (11 nights)

  • 12 Breakfasts included
  • 3 Dinners included

  • Accommodation, itinerary and inclusions subject to change.
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
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Sunday 23 Jul 2023
Thursday 03 Aug 2023
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Sunday 06 Aug 2023
Thursday 17 Aug 2023
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Sunday 20 Aug 2023
Thursday 31 Aug 2023
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Sunday 03 Sep 2023
Thursday 14 Sep 2023
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