New Zealand Ski Vacations

Yes, 'the Lord of the Rings country', New Zealand is pretty, and remote. A kind of Europe on a smaller scale, it is nevertheless a destination for aspiring mountaineers and adrenaline types, and also your 'bed and breakfast' crowd, who intermix touring the wineries with some above-treeline turns.

On the North Island, Mt. Ruapehu is volcanic skiing at its best, with elevation, horizon to horizon views, and enviable snow.

On the South Island, Christchurch is a hop, skip and a jump from Mt. Hutt, a big mountain by kiwi standards, boasting 365 skiable hectares and a terrain park. Ski fast, ski often or ski well, then kick back antipodean style, with a beer and tall tales about your day.

On the other end of the island, Queenstown is a name well-known to anyone who enjoys jumping off bridges with a rope around their legs, or hooting along white-water rapids. More importantly, it is home to Coronet Peak, offering steep and deep skiing for those who like a big resort to play in above the clouds. Nearby, The Remarkables' famous three back bowls capture Great Southern Stashes for tourists and locals alike to play in.

Heli-skiing takes off out of Queenstown bound for fantastical runs on the gorgeous, lethal range - the stuff of legends.

Lakeside hub Wanaka isn't too far away either, and services Treble Cone, another respected hill to trawl. Showcasing some of New Zealand's longest runs and a supersize terrain park, Treble Cone is home to many Northern Exposure types during the hot months.