Known for its volcanic activity and long snow season, the North Island is one of the best places in New Zealand for a ski trip. You’ll find a range of incredible resorts that offer varied terrain on the face of volcanic peaks or remote mountain ranges, perfect for advanced and adventurous skiers and boarders. You’ll also find excellent beginner areas that offer helpful learner features and gentle slopes for novices and children so the whole family can have a fun experience on the mountain. Discover the best skiing in North Island, NZ, to plan your winter holiday with friends or family.
Awakino Ski Field for a quiet ski trip
Located in the St Marys Range of Canterbury, the Awakino Ski Field is a remote ski area that’s typically free from crowds. The field has everything from ridges to chutes, bowls and the glacier basin, as well as helpful beginner features like a learner tow for kids. Another highlight of the Awakino Ski Area is the cross-country touring for untracked backcountry terrain for all skill levels. You’ll find a lodge at the resort that offers family and solo units for staying close to the mountain.
Mount Taranaki for expert skiers and boarders
Mount Taranaki is home to several excellent ski resorts that offer a range of terrain options and amenities. The Manganui Ski Field is one of the best and offers 58 hectares with 17 runs of mostly advanced terrain. You’ll also find plenty of intermediate runs and a small number of beginner runs, so everyone can have a good time. The Manganui Ski Field is designed for serious enthusiasts, however, and also offers a terrain park with challenging jibs for freestyling.
Ohakune ski areas for families and beginners
Widely regarded as the capital of après-ski on the North Island, Ohakune offers a range of excellent ski resorts, restaurants and bars with live entertainment for a memorable ski holiday. The 2 primary ski fields are Whakapapa and Turoa, both of which overlook Ohakune. You can travel between the resorts easily and enjoy the varied terrain and amenities. Whakapapa is also home to Happy Valley, an exclusive beginner and children's area, making it ideal for families. Another top-notch resort in the area is the Tukino Ski Field, a club ski field that offers few crowds and rugged terrain for challenging runs. Another highlight of Tukino Ski Field is cat skiing, which is available on untracked sun-facing bowls and ridges.
Whakapapa Ski Field for mountain thrills
The Whakapapa Ski Field is a vast ski resort on Mount Ruapehu that offers a dedicated novice area and 550 hectares of terrain with intermediate and advanced areas. The terrain is mostly treeless, so you’ll find a lot of off-piste ski areas with bowls, drops and chutes. On the east side, the terrain is incredibly diverse from prior volcanic eruptions and lava rivers that create challenges for advanced skiers and boarders. For accommodation, you can stay in the ski lodges at the resort, in the neighbouring Whakapapa village or in the surrounding Tongariro National Park.
Turoa Ski Field for varied terrain
The Turoa Ski Field is a popular resort on Mount Ruapehu that’s close to the Whakapapa Ski Field. One of the highlights of the Turoa Ski Field is the abundance of terrain and the long season, which includes spring skiing. You'll find a 722-metre vertical and 500 hectares of terrain with a diverse landscape. The field has no trees, so you’ll find natural half-pipes, gullies, cliffs and wide-open runs to suit all levels of skiers and boarders.
Tukino Ski Field for cat skiing
The Tukino Ski Field is located on the towering Mount Ruapehu stratovolcano in Tongariro National Park. The Tukino Ski Field offers 19 hectares of skiable terrain that’s split between beginner, intermediate and advanced areas. To reach all areas of the peak, the ski field is serviced by rope tows and cat skiing, so it offers some of the best untracked trails in all of New Zealand. Tukino Ski Field is also known for being uncrowded due to its location on the eastern slopes and for its abundance of terrain.