When Is The Best Time to Ski & Ride in New Zealand?

Guy LaDouche |
Treble Cone, NZ in 2015. image: yimmers/snowbrains

Are you getting bummed that your ski season is coming to an end, or worse off, already over? Not to worry my friends, the New Zealand ski fields are already getting snow and will be open within a month. It’s no small feat to make your way to the other side of the world for a ski trip, so let us help you with the trip planning. To maximize your chances for an epic summer shred down under, the best time to ski or ride is within this window:

August 15 – September 15

Craigieburn, NZ - August 28, 2016. Photo: OJ
Craigieburn, NZ – August 28, 2016 – Photo: OJ



#1 = Snow Coverage

The resorts tend to open in late June to early July. They need a good month or two to get to a peak snowpack and get all of the terrain open. By the end of September, spring and sprung and the snow starts going fast. To get that sweet spot of coverage and wintery snow, mid August – mid September is the call.

'Treble Cone, Wanaka NZ' Photo: Thierry Huet
‘Treble Cone, Wanaka NZ’ Photo: Thierry Huet

#2 = Crowds

I’ll let you know when you DO NOT want to be skiing in New Zealand – during the school holidays. They have 2 school holiday periods during the ski season: Late July and late September. The whole country is basically out of school and so everyone wants to get out on the hill and enjoy a good shred. That’s great if you love lift lines, but if you are traveling across the world for a ski, you might want to avoid the school holidays.

Turoa, New Zealand during the July School Holiday
Turoa, New Zealand during the July School Holiday

#3 = Avoid the ski-less depression

You’ll be snowless more or less from June – November. Split the difference and come right in the middle of your mid summer depression from not being able to ski. This way you’ll only have a couple short months to look forward to your epic summer ski trip. When you return home, you’ll only have another couple of months until your home resort is up and kicking.

So there you have it folks. What are you waiting for? I’ll see y’all down in New Zealand this summer.

If you need help buying that ticket down south, Mark Twain has got your back:

mark twain portrait

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

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