7-day ski holiday in Canterbury
Find all about the top ski areas in Canterbury. On this 7-day South Island trip, travel from Christchurch to New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki Mount Cook, and ski or snowboard to your heart's content.
Day 1: Spend the day in Christchurch
Christchurch is an excellent site to start your ski vacation because of its fascinating blend of heritage, innovation, and nature. Take some time to explore this wonderful city before travelling inland to the slopes. Take an old-fashioned punt down the Avon, stroll through Hagley Park's botanical gardens, or spend the day bicycling in the Port Hills. Banks Peninsula, further out, is a terrific area to meet friendly wildlife. Visit New Zealand's largest mainland blue penguin colony or go on a dolphin excursion in Akaroa.
Port HillsPort Hills, Cashmere, Christchurch, New Zealand
Day 2: Christchurch to Methven via Porter Ski Area
Today, I got up early for a day of skiing at Porters, which is only one hour from Christchurch. Enjoy the snow and local warmth with spectacular views across Lake Coleridge and tucked in the heart of the high highlands. Spend the night in Methven after a day on the slopes. This quaint community attracts skiers from all around the world during the winter months. Call into the Blue or Brown Pubs (they're right across the street from each other on the main street!) for a relaxing evening.
Porters Ski AreaPorters Ski Area, Christchurch, New Zealand
Day 3: Spend the day at Mount Hutt
Mount Hutt, which stands boldly over Methven at an elevation of 2086 meters, is hard to overlook this morning. Spend a day on the slopes exploring the wide-open basin. Between zooms around the slopes, have a bite to eat at Huber's Hutt or the Sky High Café. Mt Hutt and Methven embrace families with open arms, and there are some fantastic kids' free bargains on the slopes, in lodging, restaurants, and transportation – all with a paying adult. Spend the evening in Methven once more.
Mount HuttMount Hutt, New Zealand
Day 4: Methven to Lake Tekapo
Drive south through the Mackenzie region, which is home to Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Although Aoraki Mount Cook does not offer skiing, the region's three boutique ski fields (Ohau, Roundhill, and Mt Dobson) more than make up for it. Tekapo is a little town on the brink of a glacial-blue lake. Take beautiful flights, ice skate, visit the tube park, or simply rest in the Tekapo Hot Springs from here. The International Dark Sky Reserve is also located in this area. Mount John Observatory allows you to discover the wonders of the night sky.
Tasman GlacierTasman Glacier, Canterbury, New Zealand
Day 5: Spend the day in Roundhill Ski Area
Today is a great day to visit Roundhill ski field, which is only 30 minutes from Tekapo.
Roundhill has a large beginner area as well as extensive, well-groomed intermediate runs. There's also a terrific freestyle park with jumps, rollers, rails, and boxes for freestylers. For the most daring, climb the world's longest and steepest rope tow to experience Australasia's largest vertical drop.
Roundhill Ski AreaRoundhill Ski Area Lilybank Rd, Tekapo, New Zealand
Day 6: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch via Mt Dobson
On the way to Fairlie, the Mount Dobson ski field is located north of Tekapo. Natural dry powder snow for skiing and riding. There's a large beginners' area for those just getting started, as well as open, uncrowded runs for everyone. With a big section of groomed tracks as well as miles of fresh untracked snow, Mount Dobson offers a perfect blend of groomed slopes and off-piste for the more adventurous. Ski apparel, equipment rental, a ski school, and a cafe are all available on the field for the day.
Continue on to Christchurch for the night from Mount Dobson.
Mt Dobson Ski AreaMt Dobson Ski Area Fairlie-Tekapo Rd, Burkes Pass, New Zealand
Day 7: Spend the day in Akaroa
Take a day trip out to Akaroa, a French colonial hamlet just one hour away, if you have time at the end of your voyage. The trip is breathtakingly gorgeous, and the town is known for its delectable French cuisine, charming homes, and fantastic wildlife encounters. The world's smallest dolphin, Hector's, can be found here.