6 NZ Slopes You’ll Be Sorry You Missed This Season

Produced in association with our friends at Air New Zealand.
As you read this, thousands of people are making good on a promise by our mate New Zealand of fresh powder snow and hectic terrain on some of her most IPEC* South Island ski slopes. Jealous? We thought so. Before that FOMO creeps up on you, find your soul mate slope in our expert guide and get across the ditch, stat.

1. Cardrona

Source: Facebook 

Where: Wanaka 
For: The tricksters and trouble makers 
Unmissable features: Some of the country’s sweetest terrain parks, 3-4 of them in fact, including a 22ft Olympic superpipe. I mean, this place gave birth X Games & Olympic medallist Jossi Wells (no wonder he’s so darn good). Stunning views, great variety of runs for all levels and with a Flexi pass you can double up with slope neighbour Treble Cone.

Après ski: A bevvy of thrill seeking activities in the area to keep your blood pumping: skydiving, helicopter tours, a mountain bike through the famous Deans Bank Trail, a surf on the Hawea Wave, canyoning and white water rafting … the list is endless.

2. Treble Cone
Treble Cone  (Source: Facebook
Where: Wanaka
For: The powderhounds and alpine buffs
Unmissable features: With only 10% beginners terrain, this is serious stuff dear reader. It’s regular powder and it’s breathtaking shreds down 700m verticals and runs over 4km long. You’ll find the locals here and they’d recommend a hike to the summit or towards the Matukituki Basin to drop down onto uncrowded trails and untouched snow. For experts only: the Motatapu Chutes. 

Or somethin’ like that. 

Après ski: Let’s be honest, you’re more about the snow than the revelry and a quiet mulled wine at the Cardrona Hotel or a sumptuous feed at Bistro Gentil, with its spectacular views, is more up your alley these days.
The delightful Wanaka  
3. The Remarkables

Source: Facebook

Where: Queenstown 
For: The all-things-adrenalin-junkies
Unmissable features: Some of the widest and smoothest runs on offer, with an excellent mix of beginners and intermediate terrain for when you settle into your skis. If you’re feeling more confident, the area around Sunrise Face (and its stunning view back down to Queenstown) are worth a gander. 
Perfect if you’re keen to get in on all that winter fun but haven’t had as much experience with the whole snow thing as you’d like. 
Après ski: The low-altitude thrills that give Queenstown her adventurous reputation. The Mypass card you would have picked up for all your lift access and gear rental also acts as a Queenstown Superpass, so you can exchange the value of a day skiing (NZ$79 for 2015) for credit towards, say, a scenic flight over Milford Sound, a bungy jump high above Lake Wakatipu, a shotover jetboat ride or even a classy day of wine tasting throughout the famed Central Otago vineyards. 
No pressure  (Source: Facebook

4. Coronet Peak
Source: Facebook
Where: Queenstown
For: The early-birds and night owls. 
Unmissable features: The longest opening hours of any ski resort in NZ. Watch Queenstown wake up from 8am and be the first to carve up the freshly groomed slopes or untouched snow with First Tracks, or the last to leave the mountain as the sun goes down with night skiing until 9pm. Also a good slope for stretching your budding wings, with many intermediate trails that start as high as the black runs.
Sunset skiing at Coronet  (Source: Facebook

Après ski: A Lord of the Rings day tour, heading out into the mountains from Queenstown if you feel like a bit of sightseeing. Otherwise refuel with the famous carbs and meat of Fergburger, before closing the night with a drink in one of many bars and pubs brimming with fellow thrillseekers.

5. Mt Hutt 

Source: Facebook

Where: Methven 
For: The quiet achievers ( … maybe with a few young tackers in tow)
Unmissable features: Some of the best natural snow, and the highest falls of it, in the country. Excellent mid-range terrain but 4 freestyle parks, steep chutes and access to untouched backcountry on the wings of the field to keep things interesting. 
If you’ve got any under 10 ankle-biters, they can ski free on the mountain (AND hire gear, eat, stay and travel in the nearby base town of Methven for zero dollars).
Après ski: Some hearty pub grub and live music in Methven to soothe your aching muscles after a day on the slopes. Or keep in the clouds with a balloon ride over the spectacular region.

6. Porters

Sunrise at Porters (Source: Facebook)

Where: Christchurch
For: Squad road trip. 
Unmissable features: Porters is part of the ‘Selwyn Six’, a cluster of 6 commercial and club slopes around the stunning Arthurs Pass that you and the crew will be able to hop between and explore over a week or so. It’s got an excellent mix of terrain across the different skill levels, while some quality backcountry can be accessed across its ridges by your expert mates. 

Après ski: A day in Christchurch. It’s quite somethin’ to see almost an entire city being rebuilt from scratch, and it’s a microcosm of exciting innovation. Take a bus tour around the city to get a feel for the scale of destruction, then explore the fantastic pop-up initiatives amongst the ruins of buildings – street art, the Cardboard CathedralGap Fillers and Strangers Lane.

A photo posted by @nokaoilife on

One of the street art projects going up amongst the temporary rubble. 


Images by Hannah Peters, Marty Melville and Cameron Spencer, via Getty Images 

*EPIC, obvs