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Image credit: Treble Cone Wanaka NZ

What's new in NZ

New Zealand’s mountains are waiting, and our nearest neighbour has slopes aplenty, writes Helen Hayes.

South Island
Coronet Peak
Just 25 minutes from Queenstown, Coronet Peak has excellent facilities to suit everyone. Kids aged six and under receive free day lift passes every day of the season. The night skiing at Coronet is legendary, held every Friday and Saturday night. Have dinner at the restaurant and enjoy skiing or boarding under the lights, with the M1, Shirtfront and Big Easy lit up like rock stars. You can even ride the Park after Dark with rails, boxes and jumps. Some nights there is even live entertainment. During the day, stop off at Heidi’s Hut for a hot drink or lunch, or dine at the base with a range of options.

Stats

Beginner 25%, Intermediate 45%, Advanced 30%

Lessons

Skiwiland has great programmes for kids from three months to five years while Kea Club caters for older kids for ski and snowboard lessons.

Childcare

From three months

Lifts

Eight

Terrain parks

One

Opening date

Saturday 13 June 2015

Image credit: Coronet Peak

South Island
Cardrona
Cardrona is an hour’s drive from Queenstown or 35 minutes from Wanaka, but if you don’t want to drive, it has 15 apartments at the resort. For families this is an excellent choice – you can walk from your apartment to the chairlift in a few minutes. Cardrona has wide, groomed slopes as well as fantastic terrain parks for kids who love jumps, bumps and rails and some black runs to keep experts honest. The ski and snowboard school is world-class and the vibe is friendly and welcoming.

Stats

Beginner 25%, Intermediate 50%, Advanced 25%

Lessons

Ski Kindy for kids aged three to four years, ski lessons for kids from five years and snowboard lessons for kids from seven years.

Childcare

From three months

Lifts

Seven

Terrain parks

Three plus two half pipes, a superpipe and Gravity X course

Opening date

Saturday 13 June 2015

Image credit: Cardrona Alpine Resort

North Island
Mt Ruapehu
Imagine skiing on a volcano! Well you can at Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano in the World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park about two hours from Rotorua. There are two resorts – Turoa on one side of the volcano and Whakapapa on the other – with accommodation nearby. Whakapapa has New Zealand’s biggest beginner area, Happy Valley, but experts are well looked after, too. Turoa has skiing for all abilities with intermediate and advanced skiers sure to have a blast. Thrill-seekers can practise their skills on the Airbag. At Whakapapa, dine at New Zealand’s highest café - Knoll Ridge Cafe.

Stats

Whakapapa - Beginner 25%, Intermediate 50%, Advanced 25%
Turoa – Beginner 20%, Intermediate 55%, Advanced 25%

Lessons

There are ski lessons for kids from three years and snowboarding from four years.

Childcare

Turoa Yeti Childcare Centre has childcare from two years

Lifts

Whakapapa – 15, Turoa – nine

Terrain parks

One at each

Opening date

Turoa – Saturday 3 July 2015
Whakapapa – Sunday 4 July 2015

Image credit: Mt Ruapehu

South Island
Mt Hutt
Just 90 minutes from Christchurch – 35 minutes from Methven – Mt Hutt has excellent skiing and boarding for all levels. Mt Hutt and Methven’s Kids4Free deal is on again this season offering every child 10 years and under free day lift passes, as well as letting them travel, stay and eat free in Methven with a paying adult. Methven is a charming town and the drive up the mountain gives stunning views over the Canterbury Plains. Refuel at Huber’s Hut, before returning to Methven at day’s end.

Stats

Beginner 25%, Intermediate 50%, Advanced 25%

Lessons

Skiwiland has programmes for kids from three months to five years while Kea Club caters for older kids for ski and snowboard lessons.

Childcare

From three months

Lifts

Five

Terrain parks

Three

Opening date

Saturday 13 June 2015

Image credit: Mt Hutt

South Island
Treble Cone
Treble Cone has attracted some of the world’s best who want to tackle the challenging terrain, but it’s also great for beginners and intermediates. From the Nice ‘n’ Easy surface lift to the hair-raising Motatapu Chutes, the terrain is a dream. This season there will be some improved intermediate terrain, and the big news is that there will be a new on-mountain café at the top of Home Basin.

Stats

Beginner 10%, Intermediate 45%, Advanced 45%

Lessons

Kids can ski from age three and snowboard from age six

Childcare

From three years

Lifts

Four

Terrain parks

Two

Opening date

Thursday 25 June 2015

Image credit: Treble Cone Wanaka NZ

South Island
The Remarkables
There is a real buzz around The Remarkables this season with even more improvements following the opening of the new Curvey Basin chairlift last season. A multi-million-dollar state-of-the-art base building will open for winter, with an excellent restaurant, ticketing, rentals, retail and snowsports school ensuring a smoother process onto the slopes for everyone. With gentle green slopes for beginners (including one new in 2015), plenty of action for intermediates, The Remarkables is also known for its progressive terrain parks, with the big daddy being The Stash. Children six and under ski free every day.

Stats

Beginner 30%, Intermediate 40%, Advanced 30%

Lessons

Skiwiland has great programmes for kids from three months to five years while Kea Club caters for older kids for ski and snowboard lessons.

Childcare

From three months

Lifts

Seven

Terrain parks

Three

Opening date

Saturday 20 June 2015

Image credit: The Remarkables

Image credit: Cardrona Alpine Resort

Image credit: Coronet Peak



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