Skiing in New Zealand is a must for Aussie powder hounds and whether you’re headed for Coronet Peak, Mt Hutt or Treble Cone to ski or snowboard, we’ve tracked down the best places to stay and eat and drink in the ski towns nearby – and plenty of activities to keep you busy off the slopes.

If you’re skiing at Cardrona or Treble Cone: Wanaka

Where to stay

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

A clutch of luxury one-bedroom suites and larger family-friendly apartments right on the shores of Lake Wanaka, Edgewater Wanaka has unmatched water views as well as a ski drying room and a rental concierge. Plus, there’s a spa to relieve weary muscles and, après ski, warming Gluewein is served at on-site Wineglass Cafe.

Getting to the ski fields

Treble Cone, Wanaka

Book a return bus trip during ski season to Cardrona or Treble Cone (pictured) from multiple stops in town. Both ski areas have parking if you’d prefer to drive; it’s 40 minutes to Cardrona from the heart of Wanaka, and 35 minutes to Treble Cone. Allow extra time for traffic and inclement weather.

Where to eat and drink

If you’re on your way back from a day on the slopes at Cardrona, stop at the Cardrona Hotel for a beer and a venison and bacon burger. In town, Federal Diner is a relaxed all-day spot offering pastries, kedgeree and vegan toasties at breakfast, hearty soups and burgers for lunch and will be opening for dinner during the ski season.

Off the slopes

Sit on a sofa (or inside the yellow car) to watch the latest releases at Cinema Paradiso, or take a scenic chopper flight to catch views of the slopes from above. Travelling with the kids? Check out the illusions, topsy-turvy buildings and maze at Puzzling World, or the Wanaka Dinosaur Park (head down the dino-slide) on the lakefront.

SEE ALSO: Where to Go in Australia and New Zealand This Ski Season

If you’re skiing at The Remarkables or Coronet Peak: Queenstown

Where to stay

Kamana Lakehouse ski drying room

Image credit: Kamana Lakehouse ski drying room / Lean Timms.

The Rees Hotel in Queenstown has a variety of accommodation options including lake view rooms and larger two- or three-bedroom apartments if you’re travelling with kids. Best of all? There’s a secure gear locker on site to store your skis and snowboards. Kamana Lakehouse has a daily ski shuttle to and from The Remarks and Coronet Peak (book in advance), ski drying rooms and, the real clincher: private hot tubs to ease your aches and pains.

Getting to the ski fields

Coronet Peak (pictured top) is a 20-minute drive from town, The Remarkables about 40 minutes drive and both have on-site car parking (be prepared with tyre chains) as well as shuttle buses for you and your gear from the centre of Queenstown. Black ZQN offers a full ski concierge service that includes transfers to the slopes in a luxury ride and even someone to help you in and out of your ski boots.

Where to eat and drink

Grab-and-go at cult burger joint Fergburger (the calamari is excellent, too), or a cocktail and tapas at Ferg’s Bar next door; après ski bar-hop around the pedestrianised streets in the heart of town (play pool at local hangout Harry’s Bar); and treat yourself to a dinner of sublime South Island produce at renowned fine diner Rata.

Off the slopes

Onsen Hot Springs, Queenstown

Explore Lake Wakatipu on heritage steamer TSS Earnslaw, which travels all the way to Glenorchy and back again. Onsen Hot Pools (pictured) is at the base of Coronet Peak; its cedar-lined baths are filled with 38 degree-water and perched on a hillside to take in views of the Shotover River. Cyclists should explore the Gibbston Valley Trail, which passes by the restaurant, tasting room and outdoor fireplace at Kinross winery, and the weatherboard church tasting room at Cargo Brewery.

SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Things to Do in Queenstown

Book flights to Queenstown

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If you’re skiing at Mt Hutt or Hanmer Springs: Christchurch

Where to stay

Luxury boutique property The George has a range of elegant rooms with plush finishes and tranquil park views, plus a city-best on-site restaurant. Within former army barracks, The Tack Rooms is now a contemporary stay comprising two pavilions with gabled ceilings, designer furniture and full kitchens.

Getting to the ski fields

Both Hanmer Springs and Mt Hutt ski areas are a one hour and 40 minute drive from Christchurch proper. 

Where to eat and drink

Stop by Amsterdam-inspired café and coffee roasters Unknown Chapter for a breakfast quesadilla and coffee to kick-start your day. For après-ski, The Last Word bar is, well, the last word, with a comprehensive list of whisky, cocktails, boutique wines and beer.

Off the slopes

Wander the halls of Christchurch Art Gallery to see works by Kiwi artists as well as international names such as American photographer Larence Shustak, or see Mother Nature’s art on show in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Explore the city centre – rebuilt and restored since the 2016 earthquake ­– on a heritage hop-on-hop-off tram (kids travel for free).

SEE ALSO: 14 Ways to Make the Most of the New Zealand Travel Bubble

Book flights to Christchurch

Start planning now

If you’re skiing at Mt Ruapehu: Taupo

Where to stay

Huka Lodge, North Island

Offering the comfort and convenience of the internationally renowned brand, Hilton Lake Taupo is a charming Victorian-style hotel with a range of rooms and suites from the standard king to a spacious three-bedroom apartment. Just outside town on the banks of the Waikato River, Huka Lodge (pictured) is among the finest properties in New Zealand (Queen Elizabeth II and Michelle Obama have both stayed). 

Getting to the ski fields

Snowboard at Mount Ruapehu, North Island

Though both ski areas span Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa is a one hour and 30 minute drive from Taupo township, while Tuora is further afield at around two hours drive. You’ll need to pre-book parking and check condition requirements (4WD, tyre chains) before setting off. 

Where to eat and drink

Storehouse has a crowd-pleasing all-day menu featuring buddha bowls, steak sandwiches, coffee, beers and New Zealand wines. Family-owned The Bistro boasts an ex-Huka Lodge chef and the menu reflects his pedigree with European-style dishes such as wild rabbit and chicken liver terrine and grilled scotch fillet with buttered leeks, field mushroom, bacon and truffle tortellini. (Book the degustation if you’re celebrating.) 

Off the slopes

Taupo is famous for its mineral-rich geothermal hot pools and there are few better ways to relax after carving tracks all day. Keen anglers flock to this region from all over the world to try and reel in a trout (or two). Chris Jolly Outdoors can organise heli-fishing, raft fishing and more to ensure you snag the catch of the day.

SEE ALSO: These New Zealand Lodges Take Luxury to a New Level

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