3 top ski destinations in New Zealand

09 Apr 2014

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Pop across the Tasman Ocean to New Zealand for an incredible skiing holiday this winter. With a wonderful range of mountains and ski fields to choose from across the country, you won't be disappointed. You don't have to travel far to get to some world-class skiing - and there's something for everyone.

Here are some of the top snowy mountain slopes to try in New Zealand.

Mount Ruapehu

Located in the central North Island, Mt Ruapehu is one of New Zealand's most popular skiing spots. Nestled amongst the natural wonders of Tongariro National Park, with fellow peaks Ngauruhoe and Tongariro, you can't get a much more beautiful backdrop than this.

Hit the slopes on the Whakapapa or Turoa fields, whether you're a skier or a snowboarder. There's everything from amazing basins, breathtaking back country and exciting and challenging terrain for the experts.

Those seeking thrills will love Australasia's longest vertical descent found on Turoa, not to mention New Zealand's highest lift called the Highnoon Express. Advanced skiers can test their skills with 25 black and black diamond runs.

Don't worry if you're a complete beginner - you can learn the basics on the gentle slopes of Happy Valley at Whakapapa.

When you need a break, warm up with a toasty cup of coffee at one of the cafes and take in the stunning views.

There are plenty of places to stay around and about the mountain, including the famous Chateau Tongariro, so you can look forward to a stay in the lap of luxury.

Ohau

Head to the Ohau snow fields for a skiing holiday with a difference. Located in the middle of the South Island, around four hours' drive from Christchurch, this is a pristine destination.

These lesser-known slopes can be a lot less crowded than others during peak season, so you can look forward to whizzing down the powder with plenty of space. Not to mention that the views are simply phenomenal - look out for Aoraki Mount Cook and the glassy Lake Ohau in particular.

No matter your level of ability you'll be able to enjoy Ohau and if you're a complete beginner you can hire an instructor for some lessons.

If you want a break from the skis or your board, there's also plenty of hiking around the mountaintop, so bring your camera for some world-class snaps.

What about ending your day with a glorious spa and tasty hot meal? Grab a bite at Lake Ohau, just 20 minutes from the ski fields, or head under an hour's drive away to Twizel.

Mount Hutt

Mount Hutt is a popular skiing and snowboarding destination for those of all abilities. Just over one hour from central Christchurch and about half an hour from Methven, it's a convenient holiday location too.

It has all the facilities you'll need, from cafes to lessons and equipment rentals. The mountain also receives scores of snow, giving it one of New Zealand's longest ski seasons so you've got plenty of options when it comes to timing.

You're sure to love the range of runs available, which feature views all the way to the Pacific Ocean and to the Southern Alps - just remember to keep your eyes on the trail as you ski!

You won't need to worry about waiting around on these slopes either - the mountain's lift features are second-to-none so it's always a quick ride back up to the top.

Make your way to New Zealand for a skiing holiday to remember. Breathe in the beautiful fresh mountain air and gaze out over the stunning views - you won't be disappointed by the magical range of snowy slopes available.