2 July, 2013: A recent list compiled by flight search provider Cheapflights, listing the best ski resorts in New Zealand, proves that ski lifts and catered chalets are not exclusive to the Northern hemisphere. Oceania may be an unlikely destination for a snow holiday, but as the list shows, it has something to offer skiers looking for off-season slopes to tackle.
Cheapflights’s list presents five options for a skiing holiday in New Zealand, four of which are located on the south of the island: Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch and Canterbury and Mackenzie. Curiously, the sole representative of North Island is also the largest skiing area in New Zealand, Mount Ruapehu.
Aside from introducing readers to the resorts themselves, the flight advisor’s feature also offers suggestion on what to do and see whilst staying at each of the locations. Queenstown, for instance, is the stage of the New Zealand winter games, which take place between August 11 and August 25 – at the peak of the Southern hemisphere’s cold season – and offer an entire cultural programme to complement the 25 sporting events taking place throughout 5 local resorts. The Queenstown winter festival, which started on June 21st and is ongoing until the 30th, is another highlight of the area’s winter season. Finally, there is the DNA Gay Ski Week, which takes place from August 31 to September 7 and is acknowledged as the largest Winter Pride event in New Zealand.
But while Queenstown cannot be beat as far as organized events go, each of the remaining areas has its very distinct charm, and is likely to appeal to a different section of the ski and winter sports fans. Mount Ruapehu comes alive during Mardi Gras, and offers stunning natural environment and catered chalets the rest of the year, whilst Lake Wanaka is sure to delight extreme sports enthusiasts, with its ample offer of skydiving, heliskiing, heliboarding, and a freestyle snow park. Christchurch and Canterbury and Mackenzie are more traditional ski resorts, but the latter does offer the highest vertical drop in the world, bound to set more adrenaline-fuelled hearts racing. All in all, there is sufficient variety to entice those less fond of fly-and-flop holidays to a new winter sports destination.
For information on catered chalets, contact Ski Amis at www.skiamis.com or call 0203 411 5439.
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