There are more than 25 ski fields in this lovely little country of ours, and whether you’re into gently gliding across groomed pistes or consider yourselves the heli skiing types, we’re here to help you meet your match.

Best for children

Whakapapa: The rising sun strikes early at New Zealand’s largest ski field on the northern side of Mt Ruapehu, softening the slopes, and snow machines ensure a long season here. Whakapapa has thrills and spills for old hands, while Happy Valley is tailor-made for beginners and has its own ski school. You’ll also find all the sustenance and hot chocolate you need at one of the many cafés; Knoll Ridge is the highest in the country.
Skill level: Learner to experienced.
Location: Three hours from Tauranga.
Open: June to October.
Cost: Adults from $73/day.
What’s cool: Happy Valley’s see-through covered lift tunnels.
MTRUAPEHU.COM/WHAKAPAPA

Best for powder

TūROA: The top of Tūroa is a serious powder playground – even your boss will understand why you need to take a day off to make the first tracks. On the south-western side of Mt Ruapehu, Tūroa has a totally different feel to Whakapapa, with exposed volcanic terrain, wide trails and huge basins. It boasts the longest vertical drop in New Zealand and has the most extensive terrain parks in the North Island.
Skill level: Learner to experienced.
Location: Just under four hours from Tauranga.
Open: June to September.
Cost: Adults from $73/day.
What’s cool: The High Noon Express chairlift that takes you to 2322ft.
MTRUAPEHU.COM/TUROA

Best for going off-piste

CRAIGIEBURN: A club that attracts hardcore skiers and powderhounds, Craigieburn is located in the Southern Alps. Described as ‘cheap, steep and deep’, you won’t find groomed runs here – it’s just one massive off-piste area. If that doesn’t worry you, you’re probably the perfect fit.
Skill level: Intermediate to advanced.
Location: Just under two hours from Christchurch.
Open: July to August.
Cost: Adults $75/day.
What’s cool: A vertical descent that’s been compared to heliskiing – without the helicopter.
CRAIGIEBURN.CO.NZ

Best for all-day sun

MOUNT DOBSON: Usually crowd-free and with great ski schools, Mt Dobson is high up, so the snow is pretty dry, but you’ll also enjoy some lovely sun warming your back. Situated on the main road between Queenstown and Christchurch, it’s close to accommodation and other activities at nearby Tekapo. The chairlift is the centrepiece of the lift system, and there’s a natural halfpipe underneath.
Skill level: Learner to advanced.
Location: Two-and-a-half hours from Christchurch.
Open: July to August.
Cost: Adults from $84/day.
What’s cool: The epic view of Mount Cook.
MTDOBSON.CO.NZ

Best for experts

CORONET PEAK: Coronet Peak is a world-class ski and snowboard spot, featuring state-of-the-art facilities, 280ha of skiable terrain and breath-taking views. It also has the country’s largest fully automated snow-making system, with 217 snow guns, which combined with Mother Nature results in a long season of consistently good skiing and snowboarding.
Skill level: Learner to experienced.
Location: Twenty minutes from Queenstown.
Open: June to September.
Cost: Adults from $119/day.
What’s cool: Night skiing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
NZSKI.COM/QUEENSTOWN/THE-MOUNTAINS/CORONET-PEAK

Best all-rounder

CARDRONA: Like the sound of New Zealand’s biggest halfpipe? Beginner and intermediate skiers love this easy-going ski field for its wide open spaces – plus it’s often less crowded than some other local spots. With five eateries on the mountain and some of the driest snow around, this ski field really does offer something for everyone – and the drive home over the Crown Range is spectacular too.
Skill level: Learner to intermediate.
Location: Thirty minutes from Wanaka.
Open: June to October.
Cost: Adults from $65/day.
What’s cool: Stopping for a well-earned Speight’s at the Cardrona Hotel.
CARDRONA.COM