The Ultimate NZ Ski Itinerary
There are many reasons people from all over flock to the ski fields of Queenstown and Wanaka when the temperature starts to drop – you are not just getting first-class powder, you’ll get to soak up picture-postcard scenery, incredible off-piste activities and plenty of famous Kiwi hospitality.
We have put together what we think is the ultimate week-long NZ ski itinerary. Don’t forget to include a visit to Milford Sound Lodge!
Day 1 – Arrive in Queenstown
Fly direct to Queenstown and use your first day to settle-in. A walk along the lake-front in Queenstown is a must – the reflection of majestic mountain ranges in the azure-blue Lake Wakatipu is truly something. After a long plane ride, a soak in the Onsen Hot Pools, with a breath-taking alpine outlook, will set your stiff joints right before a delicious dinner at one of many first-rate eateries in town.
Day 2 – Enjoy fresh powder slopes
From expert ‘shredders’ to ‘snow-bunny’ beginners, the four major ski fields in the Wanaka/Queenstown region all have wonderful features to offer. Treble Cone is New Zealand’s largest ski resort and has something for the whole family – from a free beginner area for kids, to uncrowded intermediate tracks and expert off-piste terrain. Thanks to its high elevation and south-facing position, Cadrona ski field has some the best ‘powder’ in NZ, as well as a high-performance ski park and excellent childcare facilities. The Remarkables is well-known for being family-friendly, and offers an extensive training facility for infants to teens and a tubing park for off-ski/board fun. A Queenstown icon, and famous World-over, Coronet Peak offers varied terrain, picture-perfect vistas plus children under six enjoy free lift passes. It’s up to you to choose the ski resort that suits you.
Day 3 – Off-piste adrenaline fun
Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of New Zealand. When you would like a break from skiing and snowboarding, try bungee jumping, white-water rafting or the famous Shotover Jet. If you are after something a little slower-paced, nearby Wanaka offers some amazing hiking and biking tracks of all levels in the picturesque Mount Aspiring National Park plus a few World-renowned wineries to taste some of the local world-class tipples.
Day 4 – Another day of skiing or boarding
After some well-earnt R&R, it’s time to hit the slopes again. To keep things interesting, choose a different ski field – with a different elevation and outlook you are sure to have a varied experience of the pristine NZ scenery in winter.
Day 5 – Journey to Milford Sound via the Milford Road
Use the other half of your week to explore one of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes, Milford Sound. Keep the camera close! En-route, the Milford Road, framed with rugged ranges, lush rainforests and soaring granite cliffs, is one of the most unforgettable journeys you will take on four wheels. This World Heritage destination deserves not to be rushed – book a couple of nights below the towering Darran Mountains at Milford Sound Lodge. With the majesty of Milford right on your doorstep, staying overnight in one of their cosy chalets, nestled river or mountain-side, offers a far more unforgettable experience than a rushed day trip.
Day 6 – Spend the day in Milford Sound
To soak up the enormity of the Milford Sound, take to the water on a boat or kayak tour. As you navigate the sparkling waters of the fiord, you will feel the spray on your face from cascading waterfalls, gaze in awe at sky-piercing pinnacles hundreds of metres above you and, if you’re lucky, encounter some penguins, seals or even a pod of whales or dolphins.
Day 7 – Sleep in, then journey back to Queenstown to fly home
Book your flight home for the afternoon so you can have a relaxing day. Sleep in and enjoy your Milford Lodge chalet before a hearty, warming breakfast at on-site Pio Pio café. Use your final hours to do the last of your exploring – detox your lungs amongst the rain forest or take an epic family photo at the water’s edge, with bush-clad cliffs and tumbling waterfalls framing your shot.
Our Winter Explore & Relax package offers the perfect Milford Sound experience for your NZ ski holiday – learn more here.