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The Best Time of the Year to Plan a Ski Vacation in New Zealand

If skiing is on your itinerary, there are some excellent ski spots in New Zealand. But when is the best time to go?

Depending on your preferences- such as budget, interests, and specific destinations- you may want to plan and schedule your vacation accordingly.


What time of year would you plan a ski vacation in New Zealand?

For the best skiing, schedule your ski vacation in New Zealand from June to October. For the best vacation price points, however, travel to New Zealand early in the ski season, which is typically the first couple weeks of June.


Thinking of going skiing in New Zealand? Keep reading to learn more about this unique destination!

Ski Season in New Zealand

Thinking about a ski trip? Did you know that you could ski in New Zealand?

The typical winter ski season in this country goes from June through October, though there are some distinct factors that impact which month is the best for travelers.

For instance, are you traveling with kids? Perhaps you are not interested in skiing at all?

In these instances, choose the month that you travel carefully to find curated events that are well suited to every member of your travel party!

Whether you are a snow bunny on the slopes or simply looking for a unique locale with great food, shopping, and cultural events, New Zealand makes a once-in-a-lifetime vacation destination!



It may seem odd to celebrate winter and the holiday season in June, but if you visit New Zealand at this time of year, that is what awaits.

Late June is when Winterfest happens in Queenstown, so plan your trip around this annual holiday event.

The skiing may be patchy this early in the winter ski season, but it is still a festive and flavorful time to visit.

This event runs through July, but plan for crowds as this coincides with the local children’s school vacation holiday, too.

So, what is Winterfest? It is a combination of music, mulled wine, light displays, ice skating, and other events for the entire family.

It has a distinct Christmas vibe, and visitors will find the best pricing early in the month of June- which is also the beginning of the ski season, though the quality of snow is not guaranteed this early.

For anyone working on a tight budget, early June makes good sense.



For those that are traveling with kids, July is a great time to get younger family members on the slopes.

While it is a busy time at New Zealand ski slopes and resorts, you will find some fantastic ski programs and offerings for younger travelers during this time, particularly in Wanaka.

Plus, the snow is great in July!


By August, there is substantial snow and the skiing is great! Do you really need another reason to visit New Zealand in August?


The slopes in New Zealand are a bit less crowded in September and the snow is still magnificent- as long as the temperatures are typical and not unseasonably warm.

The snow is wetter, as it is springtime here. While the prices are not as low as in the off-season, it is still a great time to visit the country if you love to ski.


October is the end of the ski season and winter in New Zealand. The slopes are not as busy, but there is still some great skiing to be had.

You may find some good deals on late-season ski trips, resorts, and accommodations, too. For late-season skiing, many locals recommend visiting Cardrona.


Frequently Asked Questions About Skiing in New Zealand


When is the best time to vacation in New Zealand?

For the best rates, consider your trip in early spring, March, April, and May. It is still quite cold, but the prices make it a great time to visit. For skiing, however, delay your trip until July, August, or September- which is prime ski time in New Zealand.


When is the ski season in New Zealand?

Wanaka ski resort, one of the biggest and most well-known in the region, is open June through October, which aptly reflects the ski season here.


What kind of food should you try in New Zealand?

One of the most popular and favorite dishes among Kiwis in New Zealand is the lamb. Consider trying roasted lamb with rosemary and local veggies for a real treat. Not a meat-eater? Try other local favorites, like the vast array of fresh seafood, including fish and chips!


What is the busiest city in New Zealand?

The busiest or most populated city in this country is Auckland, which is home to nearly one and a half million people. This city also houses a large harbor and port, which serves as a trade gateway to the rest of the world.


What are some notable places to visit in New Zealand?

When visiting, consider taking a trip to South Island, specifically Nelson, which has the most hours of sunlight per day in the whole country. There are also three distinct national parks surrounding Nelson, so it promises some adventure and sightseeing any time of year.


If you are planning to ski during your trip to New Zealand, plan your travels sometime between June and October, which is considered the prime ski season.

As for simply visiting this beautiful country, enjoy discounted rates during the off-season, as well as very early into the ski season, typically the first couple weeks of June.