New Zealand – winter sports with zeal

You don´t like skiing? Why not give ice skating at Tekapo Park or snowboarding at Treble Cone a try?

Have you thought of ice climbing at the Fox Glacier or snowmobiling near Queenstown?

New Zealand offers georgeous opportunities in the winter, but skiing is not for everyone. All these people with latches tied to their feet, performing the elk test on slopes…

New Zealand offers many more ways to have a great time in the snow – it doesn´t have to be traditional Alpine skiing.

Thanks to the Kiwis New Zealand has a wide variety of opportunities to have real fun. Jumping from tall buildings, toppling over steep cliffs are some of them.

But the Kiwis also had great ideas for winter sports.


Snowboarding is what comes to mind – next to skiing – for a winter sports. As snowboarding is nearly as favoured as skiing, the Resorts have responded to the growing demand.

Coronet Peak near Queenstown or Treble Cone near Wanaka are great for snowboarders. Treble Cone even boasts a manmade half pipe for snowboarders.

You would like to learn snowboarding? Then Tukino, North Island and the slopes of Mt Ruapeu are the place to go.

Many slopes are easy and manageable for beginners, the lessons are very affordable.

Nordic Skiing

How about getting back to the roots and try Nordic Skiing or cross-country-skiing?

When humans began skiing they definitely didn´t race downhill whooping and hollering. The Scandinavian people started skiing to travel in winter.

For the Sami, the people from Norway, Sweden and Finland skiing allowed them to get around during the lang, long months of winter. It worked so well, that the army adopted skiing.

Nordic skiing does not have a lot in common with Alpine skiing. It´s more like strolling in the woods, with skis.

However there is hardly a better way to enjoy New Zealand´s breathtaking mountain scenery but to take a stroll.

Start from the Waiorau Snow Farm, 35km from Wanaka with 50 km of lovingly maintained trails and courses for beginners.


What if you don´t have skis and poles to walk around in the snow-covered landscape? Just use two tennis rackets instead of shoes.

That may have been the case many years ago, snowshoes of today are of a totally different kind. Technological advance as well as design have worked wonders to miraculously transform the former tennis rackets.

However the basics remain the same. Enlarge a surface, so that the weight is spreaded across it and therefore reduced.

The wearer can walk on the snow instead of trudging through it. What´s more, you now can discover remote corners of the landscape, you never would have been able to reach otherwise during winter.

Snowshoe treks – 2 to 5 days – through the Southern Alps are organized by Alpine recreation.

Ice skating

Ice skating is another posssibility to move on a cold and slippery surface (of frozen water). You probably won´t look as formidable as Aljona Savtchenko and Bruno Massot but you will manage to get across the ice.

And even if you fall –isn´t life itself the art of falling?

New Zealand offers many places to skate, however no place beats the Tekapo Park. About 2,5 hours from Christchurch situated at Lake Tekapo in Canterbury the Park it has an absolutely stunning world-class ice rink.

With 26m by 56m it qualifies for international tournaments. The outdoor settings enhance the great experience.

Skate rental is affordable. You might want to join a group lesson to enjoy more time standing on your legs instead of sitting on your bum.


Forget about skiing or snowboarding – the king in the ring are the people on a snowmobile. Complete with helmet, the drivers of the red speed-monsters are a class of ist own.

Like Nordic skiing driving a snowmobile (a skidoo) wasn´t – in the first place – planned as a fun thing to do. It worked as means of transportation, to get access to hard-to-reach spots and – well – help out stupid skiers.

Nowadays riding them is a sport thing to do – and great fun.

Nevis Snowmobile Adventure are perfect for riding a snowmobile. Situated at a high plateau in the Old Woman Range near Queenstown they offer a fantastic panorama – not to mention the 12 minutes helicopter flight from queenstown airport included in the package.

From the plateau off you go (after having been handed special thermal gear). The scenery is staggeringly beautiful, the Yeti will flee from you and damsel Yeti is likely to fall for you.

Ice climbing

You want to follow the tracks of Kiwi legend Sir Edmund Hillary? Then it´s ice climbing for you to.

You´ll never feel like a real montaineer before not having worked on an icy mountainside with ice axe and crampons. The sunday school peaks are not for you – you are made for the real stuff.

To start – and continue – ice climbing, try the the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers on the West Coast of the South Island. It´s very frosty fun thing to do (as you may have guessed from “ice” and “glacier”).

However the sights are absolutely unique, you´ll never forget the experience. You can book your day-long climbing trip with Fox Guides.It´s NZ$215 per person.