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Snowed in Downunder - New Zealand Skiing and Snowboarding Holidays
By Gail Gillespie

With such a variable climate, New Zealand has a range of ski fields in both the North and South Islands - each offering slightly different seasons. The winners are the skiers and snowboarders, who can start early in the South Island and ski later in the North. All of course dependent on snowfall!• The South Island season is from early June to early October.• The North Island season starts late June through to mid NovemberWith 24 skifields, seventeen of which are commercial, there is plenty of choice. New Zealand skifields tend to be open with no trees. There are slopes suitable for everyone from children , beginners, and intermediates, right through to the highest level skiiers.Heli skiing is another exciting adrenaline rush option for experienced skiiers. Imagine being dropped off by helicopter way up in the mountains, with not a soul around, and then flying down pristine slopes to home base!Many international skiers and snowboarders come down here for the winter, to continue their training. Wanaka, in the lower South Island has four good fields - Cardrona, Treble Cone, Snow Farm, which specialises in cross country skiing, and Snow Park, the teens and youth choice.Cardrona is a great family snow field geared for beginners, intermediates, and plenty of family fun in the snow.If they don't want to ski, let them try a tobbogan. They'll have a ball! Due to the sheltered nature of Cardrona, they only lose five to seven days in a season , so it is also a reliable snow holiday destination.Queenstown has two main snowfields. The very popular, upmarket Coronet Peak, which also has entertainment, and a swinging nightlife, with outdoor music. The other option is The Remarkables, which is a challenging ski, for the experienced. The scenic landscape in this area will keep you enthralled as you ply the slopes.With about seven snow fields in Canterbury, snowboarders and skiiers are spoilt for choice. Mt Hutt in Canterbury is also particularly popular with international skiers, and competent amateurs.The MacKenzie Basin has several snow fields, many of them, club run. Ohau near Twizel has been specially geared toward snowboarders .Mt Ruapehu in the Central North Island has two main ski fields.Whakapapa on the Chateau side and Turoa near Ohakune on the other.Often the snow or weather will be better on one side - giving skiers and snowboarders options. Both are good for families and beginners.Mt Taranaki also has good ski fields but is a little more off the beaten track for tourists.Access to some ski fields will at times mean roads are closed, due to the very thing you want - snow! Chains are essential when driving to any of them. The Desert Road which gets you to Mt Ruapehu is closed several times a year.Whakapapa is hugely popular for North Islander's , and the facilities are excellent. There are ski tows to different levels, and hireage of all snow equipment for those just wanting a day of fun are all on the slopes at the Top 'o the Bruce.So the choices for anyone keen to ski or snowboard are many. You can hire equipment for a day or a week! There are plenty of all inclusive package deals. As all areas also offer an interesting selection of other holiday activities and entertainment for travellers, you will probably want to make your choice with these in mind.Vineyards, adventure activities, great shopping, and a magical winter ambience are found in Queenstown and Wanaka. Taupo, an hour's drive away, for those visiting Mt Ruapehu will also provide further fun including hot pools, golf and lakeside activities.For further information on New Zealand Skiing and Snowboarding, and what you can do when you are not on the ski slopes go to holidays-in-newzealand holidays-in-newzealandI am a New Zealander who has travelled extensively internationally and lived in several countries. Despite all the places I have been, I still think New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries, and for a holiday, it is not only scenically truly spectacular, but also has a huge variety of exciting activities. Having had so much experience planning international travel, I appreciate the difficulties in getting all the relevant information for visas, itineraries, flights and accommodation. Keen to share my comprehensive knowledge of my beautiful country with others, and make their holidays and vacations an enjoyable experience, I have built a website holidays-in- newzealand holidays-in-newzealand to ensure a one stop shop for independent travellers to New Zealand. Gail_Gillespie Gail_Gillespie

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