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Skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand

The following info was provided by Colin Tanner of the Ski and Snowboard Instructor Training Co. It is personal opinion rather than absolute fact!

NZ is a fantastic place to spend a winter/summer, the people are friendly the place is beautiful and there are no language problems, just ask anyone who has been there. The winter season starts in June and runs through until October, however this can vary depending on which mountain you go to.

Where is the skiing?
In the North Island - Whakapapa (pronounced - Fukkapapa) and Turoa are the biggest ski areas and are on a great big volcano called Mt Ruapheu. It last erupted in 1997! Quite spectacular.
In the South Island there are lots of "ski fields" - so lets start with the big ones - Coronet Peak and The Remarkables (based out of Queenstown), Cardrona and Treble Cone (based out of Wanaka), Mt Hutt (Methven).

Then there are lots of others - Craigieburn, Temple Basin, Mt Cheesman, Mt Dobson, Mt Olympus, Broken River, Round Hill, Ohau, to name a few.
How do I get work?
The same way that you would get a job anywhere - apply! If you just turn up then there are lots of possibilities for work but you do have to check if you need a work visa or not. A Working Holiday Scheme Visa can be arranged for those under 30's from the UK, NZ High Commission, Haymarket, London. If you don't have a work visa UK passport holders are allowed to enter NZ on a Visitors Visa for a maximum of 6 months.

What work is there?
Just about anything, however there is not so much in the way of Chalet girl/boy work, as there aren't really that many Chalet's where the guests get cooked for. In NZ it's mostly hotels and apartments.

There aren't the same number of tour operators there are in the UK, although there is one big one called Ski Express Jobs can be found though in ski shops, hotels, cleaning, bar work McDonald's and Pizza Hut are always keen!

Queenstown is the party town and Wanaka is a very close second...

Getting there
Flying is the best option! Flying into Auckland in North Island, or Christchurch in the South Island.

Lift passes
It has become common practice now in NZ to sell season's passes at very good and cheap early season rates. For example who run (Coronet and the Remarks and Mt Hutt) sell season passes for only NZ$649 (£230 approx) until April 20th, however after that it goes up ($1199 May 17th) and if you wait until the ski season begins it goes up to NZ$1599 (£530 approx. Passes can be bought online.

What is the skiing/riding like?
The skiing/riding is great and there is a big emphasis on "park and pipe", but be aware that the ski areas are a lot smaller the what you may be used to in Val d'Isere, for example. In Coronet Peak there are only 3 chairlifts, with lots of different runs off the main chairs, so this takes a little getting used to at first. However, once you get your head around it, you'll see that NZ is the perfect training ground. It's not so much a question of where am I going to ski next, but of how am I going to ski this better! Which brings us to the fact that there are some excellent training programs available in Queenstown which take all the worry out of things and where you can get an internationally recognised qualification to teach. Check out The Ski & Snowboard Instructor Training Co. at: or

The Ski & Snowboard Instructor Training Co.
For more information on the Ski & Snowboard Instructor training courses contact Colin at

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