New Zealand

Good backcountry skiing locations can be found in the south of the North Island on and around several volcanoes, and in the Southern Alps of the South Island. The season can start in winter (July) and often extends to late spring (late November).

  • It is uncommon for the temperature get lower than -5C during winter. Temperatures are higher during spring - usually around or above 0C during the day. Rain can be encountered sometimes. Strong winds are common.

  • Avalanches are common in the higher alpine regions and there are glaciers with crevasses.

  • Lower areas have backcountry skiing with a variety of terrain

  • Skiing peaks and glaciers of the Main Divide requires mountaineering equipment including harness, ice axe, rope, crampons and ice screws. There are long approaches so helicopters and ski planes are commonly used to access these areas.

  • Alpine huts are available for self-catering groups and are commonly used as a base for day trips.

Locations include:

    • Franz Josef Glacier - Chancellor hut to Centennial Hut

    • Tasman Saddle - peaks including Elie de Beaumont, Minarets and the Hochstetter Dome can be skied from a choice of two huts.

    • Mt Hutt backcountry

    • Symphony on Skis, West to East, Mt Cook N.P - an epic ski mountaineering tour

    • Two Thumb range - stunning views and everything from mellow valley runs to steep chutes make this a great option for all abilities.

    • Ohau Range