The months September and October we have been travelling around New Zealand. I heard a lot of people saying that New Zealand is the most beautiful land they have been and I must admit there weren’t wrong. With the diversity of landscapes it isn’t boring at all to travel both islands. Drive though snow covered rainforests, wild White Mountains and the next hour you can be on the Beach.
Classic New Zealand scenery
forrest road to the beach
Clean surf Blackhead // Dunedin // New Zealand
We visited the month September the south island in the north in October. September is the last month of the New Zealand winter that means it is spring. The weather is a little more stable then in the winter months. The snow around here is not the same then in the European Alps. The snow is less dry and more wind affected, depending on the altitude. When it is snowing it is almost always very windy, which doesn’t help to find some perfect powder snow. Don’t be surprised when it snowed about 30 cm today and you will find nothing around. Don’t get me wrong it still is a very unique place to go snowboarding and travel around. Just need little bit more patience.
View from Mt Olympus
Around Arthur’s pas you will find quit a few ski fields that are very interesting. Most of them are private clubs, running by the club members them self. They don’t groom the slopes, don’t have chairlifts, run the lifts to 18.00/18.30 and for some fields you need to hike up for 45 minutes before you can use the nutcracker (rope lift). All of these uncommon things you will not find in a commercial ski area. The beauty of there things is, it will not be crowded.
Mt Olympus view
Around the Arthur’s pass you will find 7 different club fields that collect to most snow on the South island, between 2200 and 1300. Here around it is very common to drive through rain forests, fields covered with sheep’s and very narrow steep mountains roads. You will find small resorts with good snow that will offer fun runs to serious steep lines.
You could split the Mt Cook up in two separated regions. Mt Cook itself and the small ski areas around it. Mt Cook it self is very isolated with a few mountain huts and a lot of wild glaciers. Around here you need a good weather window and be well prepared, before you can splitboard around the glacier fields. For us the weather did not cooperated to go up for a few days.
The ski areas around are small resorts with one or two chair lifts. It definitely had his charms when resorts just have one single lift. Our favourite was Ohau. One single chairlift resort with a 20 minute hike to the peak. On the Peak you will retreat with stunning New Zealand landscapes
Around Queenstown and Wanaka you will find the most commercial resort on the south island. Around here you find lift and facilities like we are used to in Europe. For lift access freeriding is Treble cone (Wanaka) definitely the place to be. The only problem is, there is less snow then further northerly on the South island. So you have to be lucky.
In the middle of the north island there is the Wakapapa Volcano with lift access form 1500 to 2300 that makes it New Zealand’s biggest ski resort. Lot’s of freeride and touring possibilities, all around the volcano. On the top you will find a crater lake and stunning views that worth a visit.