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Guide to Skiing New Zealand on a Budget

Posted by Kiwi Experience Crew on 5 July 2019

Our little corner of the world down here in New Zealand may be small in size, but what we offer in the way of adventure will put us to the top of your bucket list! From the tropical coastlines of the North to the alpine lands of the South, you will find your travels in New Zealand jam-packed with expeditions over the Pacific Ocean, through national parks, and up our snowy mountains; and the best part is, you don’t have to travel a million miles in any direction to cover all three. Convinced yet? 

So, once you’ve ticked hiking the Tongariro Crossing, bungee jumping at Kawarau bridge, an excursion to the Milford Sound and a visit to Hobbiton (phew!) off of your bucket list, your next adventure awaits you! Whether you’re a seasoned shredder, a bit of a snow bunny, or a complete punter, hitting the mountain is a perfect choice. 

Now, we know that getting up the mountain can seem a fickle fantasy when your pockets drier than the Australian Outback... don’t fret, though! With some simple budgeting, you can, in fact, complete a successfully sendy ski holiday without breaking the bank. Welcome to New Zealand - the land of hobbits, sheep, and powder days.

Shred powder, not your bank account.

Travel and Accommodation

Yes, we all want 5-star hotels and private jets, however as residential ski-bums we must look elsewhere. To be honest, a true Kiwi Experience (see what I did there?) is characterised by a different perspective. Travel aboard the big green bus for the unique opportunity to see hidden spots, make life-long friends and explore the natural playground for big kids that is New Zealand. 

As far as accommodation goes, commercial field ski towns have plenty of options for you in the way of lodges and backpackers. 

At Kiwi Experience, we have a series of packages suitable for skiiers and snowboarders, that include travel, accommodation and lift passes. So, if you’re keen to hit the slopes for a week or so, you can read about us here.

Also, look for deals! For example, at Cardrona, if you book a shuttle alongside your lift pass, you’ll save $20. It’s the little bits that add up!

 

Gear

If you already have your own kit that you can bring, then that’s going to save you some moolah. That’s a bit of a no-brainer though. For those of us that aren’t travelling with gear, many resorts, and ski shops have options to hire gear and clothing. Generally, you can pick both up for about $70-80 a day. Suit up! 

 

Lift Passes

Day passes tend to come to around $120 across commercial ski fields in New Zealand. You also have the option of buddy passes, multi-day passes and of course… season passes! If possible, booking a season pass early-bird will save you the most cash if you plan on skiing for over about a week.

While our larger fields are amazing, you could also give some of our club fields, such as Craigieburn, Fox Peak and Temple Basin a go. These fields tend to have more natural terrain, less infrastructure and most importantly, super cheap day passes, at about $40 each. Some of the fields even have accommodation tucked away in the mountains themselves. Skiing club-owned fields is a unique experience, so if you’re passionate about snow sports, and a little adventure sounds up your alley, give it a go.

 

Further ways to save money:

Pack your own lunch. Nothing beats a mince & cheese pie or some hot chips after a day shredding, but your wallet will thank you if you pick a thermos of soup or a homemade BLT instead.

To make the most out of your holiday as a beginner, it can pay off invest in some lessons. This way you’ll be off the magic carpet quicker and therefore getting more bang for your buck.

Don’t be fancy; often times, you can get away with skiing New Zealand without a ski jacket, especially in springtime. It always pays to be prepared though, so make sure you’re very aware of the conditions before you decide what to hire and wear.

If you want to learn more about why New Zealand is the best destination for your ski holiday this winter, check out our guide to the ski season this winter. We've got a range of products on offer this winter, from all-inclusive to flexible passes, allowing you to experience New Zealand winter your way. 

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