Springtime sun and snow for NZ this October

The New Zealand ski season for 2015 has had a stunner of a winter - and ski fields around the country are gearing up for a fantastic spring season too. The southerly resorts are calling this winter their best ski season in years and are planning for an extra week or so of lifts running, but the big news is in the North Island, where the two big fields on Mt Ruapehu have just announced their intention to stay open until Labour Weekend. 
The news of top-notch skiing conditions has made its way across the globe, with the Telegraph reporting on the bumper season all the way in the United Kingdom. NZSki, the company running Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Mt Hutt ski resorts near Queenstown is already remarking on the record number of visitors, and some runs are open which have not been skiable in years as they require a very good snow base. Queenstown is a fantastic destination in any season - but a winter like this one in the country’s most scenic ski town is an experience not to be missed.

Mt Ruapehu announces extended season

In a video posted to its Facebook page, the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts company which operates both Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields encouraged skiers and snowboarders to “Jump for Joy” as the Whakapapa season has been extended to the 26th of October. This is great news for punters who have already enjoyed an excellent few months of hitting the slopes.
Turoa has the same closing date, so North Island ski bunnies and those visiting New Zealand during the springtime can take advantage of the bluebird days sure to come in September and October. There’s nothing quite like the views from Mount Ruapehu on a fine day!
Whakapapa ski field

Sun and Snow

Skiing right into springtime means you can combine a stint on the slopes with some time on the beach. Although the mornings and evenings are still crisp, New Zealand can experience some warm and sunny periods in the springtime - especially in the more northerly regions. Here are a few of our top ideas for an October getaway in God’s Own country. 
  • Pick up your car rental in Auckland and head down to Mount Ruapehu, stopping at Lake Taupo along the way for a lakeside stroll. The total distance is 340 kilometres, an easy day’s drive with 4-5 hours total spent on the road. The village of National Park has many lodges and chalets where you can get settled before a day or two of carving up the powder. Once your legs have had all they can take, make tracks to the Coromandel Peninsula, where you will find a wonderland of beach towns, secluded coves, native forest hiking tracks and more. It’s easy to spend several days to a week in “Coro,” and it’s just two hours’ drive back to Auckland to finish your road trip.

  • Make it a one-way journey and pick up your car rental in Wellington. From there it’s just 4.5 hours drive to Napier, a city nestled on the coast of Hawke’s Bay, one of the sunniest regions in the country and a renowned area of wine production. You’re guaranteed a glass of some local drop in the sunshine to kick off your trip! Then, head inland to Mount Ruapehu for your skiing adventure and follow your nose up the country to drop off the vehicle in Auckland. If you have time, the long and thin section of New Zealand north of Auckland is a great place to tour, full of beaches and often boasting higher temperatures than elsewhere.

  • If Queenstown is calling your name, we suggest combining your ski holiday with some time in the Nelson region at the top of the South Island. This area is known for its Mediterranean-style climate which offers the best chance of soaking up the spring sunshine.Get your car rental in Queenstown or Christchurch, enjoy the powder and then make the day or two’s drive north to get amongst the great outdoors in the Abel Tasman National Park and greater Nelson region. You can even stop at the Franz Josef Glacier along the way, or soak sore muscles in the hot pools at Hanmer Springs.

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