Ski New Zealand: 7 Day South Island Snow Safari (Christchurch to Queenstown)

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4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. 3- Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
7 days
From: $ 1,436 $ 205 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Experience New Zealand's finest snow fields at Mt Hutt, Ohau, Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Coronet Peak.
  • This trip offers thrills for beginners and experts alike - just strap on your skis and let our expert crew point you in the right direction.
  • Enjoy the benefit of local knowledge as our experienced crew show you the best runs and powder stashes across six different mountains.
  • Spend a night under a carpet of stars in the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve.
  • Rest your legs and enjoy New Zealand away from the snow at the adventure playgrounds of Lake Tekapo, Wanaka and Queenstown.
  • Everything is arranged for you, from transport to hiring snow equipment and clothes – all you have to do is choose your favourite slopes and hit the snow.

Short Description

Whether you’re new to the snow or an experienced snow hound, this exhilarating week on the slopes of the Southern Alps’ most iconic snow fields at Mt Hutt, Ohau, Treble Cone, The Remarkables, Cardrona and Coronet Peak delivers. We’ve got everything organised: your transport and transfers to the mountains, your accommodation, lift passes, breakfast, and an expert local crew ready to show you the best runs and powder stashes across the six different mountains. We can also arrange your ski gear and clothing if you want to pack light. Add time away from the slopes to discover the South Island's best ski towns like Lake Tekapo, Wanaka and Queenstown, and a stay in the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve,.and you’ve got the perfect trip.

Style Small group tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Christchurch
End City Queenstown

Destinations

New Zealand

Attractions & Cities Visited

Alps Christchurch Queenstown

Activities & Interests

N/A

Age Requirement

18-99

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Christchurch to Lake Tekapo & Mount Hutt Skiing

Kia ora and welcome to Christchurch, gateway to New Zealand’s awe-inspiring Southern Alps. Depart Christchurch at 6am and pick up your hire gear (and breakfast) on the 2 hour drive inland to Mt Hutt. Located high in the Southern Alps, Canterbury’s Mt Hutt Ski Area receives some of the lightest and driest powder in Australasia. A big mountain with 365 skiable hectares and great terrain, this ski field is an awesome winter experience for first timers and seasoned powder hounds alike. Collect your included lift pass and choose your own adventure, from adrenalin-pumping black diamond runs to wide, open trails that provide easy learning for novice skiers or a chance to brush up on existing skills. To help beginners get into the swing of things perhaps opt for a morning & afternoon beginner ski/boarding lesson. And if you need more we're happy to arrange that too. After a day on the slopes, continue south (approximately 2.5 hours) to our accommodation on the shores of beautiful Lake Tekapo, your home for the night. Chill out at a local café or wander the southern shores of this stunning turquoise lake and soak in the magnificent views of the nearby snow-covered mountains. As part of the world's largest International Dark Sky Reserve it's worth staying up late to experience the finest night sky you may ever experience.

Day 2 Lake Tekapo to Wanaka & Ohau Skiing

Start the day with an early morning drive (approximately 1.5hrs) to nearby Ohau, a remote ski field that can be found midway between Christchurch and Queenstown. While the drive is stunning - you'll definitely pause for a photo stop at the aquamarine Lake Pukaki and beautiful Mackenzie Basin - the ski fields of Ohau are the true highlight. Ohau also offers exquisite dry powder snow and epic terrain – and will get you away from the tourist trail to experience an awesome range of ski fields for all abilities. For those wanting an extra thrill, there are also alternative field options, with Mount Dobson and Roundhill offering amazing skiing and boarding. Your group leader will be happy to explain your choices in this epic snow destination. After a full day on the snow, drive approximately 2 hours to Wanaka, New Zealand’s ‘ultimate hub for outdoor adventures’, your home for the next 2 nights.

Day 3 Wanaka & Treble Cone Skiing

Start the day early with a short drive to Treble Cone in the heart of the Southern Alps, home to the highest lift-accessed terrain, longest groomed intermediate runs, and highest vertical drop on the South Island. This is also the South Island’s largest ski area with plenty of varied terrain, amazing views across Wanaka and trails to suit all ages and abilities. For those newer to snow sports there is a purpose-built learner area and long, groomed beginner and intermediate trails. More experienced skiers and boarders are drawn to the natural half pipes, challenging advanced runs and ungroomed powder. Renowned for its reliable snow conditions and weather, and Home Basin Express chairlift so you can enjoy more runs per day, Treble Cone really is skiing and boarding heaven. After a day on the slopes, you’ll head back to Wanaka. With a huge number of places to dine, drink and dance the night away, your choices on this free evening are endless.

Day 4 Wanaka to Queenstown & Cardrona Skiing

Leave Wanaka behind and drive south towards Queenstown, but not without stopping for a full day at Cardrona Alpine Resort, renowned among skiers and boarders for inspiring terrain and dry natural snow. Blessed with ‘New Zealand’s most reliable snow’, it's one of the top mountains in the country. With 345 hectares of wide, undulating trails, open slopes, steep chutes and awesome terrain parks, your group leader will be happy to recommend runs to best suit your ability. A wide area of the mountain is serviced by chair lifts, so access is easy and Cardrona’s three basins offer wide-open spaces and a mixture of terrains that are suitable for snowboarders and skiers of all abilities. On-mountain facilities include five cafes, so there’s plenty of opportunity to relax between your epic runs. After a full day on the slopes enjoy a relaxing drive (approximately 1 hr) all the way to Queenstown – the ‘home of winter’.

Day 5 Queenstown

After four days on the slopes, it’s time to rest your legs and experience everything Queenstown has to offer. From a relaxing cruise on Lake Whakatipu, Lord of the Rings tour, or winery visit at nearby Gibbston, to a leisurely bike ride along the (mostly flat) Queenstown Trail or adrenaline-pumping jetboat rides, white water rafting or even bungee jumping, there is sure to be an adventure to suit. If you can't bear to be away from the snow for a day, there are a number of carbon-neutral heli-ski options that will take you to untouched powder in the area. Whatever you choose to experience, try and save some energy for the next two days – you’re going to need it!

Day 6 Queenstown & Coronet Peak Skiing

Coronet Peak is the oldest and most developed ski area in the South Island, with an astounding variety of runs and on-field facilities that are some of the finest in the region. Everything is designed to ensure you make the most of skiing and boarding, whatever your level of ability. Everyone can ski like a pro at Coronet Peak – there are dedicated slopes for first-timers, wide groomed trails and plenty of choice for more experienced skiers. Your group leader will help show you the best option for your abilities. Once you know the ropes, you’ll can zoom down the slopes and enjoy gently rolling terrain with plenty of dips and drops for great variety. For boarders, Coronet Peak is a natural terrain park, full of endless hits and powder stashes. After your final run, it’s time to enjoy Queenstown’s excellent bars, restaurants and cafes beside the lake then kick on into the night, or head back to the hostel for a well-earned sleep.

Day 7 Queenstown & The Remarkables Skiing

Picture wide open trails, powder snow, spectacular views, sun-drenched terrain and unforgettable runs and you’ve got The Remarkables. Set in a vast natural amphitheatre high in the rugged ranges, this is the highest ski field in Queenstown at 1943m. Being so far up is a major plus, giving the ski field a long, reliable season – and the north facing aspect makes it a natural sun-trap. While there are plenty of options for beginners, The Remarkables ski area also boasts a new international standard Super Pipe. At 150m long and 22m wide it’s for advanced level riders and skiers only, and an absolute blast if you have the skills. The expanded Xbox Terrain and Rail Park and other features, combined with the big mountain possibilities, make The Remarkables a top choice for freeriders. At the end of an exciting day on the slopes, it’s time to head back down to Queenstown, where your epic snow adventure finishes on arrival around 8pm.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,436
Price Per Day: $ 205 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Aug-14-2022Aug-20-2022$ 1,595YesSold Out Reserve
Aug-28-2022Sep-03-2022$ 1,595No16 spots left Reserve
Sep-11-2022Sep-17-2022$ 1,436No16 spots left Reserve
Jul-16-2023Jul-22-2023$ 1,595No16 spots left Reserve
Jul-30-2023Aug-05-2023$ 1,595No16 spots left Reserve
Aug-13-2023Aug-19-2023$ 1,595No16 spots left Reserve
Aug-27-2023Sep-02-2023$ 1,595No16 spots left Reserve
Sep-10-2023Sep-16-2023$ 1,595No16 spots left Reserve

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3,899 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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Ski New Zealand: 7 Day South Island Snow Safari (Christchurch to Queenstown)

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Company Reviews

Logistical nightmare and boring stories

1.0
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Turkey Encompassed tour, 2022.
I rarely bother with writing bad reviews because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But this is one of the worst purchase experiences in my 40 year life, so I hope this information can be helpful to you and keep you from a regretful purchase.

For a little context, we had 5 people on this tour. Two in their late 20s, one in their 30s and two in their 40s. The tour-mates made the tour bearable, but the tour itself was a disaster.

Let me list the ways this tour not only fell below expectations, but ruined an otherwise wonderful stay in a country full of warm people.

1. Hotels are below grade. They booked us in $25 a night (for two) hotels that smell like cigarette smoke, when we paid $250 a night (for two) for this tour. There were 3 nights like this out of 14. We know because we checked prices on some of these hotel rooms. Yes we know that our rate includes the bus, the guide and some of the entrance fees. By the way the tour did not include food. Taking into account the company’s margins it should still leave at least $150 a night to book us a decent room. So instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep I was taking allergy pills and wearing masks to get through the night. This is not ok.

2. We did not have a tour leader. Most tours have a tour leader who manages the logistics and a local guide who walk you through the sites. This tour tries to save money by making one person do both. This means the logistics was a nightmare, and no one took care of the tour people. Let me elaborate.

3. Time estimates are all over the place. We stopped at Troy and he said we will be there for 45 min. He started telling us historical facts in a boring way for 30 min, then we finally took a walk together and we didn’t exit until 1.5 hours later, that’s 2x the predicted time. This happened again at Ephesus, with an estimate of 3 hours without no bathroom access, in the raw 40C heat with no shade, and then it became 4 hours with such conditions. Keep in mind that the guide has been to this site at least 100 times already. To be this far off is appalling. Lunch times are unpredictable, so one day it’s at noon and the next day it’s at 3pm. And there’s no warning, so luckily we did not have diabetics on the tour. We were only 5 in the group, and it’s already chaos. I can’t imagine if it’s 10 or 12 people. I’ve never seen a tour managed so poorly.

4. The guide did not care about the health of the group. I understand the the guide is not the tour doctor, but it’s really basic human decency to check in, especially as a leader. Every person had tummy problems once or more during the trip. And people will say so out loud too, and obviously looked unwell at meals. But he never asked about it, or checked in on anyone afterwards. For all the talk of “hospitality” in the Turkish culture, I am amazed at this lack of care.

5. The stories are boring, we Google’d the info instead. When you get only one local guide for two weeks and you get a great one, awesome. But if you get a bad one, prepared to be bored out of your mind. This guy had credentials. Graduated four years from guiding school in Turkey and 15 years of actual guiding experience. But man, the stories, if you can even call them that, are boring. Lists of dates and facts is not a story. A 2 min story takes 30 minutes to tell. You might as well watch a YouTube video instead and learn more. An interesting aside, when the tour started, we had a kick-off meeting at the hotel. The travel company’s branch manager was there along with the guide to observe the kick-off meeting. The manager told us this tour guide is “one of their best.” Oh my. If this is the best they have then you have no hope of getting a good tour guide with this company my friend. Stay away.

6. You get no information, logistically speaking. This is the kicker. We booked a tour so we didn’t have to research what’s around the corner. The point of a guide is to guide you. To give you heads-up about where we’re visiting, how long it’ll be, where the good picture spot is, on-site conditions so you can be prepared for rough terrain, heat etc. you get the idea. But no. Nothing. In fact, I had to ask every-single-day for even the basic itinerary the next day. There was one day in Cappadokia when the guide took us for a one hour walk near the rock formations. The “walk” turned out to be a real bush-wacking experience, scaling slippery gravel, dropping into dry river beds between small canyon rocks, and exposed to bare sun in 100F heat for the entire “walk”. I would at least call that a hike and tell people to put on hiking shoes. I actually had hiking shoes that stayed useless in my suitcase while I scaled the steep gravel in unsuitable footwear. Luckily nobody got hurt. But this tour is rated for any age, as in a 65 year old can join, and I don’t know what could’ve happened then. It was a one-way walk so there was no turning back either
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I traveled with Intrepid on a 2-week…

5.0
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Meals5.0
I traveled with Intrepid on a 2-week trip to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenian. The trip leader, Kesenia, escorted us to all the highlights these countries had to offer. We were met along the way by local guides who explained the history of the places we were visiting. Everyday was an adventure where we enjoyed great food, breathtaking scenery, and meeting local people. Spring is a great time to go and see mountains still covered in snow and trees starting to bloom.
All dedicated travelers should go to the Caucuses.
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I am a fairly experienced traveler: the worst trip ever

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I am a fairly experienced traveler and have used several travel companies similar to Intrepid and consistently had great experiences. As a single mother, I wanted to give a memorable summer vacation to my 14-year old daughter, so based on the descriptions of the company’s Alaska Summer Family Vacation tour, I decided to pay close to $5,000 for both of us for this tour plus more than $2,000 for the air fare to do so.
I don’t even know where to begin. The guide was very short with me, rude to my daughter (several times he completely ignored her questions and attempt to having conversations with him) throughout the trip.

The native heritage center we were scheduled to visit on the first full day was closed (the business hours are CLEARLY stated on their website), so the guide took us to the Anchorage museum and just left us there for 4 hours - thank goodness I brought some snacks with us! When I asked the guide if there was any cafe at the museum, he, without a pause, immediately said “it’s closed”. As we walked through the museum, there it was, a nice cafe selling food. Finally, after 4 hours of killing time there, he took us to a lunch place PAST 3. Then the rest of the day was free. Basically it went on like this for the entire course of the tour, aside from a 6-hour cruise to glaciers (provided by a third party). In Seward, we had a lot of free time and we wanted to try and hike up the very popular Mount Marathon (we are both experienced hikers), so I asked him if the trail was open. He never got back to me until the last day, and he said it would take full 4 hours (a lie - only 2 hours per it’s website) to do the hike and it’s very, very steep (true), so we decided not to do it when we got some time in the afternoon. We were so upset when we found out it would take only 2 hours - we would certainly have done this popular trail but thanks to him who clearly couldn’t be bothered to provide accurate information, we missed this opportunity.

I was beginning to be concerned towards the end about how uneventful, literally lame and inactive this tour had been and how unhelpful the guide had been. My daughter started to complain about how incredibly “un-Alaskan” its been. Not a single hike contrary to the tour descriptions. Its been very wet, but that’s why we were all told to bring rain gear and be ready and we were ready. But nothing happened and our precious and very expensive time kept on flying by.

The worst came when we were driving back from Seward to Anchorage. The guide told us we could hike to see the Portage Glacier but “weather permitting”. Once we got to the information center, he outright told us “we have 2 options: 1. we hang out at the information center due to rain (?!?); or 2. we keep on going to Anchorage”. See, hiking was not an option we were given! There was another family with us and we all went to the visitor center to “hang out”, only viewing the glacier fr the distance. At this point, it was simply ridiculous and asked the guide why hiking was not an option. He very sharply, and intensely dismissively responded “it’s raining and it’s all about safety”. ???? I told him then why the trail was open and people have been going on the trail. He repeated it’s a matter of safety. He told us we could hang out at the center and watch a 20-minute “movie”. I asked the other family in the tour and one of them said she invested more than $400 for rain gear and its been completely wasted, and they were thinking also how underwhelming the tour had been. Then the heritage center we arrived. He told us we had 4 hours there. 4 HOURS in such a small, very compact place!!! My daughter and I essentially went around and around and around to kill 4 hours of our precious time. At that point, I realized my $5,000 I saved up was completely wasted, and asked the guide this was not worth the money, he could not keep doing this. You know what he said after a while? He said he’s been in touch with Intrepid about me complaining!!! I was super polite, never, ever complained up to this point, and he threatened me for “complaining”???? Looking back, I never once saw him wearing a rain jacket, not once. He just did not want to get wet!! I later called the office of the Portage glacier office on the same day and asked if the rain in the morning posed ANY danger. The person on the phone was very confused about why the rain could possibly be considered dangerous, and said “ well the trail has been open”. When I emailed BEFORE the trip was over to Intrepid about how the trip went and his incredibly bad behaviors, the email said I should have brought the concerns to the guide. When asked where $5,000 was spent for, complete silence. Stay away from this company. As soon as I brought up the financial worth, they just went silent. All the glorious “mission” of the company they put out, I guess the quality of the tour is not their interest. Money is.
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I lost my holiday money with intrepid

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I booked a trip with Intrepid and paid for it. About a week later they told me they could not give me place on the trip, but they have not refunded money so I can't afford to book anything else. I cant get through to them on the phone and after two weeks I fear I will never get mt money back.

I have now incurred bank charges for the cost of a holiday I didn't get. I will be complaining to ABTA about the appalling practice of charging for non-existent holidays. Intrepid must be making a fortune from holding everyone's money for a month.
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I travelled the Premium Turkey in Depth…

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I travelled the Premium Turkey in Depth in mid June 2022. It was excellent, and exceeded my expectations in many ways. This was my four trips with Intrepid. Our Group Leader Nilufer is the best, Nilufer has taken care of all of us in the whole trip. The two drivers are really good too. We had a small group, we got along extremely well like family.
How could I ask for more! Highly recommend to other travellers if they want to see the real Turkie. Some of the hotels are not up to the standard as premium. Otherwise I would not hesitate to give five stars.
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Spain Portugal Trip

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Spain architecture is stunningly beautiful and the people of Portugal are very laid back. It was a great trip, beautiful cities in both countries and the weather was perfect. I’ve used Intrepid before and highly recommend them because they get you out with the people in the country you’re visiting and are environmentally conscious. My recommendation would be they use public trains more than the public buses.Touring with people from other countries is a real treat.
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Private vehicle

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accommodations

Hostel dorm share accommodation (4–6 share),shared facilities (6 nights)

Guides

Our ski trips in New Zealand are accompanied by one of our guides (group leader) who will also be the driver. All our guides are passionate snow enthusiasts and are there to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. As well as ensuring you have the best ‘on snow’ experience ever, your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 18

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Queenstown
  • Array
  • Queenstown
  • NEW ZEALAND

Trip ID#:

intrepid-PHXSCQ

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