The best snow holiday tips for the South Island

Kid at the snow learning to ski

Are you heading to the South Island with the kids for a snow experience? Our Travel NZ With Kids community share their best tips and advice. 

recommended Ski fields in the South Island

Roundhill. Super family friendly, amazing learners terrain. Or second options would be Mt Dobson. ~ Niki

You can fly to Christchurch and go to Methven Mt Hutt instead, or try Dobson and Roundhill near Fairlie/Tekapo ~ Carly

We took our 4-year-old to Porters. Good little ski field for beginners. ~ Jackie

Ohau is a lovely family ski field, otherwise a favourite for us which is normally guaranteed good snow is Cardrona. ~ Jenna

Roundhill or Cardrona are our favourites. ~ Kathleen

Cardrona is a great hill for beginners. ~ Cherie

Cardrona has excellent facilities for kids. Drop off area at the top, creche, ski school. You’ll need to book during school holidays. ~ Emma

Mt Hutt, stay in Methven. ~ Ashleigh 

Both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak have buses that go up where you can enjoy a few hours just playing in the snow with a beautiful backdrop. ~ Kiersten

Highly recommend Rainbow Ski Field in the Nelson/Marlborough region with kids. I took a group of rural kids up, both last year and again this year. They were amazing with the kids, so much patience with them, the kids had a blast !! Highly recommended if your in or visiting the area. The beginners slope and intermediate slopes are easy-to-use and manage kids around aswell. Great wee cafe, and small gift shop. Only a 1.5hr drive from either Nelson or Marlborough.~ Antonia

We took our kids to Cardrona last school holidays and our 4 year old went into the ski kindy and had a 1 hour private lesson each day we were there, and our 6 year old did the full day of lessons and went into kids club when she was not on the mountain. We liked the kids being taken care of because we had not skied in a while ourselves and needed lessons. It was a bit of a ‘date day’ for us too. We did two days with a rest day in between – we were tired the second day, so just listen to your body and stop when you need to – keeping it fun is the important part ~ Jenny

Cardrona had excellent facilities for kids. Drop off area at the top, crèche, ski school. You’ll need to book if during school holidays. We had 2 families rented a house in wanaka and hired an 8 seater.~ Emma

Roundhill or Cardrona are our favourites, I also recommend booking some lessons – book lessons in advance to save the queues and hiring kids ski stuff before you get there will save loads of time too.~ Kathleen

Get the kids lessons for skiing and boarding

I know it’s expensive but I recommend booking a ski instructor for the kids. They learn so much better from a non-parent. Also, they love a group lesson with other kids to laugh with and encourage them. ~ Sue 

Book lessons in advance to save the queues. ~ Kathleen

I highly recommend lessons. My kids always think they don’t need them but the instructor will adapt the lesson to their ability. It’s also a good way to learn your way around a new mountain. ~ Cherie

What time of year to hit the skifields

The ski fields are very busy in the school holidays and often very cold mid-late August, but the first week of September is usually the best snow and weather conditions ~ Dusk

we have been first week of September and it was awesome. No ques great weather. We skiied in the holidays last July in the north island and never again. The field was so busy we stood in ques most of the day ~ Philippa

We went last year out of school time and our son loved it. So much room on the fields! (Cadrona) ~ Soriya

Keep your snow play short and sweet for kids

Be patient. Do short bursts of skiing as they get tired very quickly. Include lots of snacks and treats, and praise them – they’re really just there to have fun and play in the snow. ~ Jenna

Hiring the gear

Hiring kids ski stuff before you get there will save loads of time. ~ Kathleen

Snow activities not on a ski field 

Visit Wanaka Snow Farm. ~ Sarah

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