Made up of two long and relatively slender land masses with long coast lines, a volcanic alpine area and the Southern Alps, New Zealand is geographical blessed with great terrain for both summer and winter sporting activities. As such NZ serves up a plethora of reasons to visit during the colder winter months, and if sports aren’t your thing there are winter food and wine festivals that can’t be beaten…
Carve up the slopes on a live volcano
Situated in the centre of the North Island, Mount Ruapehu is an active stratovolcano. The largest and highest volcano in New Zealand (the highest of its three peaks measures in at 2,797m), Mt Ruapehu also happens to be home to NZ’s two largest ski areas: Tūroa and Whakapapa. To explore all the snow-covered trails and stunning views across to Mt Taranaki (on a clear day), why not base yourself in nearby Turangi, or for more adventure options, Taupo.
A moonscape in summer, a challenging hike in winter
The Central Plateau, as it’s known, is also home to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Described as Mt Ruapehu’s crown jewel, the 19.4km hike makes for an average return trip of 7-8 hours. The hike takes in the stunning volcanic landscape of Mt Ruapehu and is a must-see for North Island adventurers. A winter trip over the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a totally different kettle of fish to the summer activity and shouldn’t be attempted by inexperienced hikers without the right equipment. The sub-zero temperatures, snow, ice and avalanche risk mean the Crossing can serve up legitimate mountain hiking conditions. It’s strongly recommended that you seek out a guided trip package with local operators if you’re up for the challenge.
Head south for big-screen scenery
The South Island provides a vast and magical landscape that has lent itself to big screen productions such as the Lord of The Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit Trilogy and Vertical Limit. The Southern Alps which run down the centre of New Zealand’s South Island are home to some world-class skiing and snowboarding terrain. From Cardrona and Treble Cone to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak, this group of ski resorts near Wanaka and Queenstown forms a southern hemisphere snow playground frequented by international professional athletes and powder-hungry snow bunnies alike.
Fur Coats in the Fruit Bowl of New Zealand
Winter is the perfect time to visit the North Island’s Hawke’s Bay – the official fruit bowl of New Zealand. The region’s world-renowned wines and fresh produce are on show during June with the Winter Food & Wine Classic (F.A.W.C). The F.A.W.C runs from 1-24 June and is made up of more than 60 events at some amazing locations. A full schedule of events can be found here.
Take the time pressure off by booking a stay at one of our Hawke’s Bay KHPA locations. If July suits you better, time your visit to ‘the Bay’ with Winter Deco 2018. This weekend of 1930s-inspired glitz and glamour sees people dress up in their favourite period attire and attend vintage cocktail evenings, live jazz performances, classic films and vintage cars. Not to mention Napier’s unique art deco architecture which was adopted in the rebuild following the Napier earthquake of 1931.
New Zealand on a Plate
Located at the bottom of the North Island, Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city. A cosmopolitan city full of students, government officials, artists and a café culture that’s second-to-none, Wellington can be a chilly place in winter. The locals like to warm up with Visa Wellington on a Plate (WOAP) – a food festival with over 100 events to see in windy Wellington. The two-week festival caters to keen foodies from 10-26 August 2018 with food and beverage events happening at cafes, bistros, restaurants and pop-ups throughout the region.
We hope that lot has whet your appetite for a holiday in the winter wonderland that is Aotearoa. Read this for more ideas for your winter break down under, or get in touch with Kiwi Holiday Parks and Accommodation to find out where you can stay.