Lesser-known ski fields are often run by clubs and have the benefit of thinner crowds and the opportunity for skiers and boarders to glide and carve where others haven’t. Rainbow Ski Area near Nelson on the South Island is great for boarders and offers lessons from novice to expert. Further south, Porters Ski Area outside Christchurch features such runs as the appropriately named Big Mama and other trails that cater to intermediate and advanced riders. In the North Island, try the Manganui Ski Area on Mount Taranaki for cheap no-frills skiing (meaning no gear rentals on-site). And on the eastern side of Mount Ruapehu, there’s the friendly club-run Tukino ski field, which is often open when the rest of the mountain is shrouded in clouds.
By Guy Needham, AFAR Local Expert
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