Does New Zealand offer the World’s Best Ski Pass Value?

New Zealand offers the World’s best ski pass value at the moment, with some amazing Early Bird Season Pass deals for 2021 at their major resorts.

Of course that’s great for the locals, what about the rest of the planet?

Mt Hutt opening day June 12, 2020
Mt Hutt opening day June 12, 2020 © Jeremy Black /

It’s a pretty safe bet that as soon as a couple of elections are out of the way – New Zealand’s national election and Queensland’s state election – the politicians will get on with re-opening flights from Australia to NZ.

The Kiwis will be looking to open up to other areas too, like Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the South Pacific. So plenty more people can start thinking about 2021 snow plans.

New Zealand ski pass value is amazing. How about Mt Hutt for NZD $449 if you deposit by 31 October? For kids 8-17 years it’s just $209 (under 8 is FREE), 65+ seniors $279.

Snowmaking at Mt Hutt guarantees a long season and great season pass value
The snowmaking at Hutt ran non-stop for 3 days and nights last time we dropped in © Owain Price

The mighty Mt Hutt just wrapped up the Southern Hemisphere’s longest and most unrestricted ski season for 2020.

Yes, Hutt opened back on June 12, on day one loading groups 6 people on their six seater chair as New Zealand got on top of COIVD-19 early, allowing their ski resorts to function virtually normally all season.

Hutt only closed yesterday, October 11, for a 120 day season, minus a couple of bad weather days. Which all in all is an awesome performance.

2020 was not the greatest snowfall season at Mt Hutt – they finished with 322cm – but the snowmaking is so good you are pretty much guaranteed a similar 4 month season regardless to enjoy your pass in.

Hutt packs in plenty of variety too © Owain Price

Next year Mt Hutt debuts NZ’s first 8 seater lift too, as they replace the old quad chair with a schmick new express 8-pack which slashes ride time to just 2 minutes to make things super easy on the lower trail above the base and the mighty Hutt parks.

Christchurch Airport is just over 100km away, so international visitors can maximise their snow time skiing on their last day.

The bast town of Methven remains the most unaffected real town ski town in New Zealand too, with plenty of accommodation across the spectrum from backpacker to deluxe resorts.

For all Methven Mt Hutt’s charms, most international visitors want to hit Queenstown the most.

If that’s you, then the Three Peaks Pass Super Early Bird deal gives you all season at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt for just $NZD 699. For kids 6-17 and over 65s you pay $279.

That is sensational value. Of course no one can predict what will happen with travel, so for just $40 you can lock in insurance on the Hutt or Three Peaks passes in case the proverbial hits the fan on a global or personal scale and you need to cancel later.

Powder line at The Remarkables ©

How does New Zealand ski pass value compare with Australia or America?

Well, 3 days at Thredbo this year would have cost you more than the Mt Hutt Season Pass, 4 days almost as much as the Three Peaks Pass.

Just two days skiing at most leading American resorts would cost you more than the season pass at Mt Hutt: NZD $449 is right on USD $300 at the moment according to

New Zealand ski pass value was traditionally found at the numerous club ski fields, and for day passes they still stack up pretty well. As major resorts have slashed their season pass rates though some of the clubbies have got more expensive by comparison.

But the club fields also have some even more amazing Season Pass deals.

One of our all time favourites, Temple Basin, offered an NZD $160 Early Bird season pass deal this year. ubject to confirmation they will be offering a similar deal for 2021. As soon as we have details we’ll let you know, Club President Hamish Peddie tells us the rate should be set soon.

the best New Zealand season pass of all was $160 at Temple Basin
Life doesn’t get better than sitting on top of the Main Divide © Temple Basin

The other commercial ski field in the Canterbury region, and the closest to Christchurch just 99km away, Porters Alpine Resort, is offering a NZD $399 Season Pass deal, teenagers 11-17 $199, 10 and under or 75 and over FREE, 69-75 $299.

Porters has limited lift capacity – a lower quad chair and couple of successive t-bars above that to access the goods – but plenty of excellent skiing. There’s no real base town though, so it’s usually just a day option for international visitors.

Up in the North Island Ruapehu Alpine Lifts, which means Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields, have another great season pass deal at NZD $599 or $299 midweek. They are limiting sale volumes of these. Considering they have an effective monopoly lock on the entire North Island ski market, which is where 80% of New Zealand’s 5 million population lives, it is a great deal.

Good as the skiing can be at Ruapehu, the weather on this exposed volcano makes it pretty fickly for international visitors with limited time windows.

The South Island remains the go to choice for us, and at these rates anyone planning to ski 5 days or more over there next year can save by locking in a season pass. Sort the rest later when travel reopens. If it doesn’t, $40 insurance is not a big loss.

Get Hutt pass here , get 3 Peak Pass here, get Ruapehu pass here

Regular followers of this site will have noticed that we also said the Epic Australia Pass is World’s best value – and for Aussies it is, offering year round skiing for $AUD 899 currently – but for single season skiing you can’t beat the value of these Kiwi passes.

Ski coronet
Hands up who would like to get back to Coronet Peak? ©