If you ask someone what’re the best things about doing a ski or snowboard instructor course in New Zealand, they’ll probably answer something succinct like:
“The locals. Seeing the sun rising over Lake Wanaka for the first time. Dropping into Arcadia Chutes. The Big Al from Ferburger. The moguls in Last Shot bowl. Visiting AJ Hackett – the home of bungee jumping. Playing on the natural features in Captain’s Basin. Sitting next to Jossi Well’s on the chairlift. Jug-fine night at HQ bar. Apartment-hopping at the Belvedere. Kicking back on a sofa at Cinema Paradiso. Standing in the Olympic Superpipe and looking up the walls. Jet-boating on the Shotaway River. The luge in Queenstown. Watching the world’s best at the Burton Open at Cardrona. The views from Cardrona into South Lake Valley. Knowing that this resort has the biggest freestyle park in the southern hemisphere. And just everything about Wanaka. And New Zealand.”
As you can see, not only is an instructor course in New Zeland incredible in iteself, but all the other activities on offer in Cardrona, Wanaka, Queenstown and beyond, are what make an instructor course in New Zealand next level.
Travelling in New Zealand
For this reason, it’s a great idea to tack-on a bit of travelling and adventure to your ski-season in New Zealand. You could do this before or after the June – September course. If you’re from the northern hemisphere, then we totally recommend that you stay out afterwards – dark, soggy October and November are nothing to rush back to! Furthermore, you’ll be feeling on top of the world after nailing your instructor qualifications and you may have new mates who’d be keen to do a bit of exploring too.
Some practical things you‘ll need to sort out include:
1) checking your Visa covers the duration you want to stay in NZ, 2) hiring a car, or organising transport, if you want to venture beyond Wanaka 3) further accommodation for your trip and 4) if you need to put ski/snowboard stuff into storage while you travel. Let us know if you’d like to extend your stay in Wanaka and we’ll help you sort something.
So! Let’s imagine the course has come to an end, you have the dusting of a celebratory hangover, and new ski instructor qualifications to start working for a ski school in the coming winter. You decide to make the most of being in New Zealand, but where to start?
Fun things to do around Wanaka
There will still be snow when you finish your course. Take your skiing or riding to a new level (literally!) by booking a heliskiing experience.
A little more down to earth, Puzzling World tops everyone’s to-do list in Wanaka. It’s silly, but a hilarious day out.
You can play frisbee golf (officially ‘disc golf’) in Wanaka.
After all that exercise, chill at the Paradiso cinema. You watch the films from sofas and they add in an interval ft. fresh-baked cookies and beer – genius!
There are tonnes of great hiking routes in the area, but the most iconic is Roys Peak, Google images to see why.
You should definitely also enjoy Lake Wanaka via kayak or paddle board. An awesome day out with friends.
A slightly more curious installation, but equally internet-famous is the Cardrona bra fence… the Bradrona! Donate a few coins to the breast cancer charity while you’re there – and even add a bra if you fancy it.
Epic things to do slightly further away
Milford Sound is an iconic New Zealand destination; it’s unbelievably beautiful.
You’ll find lots to do in and around Queenstown, including SITE – an indoor trampoline park.
The Skyline Luge in Queenstown looks a little dorky but, honestly, it’s so much fun so just do it!
Shotover Canyon Swing is a bungee/zipline combo where you don’t feel like you’re going to die quite as much as a proper bungee jump.
That said, New Zealand is the home of bungee jumping, so you’ll find sites all over.
Aaand things to do even further away!
Head to Christchurch for lots more activities and culture, such as the Canterbury Museum.
Aoraki/Mount Cook is the highest peak in New Zealand and sits in a national park. You can find some pretty hardcore mountaineering and climbing here.
Alternatively, there are tonnes of other trails to enjoy like the Hooker Valley track with incredible views.
For more ideas on climbing, throughout New Zealand, this article from UK Climing has some useful advice.
It wouldn’t be a NZ-roundup without a Lord of the Rings suggestion! You can check out the filming locations and tours all over the country.
Another Kiwi classic would be the kiwi bird! There are lots of places you can see the birds, in captivity and in wild environments. Why not head to Stewart Island?
We could go on! There are some great, multi-day itineraries (on both islands) on newzealand.com.
More information on wonderful New Zealand
Read about ski instructor courses and snowboard instructor courses in NZ