Ski & Snow

Depending on the snow fall, the ski season kicks off each year around early June/July, There are two major ski fields in the North Island and a number of large and small ones in the South Island.

The job opportunities range widely from serving food in the mountain cafés to to being a liftie who helps skiers get on the chair lifts through to ski and snowboard instructing to an advanced level.

Larger Commercial Skifields

Smaller Club Skifields

 What to consider

  • Just because you work on a mountain does not mean you will necessarily get to ski a lot. If you are really keen on skiing or boarding lots then it would be best to try and find evening work in a town near to the ski resort.
  • New Zealand’s ski fields are very different to those of North America. They have rocks to avoid as opposed to trees. A powder day might be half an inch of snowfall and the size of the runs will be a lot shorter.
  • Each mountain offers a different ski experience and nearby town. Some towns are very small while others (for example Queenstown) will offer a more cosmopolitan night life. Do your research and think about what will suit your lifestyle and the type of experience you are after.
  • Start applying for jobs months in advance.
  • Some jobs will come with a season pass to the mountain but it is not necessarily a guarantee. So put money aside for your season pass and if you do not get one as part of your job then you can buy one without stressing about the cost.
  • Queenstown can be a notoriously difficult place to find accommodation so it could be worth arriving there earlier to secure a place to live. Just budget for the time that you may not be getting income.

 Resources for finding work:

  • Most of the links above to specific resorts and club fields will have employment information on their website.
  • SNOW.CO.NZ is a comprehensive website with pretty much every thing you need to know about the ski season in New Zealand. This includes employment info, trail run maps and forecasts.
  • Backpacker Board will have positions advertised in the nearby town or city, like working in a bar in Ohakune or a café in Methven.

Pay Scale

$15.25to over $25 an hour. Advanced ski instructor is one of the highest paid roles. 

In Summary:

New Zealand is pretty cold everywhere in winter so why not plonk yourself in the midst of the snow and hit the slopes and enjoy the vibes of the ski industry. Carve it up!