Top Winter Break Destinations in New Zealand

Studying travel and tourism courses means that your education can take you all over the world. This makes it so important to explore New Zealand while you can.

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New Zealand is positioned right at the bottom of the world, and as the closest country to Antarctica, you had better believe this tiny trans-Atlantic nation has got some of the best winter getaway spots in the whole world.

Education can take you all over the world, and if you study at a New Zealand school of tourism, exploring New Zealand while you can is a great opportunity. During full time study, the year is split up by a number of study breaks, giving you a valuable chance to gain real life experiences by getting out there and visiting New Zealand.

Mt Ruapehu

For snow sports enthusiasts and amateurs alike, the nearest place to Auckland to see the snow is the beautiful Mt Ruapehu. Just a 4-hour drive from the big city, you’ll venture into a different world – and you’ll definitely want to bring all your woolly warmers with you. Stay in the small mountainside towns of Whakapapa or Turoa, or in Ohakune township if you want to be closer to the shops.

The mountain itself has options for everyone. Beginners can rent ski or snowboard gear and start off with a lesson from one of their instructors; Happy Valley is a fun and easy ski slope on Whakapapa. As New Zealand’s largest ski range, Ruapehu has plenty to offer more experienced skiiers too. All you have to do is rent a chairlift pass, and up you go!

Auckland’s West Coast

For those who don’t have the time, or are on a student budget, there are some beautiful destination spots within the boundaries of Auckland itself. All you need is a few friends, a car and the day to spare, and you’ve got yourself a west coast road trip. If you’re interested in Auckland tourism, this is a top spot to visit.

West Coast beaches such as Piha, Muriwai, Bethells and many more in between are incredibly popular spots in summer, but have unique qualities that not many get to see when the seasons get colder. On a fine winters day, the beaches are a serene place to go for a walk, and there are some absolutely stunning Airbnb’s which are rarely booked out in the colder months, if you want to stay for a few days.


If you can’t stand the thought of being near the icy seas anytime outside of peak summer, Rotorua is the getaway spot for you. This town is pretty well known for its sulfuric smell, but there’s a good reason for it. We won’t get too into the science of it all, but there’s something in the water in Rotorua, and it is unlike anywhere else in the world.

The thermal springs in Rotorua have been around for centuries. More recently, they have been utilised for their wellness and relaxation, and there are a huge range of spa options in Rotorua that use these minerals and thermal techniques to renew and replenish your body and soul.

Windy Wellington

They say you can’t beat Welly on a good day. There’s no denying that it can tend to get a little windy down there in the winter, but it’s still worth it for the crisp sunshine that peeks through.

For those Aucklander’s who crave the hustle and bustle even on a getaway, Wellington is the only real decision. There is plenty to see and do in Wellington, from visiting Te Papa museum, to shopping the vintage stores along Cuba Street. Wellington has plenty of delicious, world class food to eat too, not to mention places to catch up with friends for a drink.


For those who seek to get away from the cold of winter as much as possible, North of Auckland is a great place to retreat to. Usually a bustling tourist spot in Summer, the Bay of Islands and the surrounding towns are just as vibrant and exciting in the off season, although without the masses of people.

Escaping to Northland in the winter can feel like your own private getaway in the sun. Northland has a subtropical microclimate, meaning it benefits from warmer weather throughout most of the winter months. Not many people know about this, so tourist season doesn’t extend much further than April.


See the world!

New Zealand has so much to offer when it comes to tourism – we’ve only just scratched the surface. If you’ve got an inner travel bug, Crown Institutes travel and tourism courses are world class, and can take you around New Zealand and the world toward your dream career. Contact us to discuss what course is right for you today.


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