New Zealand is a major skiing destination in the Southern Hemisphere, due to its high latitude, mountainous terrain, and well-developed economy and tourism industry.
While there are several ski resorts on the North Island, most are found in the South Island. There are both major commercial resorts, and smaller intrepid and club skifields which provide access to affordable skiing for club members. There are also specialist backcountry skiing areas such as Mount Potts and Invincible Snowfieldswhich provide heliskiing and snowcat skiing for adventure-seekers.
New Zealand has competed at most Winter Olympics since 1952, when Sir Roy McKenzie led a team. In 1992 Annelise Coberger became the first person from the Southern Hemisphere to win a medal at the Winter Olympics when she won silver in the slalom at Albertville in France.
Other forms of skiing that New Zealand is known for include heli-skiing and kite-skiing. Snow-kiting, while a relative new sport, has an avid following in New Zealand, with a festival in Wanaka held annually.
Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand, reaching a height of 3,754 metres (12,316 ft). It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island; it is a popular tourist destination.