Turn your passion for snowsports in to a career at Central, with the Southern Alps as your classroom.

In our stunning Wanaka landscape, you can study programmes in snowsports and adventure.

Seriously into snowy slopes? The demand for qualified instructors is increasing, due to the emphasis on safe participation in sport and a growing adventure tourism industry. Central has the facilities and expertise to help launch your future through our collaboration with Cardrona Alpine Resort in Wanaka.

With our Avalanche Risk Management programmes, you will be able to apply your advanced knowledge in snow science to ensure the safety of people and assets in alpine areas. The programme is taught by New Zealand’s most experienced and qualified avalanche professionals.

Our Certificates in Introductory Snowschool Instruction and Avalanche Risk Management (Level 5 & Level 6) are all New Zealand Snow and Avalanche Committee (NZSAC) approved.

Study at Central and enjoy our place of learning in a natural paradise.



New Zealand Certificate in Introductory Snowschool Instruction (Applied) (Level 4) (Ski) or (Snowboard)

Location: Wanaka | Start: May | Delivery: Full-time

Undertake ski instructor training or snowboard instructor training and supply the increasing demand for qualified snowsport instructors in a growing adventure tourism industry.

New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 5)

Location: Online with Wanaka-based practical | Start: April, June or July | Delivery: Full-time

Study professional avalanche risk management with the most experienced provider of avalanche education in New Zealand, in the heart of the Southern Alps.

New Zealand Certificate in Avalanche Risk Management (Level 6)

Location: Online with training and assessments in Wanaka | Start: Flexible (field training 18-23 July; practical 4-10 September) | Delivery: Part-time

Providing the highest level of professional training available in New Zealand, enjoy the chance to be taught by pros and graduate with the ability to assume supervisory roles in all sectors of the industry.

To check out what is happening up on the mountain go to: Cardrona and Treblecone

For more information about our Ski Instructing programme go to: Cardrona and nzsia


Peter Bilous, Programme Manager, Avalanche Safety, Snowsport Instructing

Peter is a fully qualified national and international (NZSIA and ISIA) Telemark Ski Instructor Examiner and past National Divisional Director, Technical Director and NZSIA Executive Committee Member. Peter is also very active in the area of mountain and avalanche safety.

American Search & Rescue team train in Central Otago

An American search & rescue team affiliated with the US Air Force has spent two weeks in the mountain ranges of Central Otago on a customised avalanche safety course taught by Otago Polytechnic’s  Avalanche Safety & Snow Sport programme manager Peter Bilous.

The team, who were looking at avalanche safety training options during the months of July and August, found the programme offered by the Central campus online.  They made contact and were impressed with Central’s proposal, which included a professional training plan and a day to day schedule that really stood out as being a well-planned and tailor-made mountain safety programme, perfect for what they were after.

Ryan the team commander said, “We were impressed from the onset with the team from Otago Polytechnics Central campus and the effort they put into making this work for us.  They made sure the training was maximised and met our budget. They were also really good at communicating with us to make sure the customised programme would meet the team’s objectives.”

He also said one of the highlights of the programme was spending three nights in the Bob Lee hut on the Pisa range, “Being able to spend time out in the mountain environment and apply our avalanche rescue skills was not only critical to our learning of the material but also a great opportunity for the team to bond together.”

The team of 13 spent time at Cardrona, Mt Pisa range and took part in some glacier based training on the Mt Cook glaciers under the guidance of respected mountain guide Hugh Barnard. 

The team will apply their training in a search and rescue capacity when responding to avalanches, or to move safely across avalanche terrain in mountain environments, and hope that the programme could become a regular part of their training.

Ryan added that they will definitely be recommending Otago Polytechnic training to other teams also, “The entire experience has been fantastic, the training Peter gave us was phenomenal, and we are very pleased we chose this programme.  Peter has so much knowledge to share and all members of our team have left with much more confidence in their avalanche rescue skills and using these in real world situations.  Massive thanks goes to Peter and the staff at Otago Polytechnics Central campus, it has been a wonderful and worthwhile experience for us all.”