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Skiing for beginners

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We are planning a family trip to the South Island of NZ this August. None of us have skied before but we would like to give it a try. I am pretty sure my kids will love it (they are 9 and 12), my husband will quite like it and I will hate it!
Can anyone recommend a good ski field and ski school for absolute beginners? Is there a nice place where those who want to ski can ski and those who don't can read books and drink hot chocolate while watching the action?
We haven't booked anything yet except our flights - we're just researching an itinerary that would include a few days in the ski fields and the rest of the time exploring the south island.
Judith

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