For the absolute beginner, NZ is a good place to learn to ski/ride because all lessons are in English (as opposed to Japan or Korea), and reasonably priced. Apres-ski is also decent as there are shops, eateries and nightlife in ski towns such as Queenstown or Wanaka. NZ is a fabulous place for a road trip, so you even can combine skiing with sight-seeing or other adrenaline-pumping activities like bungee and skydiving.
Everyone knows that South Island is extreme sports and activity central! Check out this list for your next adrenaline junky fix.
This was my itinerary for my first trip to NZ in 2009, and is best suited for the energetic traveller who wants to see a lot and do a lot.