Boutique club ski fields where to go and getting there
New Zealand, Southern Alps are home to several boutique ski fields where passionate locals hang out. Find a clubhouse ski field where the crowds are few and far between. Discover where the locals go skiing and how to get there.
- Clubhouse ski fields predominantly use rope tows to get skiers upwards. Plus a few T-bars meaning skiers are not forking out for expensive lifts. Low cost, low maintenance is a bonus.
- Accommodation on the ski slopes in lodges where companionship and shared stories about the day add a personal touch
- Passionate locals willing to share tips where to go and advice on your ski skills for free
- Check out the nearby small villages who are adapt at entertaining ski visitors with a wealth of attractions from jet boating the Rakaia River, walks, fishing and ballooning the Canterbury Plains
Off-piste usually means no ski patrols or avalanche alerts.
CHEESMAN SKI FIELD, SOUTH ISLAND
- Well maintained access road delivering visitors to the lifts
- Rental facility, cafe, instructors in the winter season
- Access to back country off-piste ski areas around Mt Cockayne
- Voted best small ski area in 2011 and 2012
- Glorious views of the Craigieburn Range
- Close to Christchurch via state highway 73 (approximately 1 ½ hours)
- Craigieburn is the only mountain in New Zealand to offer inbound tree skiing
Check beforehand whether your selected club ski resort rents skis, snowboards and clothing, road access and facilities. You are generally responsible for getting yourself to and from the club ski field.
GETTING TO CHEESEMAN SKI FIELD FROM METHVEN
HANMER SPRINGS AMURI SKI CLUB
- What a combination natural hot spring pools and a ski resort
- Views of St James and Molesworth Stations with Nelson Lakes National Park mountain range on the horizon
- Excellent cafe and and day lodge with views of the slopes, skiers and action
- Kids well catered for with beginners slopes, family friendly ski experience for everyone
- Carpark at the base of the tows with a short five minute walk
- Three lifts and nutcracker rope tow
- Access to Bordeaux Basin for off-piste ski action
- The day lodge deck with BBQ makes for a great sunny day lunch spot and stargazing after dinner
- HANMER SPRINGS is a great family holiday destination with walks, pools and quirky visitor attractions from fairy forests to lamas
GETTING TO AMURI SKI FIELD FROM HANMER SPRINGS
Hanmer Springs Ski Area is a friendly, fun ski area just 17 km from the resort town of Hanmer Springs. Mt St Patrick, Hanmer Springs, 7334.
MT OLYMPUS SKI FIELD, SOUTH ISLAND
- Off-piste joy for intermediate and experienced skiers
- Well known for its cross country skiing options
- Four high capacity rope tows
- Known for its high quality snow dumps with over 4.5 metres of snowfall
- Backcountry adventure with a club atmosphere
- Groomer free zone creating a wild natural ski experience
- Longer ski season reaching into October
- Hiking terrain including Ardi’s Peak, Little Alaska, the Back Ridge and the Sphinx
- Longer hikes and ski tours can be undertaken to the summit of Mt Olympus and over into the 403-hectare Ryton Valley, which can offer over 1000m of leg-burning vertical in a good snow year
GETTING TO MT OLYMPUS SKI FIELD, SOUTH ISLAND
Near the town of Windwhistle, and in the vicinity of other club fields such as Mount Cheeseman Mt Olympus Ski Field is approximately 2 hours’ drive from Christchurch.
TEMPLE BASIN SKI FIELD, SOUTH ISLAND
- Find a place where nature is in charge
- No sealed road to the top, you walk 40 mins – 1 hour
- Gear sent up in a goods life
- No posers or fancy ski gear guaranteed
- Virtually an off-piste ski region
- There is a ‘goods lift’ to transport your gear to the lodges while you walk up the foot track. There is a fully stocked canteen with snacks, craft beers and locally produced wines, as well as cosy accommodation and a ‘toilet with a view’.
- Ski in ski out does exist in New Zealand. Wake up on top of the world and finish a great day’s skiing with a cold drink and a hot meal.
- Temple Basin is a club operated ski field employing trained professionals to manage and run the mountain. The club members welcome all to come visit.
GETTING TO TEMPLE BASIN SKI FIELD, SOUTH ISLAND
Take a day trip to Day Trip From Christchurch to Arthur Pass – Best Bits, find out about the cheeky kea native NZ parrot, wonder at waterfalls in the Arthurs Pass National Park and go skiing.
- Spectacular Lake Tekapo and Aoraki Mt Cook are the backdrop for 400 + acres of uncrowded ski terrain
- Easy sealed road access, including motorhomes, just remember to carry snow chains
- Snow groomers and chairlifts
- Children and Youth, can participate in the NZSIA programme which aims to have a consistent skiing and snowboarding development pathway for children to follow throughout the country. FUNdamentals card can be used at any participating snow sports school to help identify their level and record their progress.
- There is no shuttle bus to Mt Dobson Ski Field
- Cafe on site and rental equipment available
- Either book ahead or arrive early in the day to secure a snowsports lesson and/or equipment
- Family owned and operated since 1979
- Located 29 km from Fairlie
GETTING TO MT DOBSON SKI FIELD
OHAU SNOW FIELD & OHAU LODGE
- Family friendly managed operation
- MacKenzie Country, Alpine South Island offers visitors the contrast of stark beauty with a ski field nestled between Ohau Range and the Southern Alps main ranges
- Lifts, rope tows and beginner slopes
- Facilities include instructors, rental gear, use of snow chains for Lodge guests
- Sealed access road and complimentary bus shuttle for Lodge guests
- Twizel is the nearest town with supermarket and nearby glorious walks
- Reasonably priced family option offering a great introduction to younger members the joy of winter sports
- Summer months welcome cyclists on the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, come the end of the ski season there are stunning wilderness areas to be explored by walking, hiking or biking further up the valley or around the Lodge during the summer months
GETTING TO OHAU SNOW FIELD & LODGE
Discover the magic of the Waitaki Valley and Oamaru. Check out Oamaru travel facts, Frequently Asked Questions and find out what to do nearby Ohau Ski Field.
- Family friendly with toboggans and appropriate clothing available for hire as well as sightseeing trips on the Summit Six chairlift, taking you to the top of Mt Hutt for some of the best views in Canterbury
- Go sightseeing on a chairlift and watch the action
- Brilliant, Mt Hutt – kids playground in the snow, a dedicated snow play area
- Extensive facilities and packages for first time or intermediate skiers
- Voted seven years in a row New Zealand’s best ski resort seven years running at the World Ski Awards. A true alpine experience, with wide-open terrain, leg-burning runs, monster snowfalls, and spectacular views.
- Four terrain parks for all ski and snowboard levels including jumps, graded level obstacles and contoured landscapes
- Regular ski patrols and avalanche monitoring
- Summer open day inviting visitors to whisk their way to the top of Mt Hutt in a chairlift. Soak in the views from the top of Mt Hutt at 2086m above sea level with unrivalled 360° views across the Southern Alps and Canterbury Plains.
- Methven small town vibe with cafes offers plenty for visitors from the Rakaia River excursions from jet boating to walking across historic Rakaia Bridge to Ballooning Canterbury
Enjoy the Canterbury inland scenic route: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo – Best Bits and arrive at Methven, Mt Hutt turnoff. Allow one day or several exploring Canterbury.
Download individual guidelines for each ski field and follow instructions.
- Porters is the closest ski field to Christchurch. Just 90 km on state highway 73.
- Dedicated kids area, snow playground and learners area
- Instructors for both experienced and beginners
- PORTERS MOUNTAIN BIKE FLOW TRAIL is 2.3 km with a vertical climb of 120 metres, complete with berms, rolls, pops and hips
- Motorhome sites (summer only)
- Facilities include a lodge open year round with rental winter equipment as well as mountain bikes
Check if you require snow chains before leaving Springfield for the Porters Pass. There is a complimentary mountain road daily shuttle departing from Springfield. The transport provider is Smylies Tours in Springfield. Smylies Tours have a range of options to suit, including Christchurch to Porters shuttles.
WANT A DAY TRIP IN THE SOUTH ISLAND HIGH COUNTRY WHILE FAMILY & FRIENDS SKI?
Smylies Tours offer a great solution for those who have checked out Springfield cafes and what more to do. Join a High Country tour; Castlerock geological formations, What’s so great about Hororata attractions to wander and a selfie of the one of the world’s largest pink concrete doughnuts at Springfield.
GETTING TO PORTERS SKI FIELD, SOUTH ISLAND
WANT TO CURL UP BY A COSY FIRE WITH A GOOD BOOK IN WINTER?
ROUNDHILL SKI AREA – MACKENZIE COUNTRY
- RoundHill Ski Field has a Heritage Express Rope Tow at 1473m long it’s the world’s longest rope tow. The Heritage Express has a top elevation of 2133m and a slope of 26 to 32 degrees and gives Roundhill a total vertical drop of 783m, the biggest in Australasia.
- Sealed access road and remember to check Roundhill snow report to see if snow chains are required
- There is no public shuttle service
- Family owned and operated with a club-like atmosphere
- Dedicated beginners area with instructors on hand
- Facilities include rental equipment excluding jackets and snow pants. It is recommended visitors check Kiwi Treasures or purchase from Outside Sports in Lake Tekapo Village. There is a cafe on site.
Only for walking and cycling. The final 5km of our access road (from the Department of Conservation carpark up) is only open to vehicles from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm while the ski area is open. At all other times, the gate is locked.
Frequently asked questions sourced from Roundhill online resources.
GETTING TO ROUNDHILL SKI AREA
Roundhill Ski Field is 32 km from Lake Tekapo Village.
There is no public shuttle service to Roundhill.
ALPINE SKI TOURS offer an amazing opportunity to ski on a glacier while gazing at the distant ocean. Explore the Tasman Glacier’s blue caves and ice formations along with your alpine guide. Alpine Ski Tours use aircraft to access NZ’s two longest ski runs each with over a thousand metres vertical descent. The runs are easy to moderate (green to blue grade), perfect for intermediate skiers. The pace is relaxed, with time to soak up the incredible grandeur of New Zealand’s highest mountains.
Not keen on skiing or snowboarding? Then check out what to do in AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND WINTER SPORTS flags for those who don’t want to pop on ski boots.
- CURLING, another reason to explore Central Otago
- ICE SKATING, a perfect Alexandra day out
- SNOWBOARDING, an alternative to freezing in your wetsuit winter surfing
- RUGBY OR SOCCER GAME, dedicated fans have got this sorted already
WHERE IS NEW ZEALAND’S BEST SKI RESORT?
NZ’s most well known ski resort towns & ski field is Cardrona with the resort towns of Wanaka and Queenstown adding a slick visitor vibe to the experience. However there is plenty of choice when visitors do not want a polished commercial operation, check out the boutique club fields and give us your opinion.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE
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