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New Zealand Snow Explorer

Discover the hidden gems of the South Island ski fields on a 5 day tour perfect for intermediate & advanced skiers & snowboarders.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Duration
Duration
5 Days, 4 Nights
Max Group Size
Max Group Size
8
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
18 years
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
Moderate
Meals
Meals
Partially included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Christchurch
What's Included

  • Get up to $90 cash back per person when you book with us
  • A 5-day off-the-beaten-track snow adventure for intermediate & advanced skiers & snowboarders
  • 5 lift passes to 4 different mountains, including Porters, Broken River, Mt Olympus or Temple Basin, & Craigieburn
  • Use of tow protection gloves & harnesses
  • 4 nights high-end hostel accommodation, in shared dorm rooms with shared facilities
  • 4 breakfasts & 2 dinners
  • Services of an expert tour manager
  • Transport onboard an 8-seater Toyota Hiace, with a trailer for all your gear
  • Departs from the meeting point at Urbanz Accommodation, 273 Manchester Street, Christchurch (meeting location may change, please check your final documents for the confirmed location) 
What's excluded

  • Equipment hire
  • Clothing hire
  • Optional activities
  • Lunches & some dinners
What to Expect

If you’re an intermediate to advanced skier or snowboarder looking for an epic guided snow tour in New Zealand, stop searching! This tour has all the South Island's hidden winter gems packaged up for you!

 

You'll sample four mountains: Porters Alpine Lodge, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple Basin and Craigieburn. These Club Fields are small, private or family-owned ski areas where you can get into the snow with minimal fuss and maximum fun. The places you'll visit are not ski resorts, so you won’t find massive crowds here, but you will find off-piste heaven and some of the best ski fields in New Zealand. 

 

Running between July and September, this tour starts and ends in Christchurch. The tour ventures to some of the best Canterbury ski fields and you’ll be using nutcrackers and rope tows to climb the slopes at most locations. But don’t let this put you off – the expert snow guides are on hand to help, and most people adjust to using these tools after a couple of runs.

 

Day 1 – Christchurch to Springfield | Porters Alpine Lodge

 

You'll depart Christchurch bright and early at 6:00 am, with a quick stop to pick up your hire gear (for those that need it) en route to Porters Alpine Lodge, best known for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

 

The lifts at Porters Alpine Lodge run up two distinct valleys: Big Mama (which towers above the left of the base area) and Bluff Face (which towers above the right). At 620m, Big Mama boasts one of the largest vertical drops in one lift-accessed run in New Zealand. Plus, there's easy backcountry riding available from the top of the T3T-Bar.

 

You'll stay in the Springfield area for the next two nights, a snow sports enthusiast’s haven, complete with majesticviews to enjoy after a busy day on the slopes, plus some great bars and restaurants.

 

SLOPE INFO – Porters Alpine Lodge
Difficulty: 15% Beginner, 35% Intermediate, 50% Advanced
Height: 1950m
Vertical: 610m
Skiable Area: 350ha

 

Day 2 – Springfield | Broken River

 

Get ready for a true adventure at Broken River. After a 15 to 20-minute hike to the first rope tow, learn the techniques you'll need to get started on these slopes. The terrain consists of a large open basin serviced by five electrically driven, high capacity rope tows. This mountain has the perfect platform to learn to ride nutcrackers, making it an excellent spot for your second day of riding.

 

Don’t worry if you have not ridden tows before – your Tour Manager will help you with your technique, and most people take a few times to get it right; it’s all part of the experience! Tow protection gloves are provided. The highest point is 1820 metres, and the total vertical is 420 metres, with lots of off-piste terrain available. A short trek offers access to the back basins, Craigieburn Valley, and incredible terrain.

 

SLOPE INFO – Broken River
Difficulty: 10% Beginner, 30% Intermediate, 60% Advanced
Height: 1920m
Vertical: 420m
Skiable Area: 300ha

 

Day 3 – Springfield to Craigieburn | Mt Olympus/Temple Basin

 

Today, you'll head to either Mt Olympus or Temple Basin, depending on weather conditions.

 

Mt Olympus ski area is also known as ‘the playground of the gods’. The area is a south-facing basin set high in the Craigieburn Range – perfect for trapping powder dumps. Enjoy 450m of vertical drops over 60 hectares of varied terrain providing skiing and riding from beginner to extreme.

 

There are plenty of choices from the top of the Main Tow and the Top Tow with terrain to suit intermediates or the most advanced skiers. A little walking from the Top Tow opens up even more options in this wide, open bowl. With the relatively low skier numbers and the choice of terrain, it can take up to a week to get tracks on some slopes!

 

Meanwhile, Temple Basin, the club, was founded in 1929 and still has that pioneering feel representing a true alpine environment at the heart of Arthur’s Pass National Park. Renowned for its steep and big mountain terrain, you have the choice of three tows: Cassidy (sunny smooth runs), Temple (faster and steeper) and Downhill (ridgeline and advanced terrain).

 

You can also check out the awesome chutes at Bills Basin and the popular backcountry area of Mingha Valley.

 

Finally, when you come off the hill at the end of a big day, you'll grab a well-earned drink and dinner (included) at the ultra-cosy Craigieburn Lodge, which is also your accommodation for the next two nights.

 

SLOPE INFO – Mt Olympus
Difficulty: 10% Beginner, 55% Intermediate, 35% Advanced
Height: 2096m
Vertical: 450m
Skiable Area: 60ha

 

SLOPE INFO – Temple Basin
Difficulty: 10% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 25% Advanced
Height: 1753m
Vertical: 427m
Skiable Area: 320ha

 

Day 4 – Craigieburn

 

For big mountain skiing, Craigieburn has a well-deserved cult following. Steep and deep, with wide-open powder bowls and lofty narrow chutes accessed by three high-capacity rope tows servicing a vertical rise of 503m, Craigieburn leaves little to be desired.

 

The terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging, with the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle Basin (which is often compared to a heli-skiing experience) accessible by a short traverse from the tow. 

 

Your dinner tonight at the Craigieburn Lodge is also included.

 

SLOPE INFO – Craigieburn
Difficulty: 20% Beginner, 55% Intermediate, 25% Advanced
Height: 1811m
Vertical: 503m
Skiable Area: 400ha

 

Day 5 – Craigieburn to Christchurch

 

Spend one last snow day mastering the slopes of Craigieburn before blazing a trail back to Christchurch, where your tour ends at around 8:00 pm.

 

Where we Visit:

  • Springfield
  • Porters Alpine Lodge
  • Broken River
  • Craigieburn
  • Mt Olympus or Temple Basin
Frequently Asked Questions

The Operator normally uses an 8-seater Toyota Hiace, with a trailer for all your gear.

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The guide will make amendments to the tour route on the rare occasions that any mountains are shut or have very poor conditions – going to a different mountain if at all possible. If not possible, they will refund the wholesale rate for your lift pass.

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If you choose to ski, your skis, boots and poles will be included. If you choose to snowboard, your board and boots will be included. If you would like to add on clothing hire as well, you can do this for an additional cost.

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Skis are from 4FRNT, Atomic and Salomon. Boards are from Burton and Academy. Poles are from Scott. Clothing is from Aggression and ski boots are from Nordica.

 

Equipment will be hired on the morning of day one and you will have the same gear for the duration of the tour which means you can get used to it and hence progress much quicker. Your gear will be matched to suit your ability and experience.

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Pants, jacket and goggles which you keep for the whole tour.

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The Operator strongly recommends taking out travel insurance once you have booked your tour.

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A “rope tow” is a type of ski lift in which skiers/boarders are pulled up a slope while grasping a looped, endless rope some driven by a motor and others with the use of a nutcracker. It may take a couple of attempts to get the hang of it but you should be able to get to grips with it fairly quickly. Snowboarders tend to take a bit longer but our Tour Manager will stay with you until you get it nailed!

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Yes! A small group tour like this is perfect for people that have not used nut-crackers and rope tows before because your Tour Manager can spend the time with you to give you loads of instruction and advice.

 

Everyone struggles at the start using rope tows so it's just a matter of being persistent - everyone has been in the same situation before and it is expected it will take you at least a few attempts until you get the feel for it. It is all part of the experience!

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Policies
Terms & Conditions:

  • The minimum age is 18 years
  • The Operator requires a minimum number of bookings in order for a tour to be financially viable & to have a pleasant group atmosphere
  • Itineraries are subject to alteration without notice & are intended as a guide only. The Operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without any notice
  • On tours including activities such as snowboarding, skiing, trekking, swimming & snorkelling, passengers accept that degrees of risk are involved
  • Some activities are strenuous in nature. Passengers should be of reasonable health and fitness and carry all required medication. The Operator must be advised of any prior medical conditions at the time of booking
  • Travellers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination on all of the trips

Cancellation Policy:

  • If for any reason you do need to cancel your tour there are a few things to be aware of. Your $99 is a non-refundable deposit, however, in the event that you need to cancel outside of the cancellation period The Operator will hold your deposit on file for life & this can be used towards a future departure
  • Upon cancellation, you will be liable to pay a fee to cover the cost of expenses incurred by The Operator at the time of booking in the below schedule. Tour Cost is inclusive of any additional activities and pre/post accommodation
    • Outside 45 days Notice – Loss of $99NZD
    • 8–44 days Notice – 50% of tour cost
    • Within 7 Days Notice – 100% of tour cost
  • Changes to activities & additional accommodation are not permitted within 45 days of departure to tour
  • If you need to change to an alternative departure date you may do so in accordance with the below fees:
    • Outside 45 days Notice – No fee
    • 8–44 days Notice – $500 Admin Fee
    • Within 7 Days Notice – 100% of tour cost

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