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South Island Snow Odyssey

Join a 12-day epic snow adventure, visiting 11 mountains from world-famous fields to hidden gems & everything in between.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Duration
Duration
12 Days, 11 Nights
Max Group Size
Max Group Size
15, then 8
Minimum Age
Minimum Age
18 years
Fitness Level
Fitness Level
Moderate
Meals
Meals
Partially included
Start & End Location
Start & End Location
Queenstown to Christchurch
What's Included

  • Get up to $90 cash back per person when you book with us
  • An epic 12-day snow odyssey around New Zealand's South Island
  • 11 lift passes to 10 different mountains, including The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Cardrona, Treble Cone, Ohau, Roundhill or Mt Dobson, Porters, Broken River, Mt Olympus or Temple Basin, & Craigieburn
  • 11 nights high-end hostel accommodation, in shared dorm rooms with shared facilities
  • 12 breakfasts & 3 dinners
  • Services of an expert tour manager
  • Transport onboard a combination of 22 seater Toyota Coaster & customised four-wheel-drive van, both with a trailer for all your gear
  • Departs from the meeting point at Haka Lodge Queenstown, 6 Henry Street, Queenstown (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

This is the ultimate guided New Zealand snow tour that will take you to the best South Island ski resorts and club fields! This extensive tour samples New Zealand’s most popular ski fields before heading off the beaten track to lesser-known club ski fields in New Zealand, loved by locals and pros alike.

 

You'll enjoy eleven mountains: The Remarkables, Coronet Peak, Porters, Cardrona, Ohau, Treble Cone, Roundhill, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple Basin and Craigieburn. Plus, you'll also visit New Zealand’s favourite winter destinations: Queenstown, Wanaka, Christchurch and Lake Tekapo.

 

This tour is best suited to intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders as 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 just a couple of runs.

 

 

Day 1 – Queenstown | The Remarkables

 

Your tour starts bright and early at 6:00 am, with a whole day on the slopes. You'll waste no time driving to The Remarkables, where on your way, your guide will make a stop at the ski/board hire shop to collect any equipment required.

 

The Remarkables is set in a vast natural amphitheatre high in the rugged ranges at the eastern end of Queenstown’s Lake Wakatipu. Being so far up is a significant plus, giving the ski field a long, reliable season – and the north-facing aspect makes it a natural sun-trap.

 

Enjoy wide-open trails, native Keas, powder snow, spectacular views, sun-drenched terrain and unforgettable runs. There's terrain here like you have never seen before, and if you're prepared to exercise the legs a little, you will discover some of the longest off-piste runs around.

 

The Remarkables ski area boasts a new international standard SuperPipe for advanced level riders and skiers. The 150m long, 22m wide pipe is triple the size of the existing terrain park at the top of Sugar Bowl Basin. The expanded Xbox Terrain and Rail Park, and other features, combined with the big mountain possibilities, make this the logical choice for the free riders out there.

 

SLOPE INFO – The Remarkables
Levels: 30% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced
Height: 1943m
Vertical: 357m
Skiable Area: 220ha

 

Day 2 – Queenstown | Coronet Peak

 

Coronet Peak is the oldest and most developed ski area on the South Island. Spread across a broad mountain, the field is wide and sunny with an astounding variety of runs, and the on-field facilities are some of the best around. Everything is designed to ensure you make the most of skiing and boarding.

 

Everyone can ski like a pro at Coronet Peak - there are dedicated slopes for first-timers and long, wide groomed trails with plenty of choice for more experienced skiers. Once you know the ropes, you'll enjoy the vertical off the express quad or explore the rolling terrain with plenty of dips and drops for great variety. 

 

Coronet Peak is a natural terrain park for boarders, full of endless hits and powder stashes.

 

SLOPE INFO – Coronet Peak
Levels: 30% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced
Height: 1649m
Vertical: 462m
Skiable Area: 280ha

 

Day 3 – Queenstown | Non-Snow Day

 

Today is a chance to catch your breath and see Queenstown, participate in some adventure activities, or go heli-skiing. Of course, you are welcome to continue skiing or boarding, but your lift pass is not included in the tour price.

 

There are several well-recommended heli-ski options: choose from 4 or 8 runs. These will take you to untouched powder in the area. A trip to the Milford Sound is likewise a great way to spend the day.

 

Alternatively, you're welcome to just chill for the day. Visit one of the region's incredible spas for some rejuvenation, spend time at a local winery, or get some extra thrills with bungy jumping. 

 

Either way, your bucket list is about to take a serious hit!

 

Day 4 – Queenstown to Wanaka | Cardrona

 

Cardrona is renowned among skiers and boarders for inspiring terrain and dry natural snow. With 345 hectares of wide, undulating trails, open slopes, steep chutes and fantastic terrain parks, there’s something here for all to enjoy.

 

Chair lifts service a wide area of the mountain, so access is easy. Cardrona’s three basins offer wide-open spaces and a mixture of terrains that are suitable for snowboarders and skiers of all abilities. On-mountain facilities include five cafes, a shop, hire facilities and a workshop.

 

With over 20 national and international skiing and snowboarding events held at Cardrona each year, it's definitely one of the top mountains in New Zealand.

 

SLOPE INFO – Cardrona
Levels: 25% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 25% Advanced
Height: 1860m
Vertical: 600m
Skiable Area: 345ha

 

Day 5 – Wanaka | Treble Cone

 

Treble Cone lies within the heart of the Southern Alps. It has impressive views across the beautiful lakeside town of Wanaka and is also the largest ski area on the South Island, with plenty of exhilarating skiing and snowboarding terrain. Spread over three large basins, there are trails to suit all ages and abilities.

 

There's plenty for everyone, from intermediate trails to numerous natural half pipes on the upper mountain, challenging advanced runs and ungroomed powder.

 

Treble Cone boasts New Zealand's fastest quad chairlift so that you can enjoy more runs per day than anywhere else. The saddle quad chairlift offers the highest lift-accessed terrain, longest groomed intermediate runs, and highest vertical drop on the South Island.

 

In the evening, Wanaka is an après-ski haven, with a huge number of places to dine, drink and dance the night away.

 

SLOPE INFO – Treble Cone
Levels: 10% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 45% Advanced
Height: 1960m
Vertical: 700m
Skiable Area: 550ha

 

Day 6 – Wanaka to Tekapo | Ohau

 

Today you'll head to Ohau, a remote ski field found midway between Christchurch and Queenstown. From the highest point of 1,925 metres, there is a 400-metre vertical fall to the base via ‘The Boulevard’. Intermediates can choose the zig-zag ‘Luge’, and experts can push the limits on the ‘High Traverse’ and the ‘Escalator’.

 

Ohau offers exquisite dry powder snow terrain and gets you off the tourist trail to experience the awesome range of ski fields available on the South Island of New Zealand.

 

SLOPE INFO – Ohau
Difficulty: 20% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 30% Advanced
Height: 1825m
Vertical: 400m
Skiable Area: 125ha

 

Day 7 – Tekapo to Christchurch

 

Today you'll head to one of the Mackenzie Country’s best-kept secrets – either Roundhill or Mt Dobson, depending on weather conditions.

 

Roundhill has the highest vertical drop in Australasia (at 783 meters), breath-taking views of Aoraki Mt Cook, and boasts one of New Zealand’s widestruns. Meanwhile, Mt Dobson is best known for natural dry powder snow, trails for all abilities, all day sun and wide-open uncrowded runs.

 

You'll ski/snowboard until approx. 3:00 pm when you'll make the journey back to Christchurch, aiming to arrive by approximately 8:00 pm.

 

SLOPE INFO - Roundhill
Levels: 20% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 35% Advanced
Height: 2133m
Vertical: 783m
Skiable Area: 550ha

 

Day 8 – Christchurch to Springfield | Porters Alpine Lodge

 

You'll depart Christchurch bright and early at 6:00 am 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 9 – 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 10 – 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 11 – 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 12 – 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:

  • Queenstown
  • The Remarkables
  • Coronet Peak
  • Wanaka
  • Cardrona
  • Treble Cone
  • Tekapo
  • Ohau
  • Roundhill/Mt Dobson
  • Christchurch
  • Springfield
  • Porters Alpine Lodge
  • Broken River
  • Craigieburn
  • Mt Olympus or Temple Basin
Frequently Asked Questions

For the first 7 days of the tour The Operator uses a 22-seater Toyota Coaster, with a trailer for all your gear. As they only fill the bus to a maximum of 16 people, there are always some extra seats to lounge about! For the last 5 days they use a customised four-wheel-drive van, with a maximum of 8 people.

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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

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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