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Christchurch ski fields guide for 2021

What to know when exploring the famed South Island peaks.

When the temperature drops, the mountains of Canterbury become the perfect winter playground. With up to 13 ski areas within two to four hours’ drive from Christchurch, snow sports enthusiasts are spoilt for choice.

Mount Hutt is the biggest commercial ski field in Canterbury and boasts the longest ski season in New Zealand, while Porters ski area is a local favourite and popular with families. Other resorts to hit up are Craigieburn, Mt Cheeseman, Mt Olympus and Temple Basin.


How far is each area from Christchurch?

  • Mt Hutt: 1 hour 30 minutes drive (115km)
  • Porters: 1 hour 50 minutes drive (99km)
  • Craigieburn: 1 hour 45 minutes drive (104km)
  • Mt Cheeseman: 1 hour 50 minutes drive (112km)
  • Mt Olympus: 2 hours drive (134km)
  • Temple Basin: 1 hour 50 minutes drive (135km)

Christchurch ski areas

How do I get to Christchurch and the ski fields?

You can fly directly to Christchurch from cities around New Zealand via Air New Zealand and Jetstar.

Depending on where you’re staying, you may have access to ski buses that will take you to and from the ski fields. If you plan to use the ski shuttle service, it is best to stay close to the town centre. Pre-booking is likely required, so it is best to speak to reception at your accommodation to find out the most efficient way for you to reach the slopes. You can hire a car in Christchurch at multiple locations but picking it up from the airport will allow you to get your bearings around the city. We recommend you pre-purchase seating on a shuttle bus to your designated ski field and take in the views along the way.

Lift pass prices

There are many ski fields you can access in the Christchurch area. Below, we have listed the starting prices for two of the much-loved ski fields that are great for first-time skiers/snowboarders.

Mt Hutt lift pass starting prices

Children under the age of 11 are free of charge.

Pass type1 day2 days3 days4 days5 days6 days
Child (11-17)$60$100$147$192$225$270
Adult$120$190$282$372$450$540

Porters lift pass starting prices

Children aged 10 and under as well as people aged over 75 are free of charge.

Pass typeWeekend lift passWeekday lift passWeekend afternoon lift passBeginners lift pass
Youth/ 65+$69$49$49$39
Student$99$69$69$59
Adult$99$79$79$59

What you need to know about Mt Hutt

MtHutt

  • Number of chair lifts: 3
  • Ski season dates: Opening 12 June 2020, snow permitting. Initially open for three days per week, which is expected to extend to five days from 1 July. Season closes mid-October.
  • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
  • Trail breakdown: 20% beginner, 20% intermediate, 40% advanced and 20% expert
  • Number of terrain parks: 3
  • Longest run: 2km
  • Skiable terrain: 365 hectares

Image: Mt Hutt

Mt Hutt accommodation

Terrace Downs Resort

Terrace Downs Resort from HotelsCombined

With breathtaking views of the Canterbury Planes Region, you'll be surrounded by picturesque mountains and greenery. There is a variety of activities located around Terrace Downs Resort, so it's an ideal place for adventurers to reside while visiting Christchurch.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi in select rooms, free parking, terrace with outdoor furniture, restaurant, bar, tennis court and fitness centre
  • Address: 623 Coleridge Road, Windwhistle
  • View details
    Ski Time Lodge

    Ski Time Lodge from HotelsCombined

    A 4-star accommodation option offering self-contained apartments and private rooms located in close proximity to a variety of restaurants, Mount Hutt and Methven Gold Course.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, BBQ facilities, terrace and ski storage
  • Address: 39 Racecourse Avenue, Methven
  • View details
    Mt Hutt Lodge

    Mt Hutt Lodge from HotelsCombined

    Boasting scenic views from the rooms, Mt Hutt Lodge is a quiet and comfortable motel that has water sport activities and a ski school, perfect for every season.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, ski-to-door access, ski storage, sun terrace, BBQ facilities, bar, restaurant and swimming pool
  • Address: 46 Zig Zag Road, Windwhistle
  • View details

    What you need to know about Porters

    Porters

    • Number of chair lifts: 1
    • Ski season dates: TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 30% beginner, 30% intermediate and 40% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 1
    • Longest run: 2km
    • Skiable terrain: 230 hectares

    Image: Porters

    Porters accommodation

    Porters Lodge

    Porters Lodge from HotelsCombined

    This is as close as you’ll get to the ski slopes at Porters, with cosy bunk or private rooms just 8 minutes’ drive away from the action. There’s an on-site bar and restaurant to relax in over a delicious Kiwi-inspired menu, and you can check out the mountain views from the sun terrace.

  • Features: Transport service, organised tours, onsite café/bar, mountain bike trails
  • Address: Porters Ski Area Access Road State Highway 73, Castle Hill
  • View details
    Springfield Motel & Lodge

    Springfield Motel & Lodge from HotelsCombined

    Marvel at the alpine beauty of the region while staying at this property located in Springfield, just 35 minutes away from Porters. Choose from units, lodge rooms or the YHA hostel, and enjoy family hospitality with a range of activities to keep you busy when you’re not on the mountain.

  • Features: Outdoor spa pool, comfortable dining/living area, full designer kitchens
  • Address: 37 Tramway Rd Springfield Canterbury
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    Smylies

    Smylies from HotelsCombined

    With options ranging from hostel beds through to self-contained studios, this eco-conscious multi-purpose property set on two acres of gardens is a fantastic place to unwind after a day on the slopes. It’s 30 minutes from the Porters carpark.

  • Features: Mini climbing wall, gym, Wi-Fi, ample parking, kitchen and laundry facilities, pets allowed by arrangement, transport and tour service
  • Address: 5653 W Coast Rd, Christchurch, Springfield 7681
  • View details

    What you need to know about Craigieburn

    Craigieburn

    • Number of chair lifts: 3
    • Ski season dates: TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 5% beginner, 40% intermediate and 55% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 0
    • Longest run: 2km
    • Skiable terrain: 400 hectares

    Image: Craigieburn

    What you need to know about Mt Cheeseman

    Cheeseman

    • Number of chair lifts: 14
    • Ski season dates: TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 15% beginner, 50% intermediate and 35% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 1
    • Longest run: 2km
    • Skiable terrain: 320 hectares

    Image: Mt Cheeseman

    What you need to know about Mt Olympus

    MtOlympus

    • Number of chair lifts: 1
    • Ski season dates: TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 10% beginner, 55% intermediate and 35% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 0
    • Longest run: 2.6km
    • Skiable terrain: 450 hectares

    Images: Mt Olympus

    Craigieburn, Mt Olympus and Mt Cheeseman accommodation

    Grasmere Lodge

    Grasmere Lodge from HotelsCombined

    Enjoy 360-degree views of the mountains from Grasmere Lodge close to Arthur's Pass. There is plenty to do at the lodge but we suggest you get out and explore all that Christchurch has to offer.

  • Features: Free private parking, picnic area, bar, restaurant, tennis courts, day spa, gym, pool, beauty centre and golf course
  • Address: State Highway 73, Cass
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    Arthur's Pass Alpine Motel

    Arthur's Pass Alpine Motel from HotelsCombined

    Just a few steps away from Arthur's Pass National Park, the motel is located close to various hiking trails that give you access to views of the Southern Alps. It doesn't get much better than that!

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, picnic area, BBQ facilities and easy access to Arthur's Pass train station.
  • Address: 52 West Coast Road, Arthur's Pass
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    Bealey Hotel

    Bealey Hotel from HotelsCombined

    A perfect spot to stay if you plan to hit the slopes frequently while you're in Christchurch. Choose from five different ski fields within a 30-minute drive from the hotel.

  • Features: Wi-Fi (charges apply), free parking, BBQ facilities, bar, restaurant and terrace
  • Address: State Highway 73, Arthur's Pass
  • View details

    What you need to know about Temple Basin

    TempleBasin

    • Number of chair lifts: 3
    • Ski season dates: TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily Snow Report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 16% beginner, 67% intermediate and 17% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 0
    • Longest run: 14km
    • Skiable terrain: 430 hectares

    Temple Basin accommodation

    Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass

    Wilderness Lodge Arthur's Pass from HotelsCombined

    Sit back and enjoy the stylish accommodation offered at Wilderness Lodge with charming boutique lodges and views that boast tranquility. There's no doubt you'll feel at home here.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, conference facilities, restaurant and guided tours
  • Address: State Highway 73, Arthur's Pass
  • View details
    Arthurs Chalet

    Arthurs Chalet from HotelsCombined

    The location for Arthur's Chalet is perfect for those who love the outdoors and adventure. Prefer the more cosy vibe? You'll find that here, too.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, restaurant and bar
  • Address: 131 Main Highway, Arthur's Pass National Park
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    Mountain House Arthur's Pass

    Mountain House Arthur's Pass from HotelsCombined

    The Mountain House is located in a prime location offering mountain views of Arthur's Pass National Park. Guests have a choice of staying in a shared dormitory, twin room or family room.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, shared kitchen and a garden
  • Address: 84 West Coast Road, Arthur's Pass
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    Ski schools available in Christchurch

    All of the ski fields mentioned have ski schools available for you to expand your skills and grow your confidence on the slopes. Porters offers the widest range of programs, with group and private lessons available for children and adults.

    Porters private lessons

    Lesson optionsPrice per person
    Early/late lesson (9am or 3pm)$89
    1-hour lesson$109
    2-hour lesson$199
    3-hour lesson$259
    Day lesson (5 hours)$349
    5x 1-hour lessons$379

    Porters group lessons

    ProgramWho can participate?Who would benefit from the lesson?
    Kids CampKids aged between three and fiveChildren who have never skied before but want to learn the basics and grow in confidence
    First TimersAnyonePeople who have never skied or snowboarded before
    Beginner/ IntermediateAnyonePeople who have the ability to make round wedge turns to control speed and stop but want to progress their skill set

    Equipment hire

    Renting ski equipment, outerwear and accessories is easy in Christchurch and Canterbury. These retailers offer some of the biggest brand names in sport at affordable prices.

    • Snow Mania: Ski and snowboard equipment, clothing and accessories for men, women and children. Check out their discounted skis, demo and secondhand items for purchase. 4 Dalgety Street, Christchurch
    • Gnomes Alpine Sports: Ski and snowboard hire, outerwear and other accessories such as snow chains, avalanche kits and rope tow packs. Save 10% when you book your ski hire online. 57 South Terrace, Darfield, Canterbury
    • McEwings Ski and Snowboard Hire: Ski, snowboard, clothing and accessories hire. McEwings also provides daily door-to-door transport from within Christchurch Canterbury to all the major ski areas. 200 Yaldhurst Road, Christchurch

    Importance of travel insurance

    It is a great idea to take out ski travel insurance as a precaution on your ski/snowboarding trip. If you have an accident while skiing or snowboarding, your belongings are stolen or you become ill on the trip, ski insurance may cover you.


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