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Lake Tekapo ski guide for 2021

What you need to know, and where to stay, when you're hitting the slopes at Roundhill and Mount Dobson.

Skiers and snowboarders flock to the quaint town of Lake Tekapo during winter as it’s the nearest gateway to Mt Cook Mackenzie ski fields, including Roundhill and Mount Dobson.

Roundhill is ideal for families, beginners and intermediate skiers and is home to the world’s longest and steepest rope tow. If you fancy an off-piste challenge, Mount Dobson’s untouched powder terrains are the place to go.

Lake Tekapo accommodation options

Roundhill accommodation

The Godley Hotel

The Godley Hotel from HotelsCombined

The country-style Godley Hotel resides alongside Lake Tekapo, with horse riding, mountain biking and scenic walking spots located nearby. If you're the kind of person who likes a packed schedule while travelling, you'll be happy to know the ski fields are a 40-minute drive away and Mt John Observatory is a quick 10-minute drive from the hotel.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, family rooms, restaurant, bar and recreational activities including a golf course and tennis court in close proximity
  • Address: 2-4 Rapuwai Lane, Lake Tekapo
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    Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers

    Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers from HotelsCombined

    A 4-star motel ideal for backpackers to stay while visiting Lake Tekapo. Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers is a quick walk to Lake Tekapo and the local shopping centre with a tennis court and basketball court just outside of the property.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free private parking, ski storage, BBQ facilities, outdoor furniture, tennis equipment, children's playground and bike rental
  • Address: 11 Aorangi Crescent, Lake Tekapo
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    Mantra Lake Tekapo

    Mantra Lake Tekapo from HotelsCombined

    A cosy place to wind down after a day on the slopes, Mantra Lake Tekapo has a fireplace and hot tub overlooking the Southern Alps. There are restaurants, cafes and stores close by and the Roundhill Ski Field is a 35-minute drive away.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi , free private parking, BBQ facilities, swimming pool, hot tub/jacuzzi and family rooms
  • Address: 1 Beauchamp Place, Lake Tekapo
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    Mt Dobson accommodation

    Peppers Bluewater Resort

    Peppers Bluewater Resort from HotelsCombined

    If you're looking for luxury accommodation, look no further than Peppers Bluewater Resort. With breathtaking views, the location is perfect for exploring the Mackenzie Basin and the Southern Alps. Plus, the Ohau Ski Fields are just a 35-minute drive away.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, bar, restaurant, babysitting service and bicycle rental
  • Address: State Highway 8, Lake Tekapo
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    Bourkes Pass Accommodation

    Bourkes Pass Accommodation from HotelsCombined

    If you're looking for complete tranquility, Burkes Pass Country Motels is located in the perfect spot for you to step away from technology as there is no mobile phone reception. Instead, bask in your surroundings of peace and quiet and make use of the skiing facilities nearby at Mt Dobson.

  • Features: Free Wi-Fi, free parking, outdoor fireplace, picnic area and BBQ facilities
  • Address: 2114 Fairlie-Tekapo Road, Burkes Pass
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    Lake Tekapo ski area information

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    Things you need to know about Roundhill

    • Ski season dates: Earlybird passes on sale until 31 May, opening dates TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily snow report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 20% beginner, 45% intermediate and 35% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 1
    • Longest run: 5km
    • Skiable terrain: 550 hectares

    Images: Roundhill

    Mt Dobson

    Picture not described

    Mt Dobson mountain facts:

    • Ski season dates: Season passes on sale until 24 May, opening dates TBC
    • Snow report: Check the daily snow report for a detailed and accurate look at recent snowfalls and conditions
    • Trail breakdown: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced
    • Number of terrain parks: 0
    • Skiable terrain: 480 hectares
    Images: Mt Dobson

    How do I get to Lake Tekapo and the nearby ski fields?

    Lake Tekapo is approximately a three-hour car ride from both Queenstown and Christchurch Airport. You can fly directly via Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Qantas.

    The journey from Lake Tekapo to Roundhill takes approximately 35 minutes. You can take the shuttle that departs from Tekapo Village at 8am daily. There is limited space, so booking in advance is essential. Alternatively, you can drive to Roundhill, which takes you on a 24km scenic drive along the eastern side of Lake Tekapo. You should always carry snow chains with you when driving to the mountain and they must be fitted if the snow chain indicator sign is out.

    You won’t find a direct shuttle service from Lake Tekapo to Mt Dobson but you can easily get there by car. It takes around 40 minutes to get there and we can promise the views are definitely worth the journey. You will need to carry snow chains and fit them to your vehicle when advised by the snow chain indicator signs displayed.

    Ski schools available near Lake Tekapo

    Roundhill

    ProgramWho can participate?What is involved?
    First timers packageFor group ski lessons, anybody over the age of five can participate. The group snowboarding lessons require participants to be over the age of eight.Learning the fundamentals of how your skis/board works, how to stand and slide.
    Group lessonsBeginner to intermediate ability level. Must be over the age of five for ski lessons and eight for snowboarding lessons.Gaining skills and technique that will build your confidence to explore new terrains.
    Private lessonsAll ages and skill levels.One-on-one lesson from an internationally qualified instructor who will help you build your skills and confidence on the slopes.

    Equipment hire

    There are no shops in Lake Tekapo that offer ski hire. Alternatives would be renting ski equipment from the ski resorts themselves or picking them up at the nearest town of Fairlie, about 30 minutes’ drive (41 kilometres) east of Tekapo. Fairlie is along the way if you’re coming in from Christchurch.

    • Roundhill Ski Area: Roundhill offers more than 350 sets of ski and snowboard equipment for all ages. You can also rent a snow toboggan for children. Roundhill Ski Area PO Box 138 Lake Tekapo New Zealand
    • Mount Dobson Ski Area: Get your tickets, lift passes, lessons and equipment hire all under one roof at the Mount Dobson ski area. It also offers clothing, wrist guards, helmets and children’s sizes. 30 Alloway St, Fairlie 7925
    • Ski Shack, Fairlie: For snow chains, skis, snowboards or snow equipment and clothing hire, head to Ski Shack which is a 30-minute drive from Tekapo. 85a Main Street Fairlie 7925

    Where is each ski area located?

    Roundhill:

    • Tekapo: 38 minutes’ drive (32 kilometres)
    • Christchurch: 3 hours and 30 minutes’ drive (260 kilometres)
    • Queenstown: 3 hours and 40 minutes’ drive (289 kilometres)

    Mt Dobson:

    • Tekapo: 48 minutes’ drive (59 kilometres)
    • Christchurch: 2 hours 30 minutes’ drive (186 kilometres)
    • Queenstown: 3 hours 30 minutes’ drive (330 kilometres)

    Roundhill and Mt Dobson lift passes

    Roundhill lift pass starting prices:

    All prices listed are in NZD.

    All Lifts gives you access to all lifts including the Heritage Express Rope Tow (if applicable).

    All Lifts PassesAll dayAfternoon
    Adult$95$70
    Child$45$35
    Senior$60$45

    A beginner’s pass gives you access to the beginner’s area. You have the option to upgrade your beginner’s pass to a full mountain pass for an additional charge.

    Beginner’s passAll dayAfternoon
    Adult$55$45
    Child$30$20
    Senior$40$30

    Mt Dobson lift pass prices:

    All Lifts Day PassesAdultStudentYouthChild
    All Day$88$66$43$43
    Half Day (after 12:30)$60$50$27$27
    Learners Platter OnlyAdultStudentYouthChild
    All Day$60$50$27$27
    Half Day (after 12:30)$40$36$22$22
    Rope Tow$10$10$10$10
    Equipment RentalAdultStudentYouthChild
    Full Day Skis, Boots and poles$48$48$37$37
    Skis/Snowboard Only$35$35$27$27
    Full Day Snowboard and Boots$48$48$37$37
    Jackets$15$15$15$15
    Over Pants$15$15$15$15
    Helmets$15$15Free (with full rental)Free (with full rental)
    Goggles$10$10$5$5
    Gloves$10$10$5$5
    Ski/Snowboard LessonsAdultStudentYouthChild
    Group (1.5 hours)$45$45$40$40
    Private (1.5 hours)$90$90$90$90
    Easy Pack (for first day on skis or snowboard) Includes lift pass, rentals, first timer lesson & clothingAdultStudentYouthChild
    Ski$145$145$111$111
    Snowboard$145$145$111$111
    Age DefinitionsAdultStudentYouthChild
    Definition18 Years old and over at 1 June 2020Full time tertiary student with ID13 – 17 years old at 1 June 20205 – 12 years old at 1 June 2020
    Seniors (70 and over)Free lift pass
    Seniors (65 and over)50% lift pass discount
    Child (under five)Free lift pass
    Season Pass Prices 2020AdultStudentYouthChild
    Purchase Dates:
    2020 Winter Season up to 31 March 2020$279$279$159$159

    Importance of travel insurance

    It’s important 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.

    Latest Lake Tekapo area ski and travel deals


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