The Canterbury region extends along the central eastern coast of the South Island and stretches from the South Pacific Ocean to the Alps with contrasting sweeping plains and rugged peaks. New Zealand’s largest region boasts 10 great ski area’s and arguably some of the the best variety so whether you are a beginner, mad keen border or seeking family fun, Canterbury will have a field to suit your every need.
Skiing or Snowboarding in Canterbury
Here is a list of the top fields found in the Canterbury region: Mount Hutt and Helipark, Mt Lyford, Craigieburn, Temple Basin, Mount Cheeseman, Mount Olympus, Porters, Hanmer Springs Ski Area and Broken River. Canterbury-LargeMap_2.png
Further details of the more notable Ski Areas...
Located high in the Southern Alps Mt Hut is the highest ski areas in the South Island and the largest it also has one of the longest ski seasons in NZ (early June to late October), Mt Hutt has plenty to offer beginners all the way through to advanced. Serviced from the resort town of Methven this is a very popular location and offers a big mountain experience for both skiers and boarders. It’s has something for everyone, all ages and abilities’ and perfect for families and all this only one hour and fifteen minutes from the Islands largest City – Christchurch.
Craigieburn is a club field in the Southern Alps and is 1.5 hours northwest of Christchurch. This field is reserved for the accomplished ski and board enthusiast and has achieved cult status in the free style community, even American Freestyle skier Glen Plake becoming a member; infact a run has now been named after him – “Plake’s Mistake”. The terrain varies from steep chutes to large wide open powder bowls with no grooming except that done by Mother Nature, so it is all “off-piste”.
The Spa town of Hanmer Springs is 137km (85 Miles) north of Christchurch and just 21 km (13 miles) away is the Hanmer Springs ski area. This small and friendly club field has a comfortable day lodge offering skiing and snowboarding perfect for the intermediates. This club field has a groomer so regardless of the snow conditions quality skiing is assured. After a day on the snow the thermal hot pools of Hanmer Springs are a great place to relax.
89 kilometres (55 miles) west from Christchurch airport - one hour drive, Porters is the closest ski area to Christchurch, and the field access road is also short and well maintained, suitable for 2WD vehicles. The field has one beginners magic carpet and 3 T-bars to take you topside - the views to Mt Olympus and Lake Coleridge are amazing. From either side of the T you can take groomed runs that vary in pitch from fast wide pistes to less aggressive winding cat tracks. Those newbie’s have access to the magic carpet and then a platter lift providing a stepping-stone to the more advanced areas. Terrain distribution is 15% beginner, 35% intermediate and 50% advanced. Modern grooming equipment is used, and snowmaking facilities operate either side of the number one T -- and has an excellent ski school
Snow Responsibility Code: The Snow Responsibility Code is an easy-to-remember list of eight simple rules to ensure everyone’s safety on New Zealand’s mountains. Always adhere to the Code – it’s there for your benefit! See for more info.
1. Stay in control at all times. Ski or ride within your ability and always be able to stop.
2. Skiers and snowboarders below you have the right of way. When moving across the hill, give way to those moving downhill.
3. Obey all ski area signage. If it says ‘closed’, it means ‘closed’!
4. Always look before you leap! Check the landing before jumping and use a spotter on blind jumps.
5. Stop where you can be seen by others. If stopping on a trail, move aside to a spot where you can be seen from above.
6. Don’t lose what you use. You must wear a device to prevent runaway skis/snowboards.
7. Stay on scene. If you witness or are involved in an accident, remain on scene and identify yourself to the ski patrol as soon as they arrive.
8. Respect gets respect. Treat others as you’d like to be treated!