• Home
  • Sign up for newsletter
  • Find a personal travel manager
  • Travel Guides
    Top Ski Areas within driving distance of Christchurch

    Top Ski Areas within driving distance of Christchurch

    Share Share Comments comments

    There are some amazing ski fields located within easy driving distance of Christchurch, which is one of the main international gateways to New Zealand’s South Island. The Canterbury region is paradise for snow sports enthusiasts, with the spectacular Southern Alps delivering abundant natural snow, stunning views and a wide variety of terrain to suit every level of ability. From Mt Hutt to Roundhill, there’s something for everyone in Canterbury’s snow-covered playground:

    1. Mt Hutt Ski Area

    One of the superstars of Aotearoa’s snow scene, Mt Hutt has been voted New Zealand’s best ski resort for eight years running at the World Ski Awards. Located just a 90-minute drive from Christchurch Airport, the ski resort combines 365 hectares of wide open terrain with fantastic infrastructure, including two high speed lifts and magic carpets for beginners. A generous supply of snow keeps visitors happy throughout what is generally the longest ski season in the Southern Hemisphere. It typically opens in mid-June and doesn’t close until mid-October, when spring conditions mean you can often shed the thermals and ski in your t-shirt!

    Mt Hutt has panoramic views that will take your breath away – on clear days you can see all the way across the Canterbury Plains to Banks Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. You can even soak up the scenery while soaking your tired muscles in New Zealand’s highest-altitude hot tub.

    World-class instructors and equipment hire, yooner and toboggan hire facilities and First Tracks capabilities round out Mt Hutt’s alpine offering. And although there is no on-mountain accommodation, nearby Methven Village provides all the home comforts you could wish for, wrapped up in classic country hospitality.

    Mt Hutt ski area, close to Christchurch NZ

    Mt Hutt ski area

    2. Porters Alpine Resort

    The closest field to Christchurch, Porters is located just an hour’s drive from the airport so it’s a great option if you want to maximise your time on the snow. This former club field offers a great variety of terrain, with a designated learner’s area, sweeping intermediate trails and a wide selection of black runs so you can play all day. The access road is unsealed, but free shuttle buses take away the hassle of fitting chains to your vehicle, and once you’re on the mountain, you’ll find all the facilities you’d expect, including a cosy café, a well-equipped rental and service area, and fantastic instructors who cater for every level of ability.

    As one of Canterbury’s smaller fields, there’s a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere at Porters – less queues, less parking hassles, and the option to stay on the mountain in comfortable, lodge-style accommodation.

    3. Mt Cheeseman

    In the same section of the Southern Alps, a little further south of Broken River, Mt Cheeseman is the closest club field to Christchurch, just a 90-minute drive away. It’s a family friendly ski field that catches plenty of sun, and the varied terrain suits a range of abilities.

    Beginners can enjoy long, easy runs on trails like Easy Ride and Hinman Highway, while advanced riders can enjoy the incredible views from the field’s highest point, Mt Cockayne, before swooping down through thrilling off-piste terrain.

    4. Mt Dobson

    Heading out of Fairlie en route to Lake Tekapo, you’ll find the road to Mt Dobson: a fantastic, family-owned and operated commercial field in the heart of the famed McKenzie District. Its high elevation means you are assured of consistently good snow conditions throughout the ski season, which typically runs from mid-July to mid-September.

    Mt Dobson contains a wide variety of terrain within its 65 hectares of ski area, so there’s plenty for skiers and snowboarders to explore, from groomed runs to off-piste areas and terrain parks. The main chairlift and T-bar are complemented by a platter lift and rope tow for beginners, and the uncrowded spaces and friendly vibe make this low-key ski area one of the South Island’s best hidden snow gems.

    5. Roundhill Ski Area

    Sitting high above cobalt-blue Lake Tekapo and surrounded in winter by the snow-capped peaks of Aoraki Mount Cook and the Southern Alps, Roundhill is a truly spectacular location to spend your Kiwi ski holiday. Its season runs from late June until mid-September, and as New Zealand’s highest ski field, there’s a ready supply of natural snow that can be supplemented by snow-making facilities if required.

    Owned by a local Tekapo family who have poured their hearts and souls into creating a totally unique destination, Roundhill offers a whopping 550 hectares of groomed and off-piste terrain that’s packed with fun learner slopes, challenging chutes and bowls and the world’s longest and steepest rope tow. Don’t let the open terrain and amazing views fool you though. With a 783-metre vertical, lengthy black runs like the aptly named, ‘Who’s Your Daddy’ and ‘The Long Drop’ will definitely get your legs burning! Treat yourself to a hot lunch in the licenced café, sign the kids up for ski and snowboard lessons, and enjoy a glass of something at the von Brown Hut: a rustic bar with epic views at the top of the main T-bar.

    Roundhill ski area, close to Christchurch NZ

    Roundhill ski area, New Zealand

    6. Ōhau Snow Fields

    The breathtaking views from the top of Ōhau must be seen to be believed – the aquamarine shimmer of Lake Ōhau in one direction and the towering summit of Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak, in the other. The field contains terrain suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, from gentle beginner slopes for first time skiers to challenging runs for the more advanced.

    The family-friendly skiing vibe continues off-mountain at the ski resort’s own lakeside lodge, where accommodation options range from stylish hotel rooms with stunning views to more rustic options that remain true to their 1950s heritage. Although the furthest from Christchurch of Canterbury’s ski destinations, it’s well worth making the four-hour journey to experience this spectacular part of the world.

    Ōhau Snow Fields, New Zealand

    Ōhau Snow Fields, New Zealand

    There are so many exciting options for a snow holiday in New Zealand’s Canterbury region, all of them offering stunning scenery, fabulous snow conditions and great accessibility. Contact one of our experienced personal travel managers if you’d like to add a sprinkle of warm Kiwi hospitality to your ski holiday.


    Filter by category: ALL
    Filter by date:
    Choose a sub-category: