Ski The Selwyn 6
Located 1.5 - 2 hours drive from Christchurch Airport, the Selwyn 6 cluster of ski fields offers a variety of unique terrain to suit all levels from beginner to advanced.
Porters is the perfect field for family skiing offering a friendly relaxed atmosphere and located only 90 minutes from Christchurch. Learner facilities include the Sunkid carpet lift with an easy link to the Platter lift. Gentle runs combined with easy lifts aim to foster the passion for skiing.
The Easy Rider 4 seat chair lift transports skiiers and boarders to the intermediate section of the mountain and provides a link to the 3 TBars taking the more experienced to the advanced sections of the mountain. From here skiiers and boarders will discover long cruising runs and super challenging terrain. The Porters Community Park offers a challenge for the more adventurous, and is a great platform to progress freestyle skills.
Facilities up at Porters include comprehensive ski hire and equipment rental as well as a cosy warm and welcoming cafe serving a range of hot and cold food. Sit back, relax and take-in the views out over the Torlesse Range or warm-up with a glass of mulled wine.
Highlights of Porters
- Close location to Christchurch - just 89kms away, with an easy access road
- One of the best intermediate slopes in the country
- Family orientated with a great range of facilities from beginner to advanced
- The ski school boasts national and international instructors
- A warm welcoming cafe
Craigieburn is located 1.5 hours drive west of Christchurch off State Highway 73 between Springfield and Arthurs Pass. The turnoff to the field is 9km after Castle Hill Village, with the access road signposted “Craigieburn Valley Ski Area". Craigieburn is a non-profit club field run by passionate members situated at the western end of the Craigieburn Range. The ski area encompases 2 large basins which recieve snowfall from the easterly storm systems, as well as from the large westerly systems which make it over the main divide.
Craigieburn is well known for its friendly club atmospehere and environmental practices. There are no chairlifts on the mountain, but there are 3 highspeed nutcracker rope tows that service the field. The terrain is suited to the intermediate to advanced skier/boader offering exciting and challenging trails with the 600m vertical descent of Middle Basin (often compared to a heliskiing experience) accessible by an easy traverse from the tow. Bring your own gear, as there are no ski hire facilities up the mountain.
Highlights of Craigieburn
- 2 distinct ridge lines and valleys, well known for its hidden gems usually only the locals can find
- Craigieburn has 2 lodges and can accommodated up to 65 people
- Offers 3 high speed nutcracker tows
- Friendy, relaxed and welcoming atmosphere
- For the experience there are many hiking and ski opportunities beyond the patrolled areas
Located in the Southern Alps near Arthur's Pass village, Temple Basin takes more effort to get to than other ski fields in the area but it is definitely worth it. The sealed road off State Highway 73 takes you to the carpark, from there it is a 40-50 minute walk to reach the ski area lodges. There is a goods lift available to carry gear making the walk that little bit easier. Once at the top you will see your gear waiting for you and then it is only a short walk to the lodge.
Temple Basin offers 3 rope tows, 1 that runs at a slower speed for beginners and the other 2 that are faster and steeper. Temple Basin has some of the most challenging terrain out of all the club fields.
When you have finished skiing for the day, it is an easy ski right to the lodge’s front door. While it is possible to visit Temple Basin for the day, due to the extra time to hike and the spectacular views from the lodge, it is well worth staying for at least a night or two.
Highlights of Temple Basin
- The “goods” lift and a gorgeous hike up to club field
- Delicious, home cooked meals
- Spectacular views
- Canteen with snacks, beer and wine
- Incredible terrain - right off the rope tow
Mt. Cheeseman is the closest club field to Christchurch and offers a little bit of everything. The wide variety of trails includes the most beginner trails of any club field, plenty of intermediate runs, and also expert hike-to areas that are all accessible from the T-bars.
Cheeseman is also the only club field in Canterbury where you do not need to ski with a harness or use a nutcracker device.
The ski field accommodates those who are brand new to skiing/riding and those who have many years experience. T-Bars provide access to several different areas of the field encompassing easy to difficult runs, while the Tarn Basin is perfect for those seeking expert terrain.
If you are looking to brush up on your technical ski or snowboard skills, Mt. Cheeseman hosts several ski and snowboard instructors from Switzerland each winter. Private or group lessons are available at reasonable prices.
Highlights of Mt. Cheeseman
- Beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain with some groomed trails
- Access to the whole mountain without a harness or nutcracker
- Ski and snowboard rentals and lessons
- Two T-bars and one learner’s rope tow
- Ski-in, ski-out lodge with bunk rooms and hot home-cooked meals
If you are keen on adventure, then Mt. Olympus is for you! The mountain boasts an incredibly fun and lively atmosphere, a great sense of community as well as an excellent variety of terrain.
The road to the ski field is not graded, therefore Mt. Olympus recommends driving a high-clearance 4WD vehicle and to carry chains.
Like most of the club fields, Mt. Olympus uses the nutcracker/rope tow combination. Harnesses with nutcrackers are available for free in a bin at the bottom of the access tow, however the club recommends bringing your own for maximum comfort. Harnesses, leather gloves, and glove protectors can be purchased at the lodge if required.
Before skiing, check-in at the lodge to collect your ticket. Mt. Olympus has 4 rope tows transporting you to spectacular terrain. From the top tow, there are a number of fun, rolling runs with lots of features. Traverse out to the basin for long, consistent runs down to the bottom tow. The trails at Mt. Olympus are not groomed, so the whole club field is off-piste.
Mt. Olympus is also well known for its 'hike-to terrain'. From the top tow, there are multiple routes to ascend the surrounding peaks, and zones like The Sphinx, Little Alaska, and Mt. Olympus offer bigger and more technical alpine lines.
Highlights of Mt. Olympus
- Great inbounds terrain and incredible hike-to-skiing
- Delicious, home-cooked meals available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Hot tub with a mountain view
- Fun, lively bar (to say the least)
- Catered and self-catered options available
Broken River is a boutique club field situated in the Southern Alps offering terrain for all levels of skiers and boarders with great off-piste, soft-snow skiing and snowboarding. The uncrowded powder basins and chutes, on-mountain accommodation and friendly atmosphere make Broken River the perfect place to escape to for a ski holiday.
The field is maintained and run by club members creating a close-knit family feel. With families being the backbone of the club it's not uncommon to see 3 generations of one family skiing together.
Highlights of Broken River
- Best known for powder skiing
- Sheltered terrain maintains the snow and protects from the bad weather
- A laid-back, social and community atmosphere
- Long, reliable seasons and great skiing in low snow years
- Excellent, affordable ski and snowboard instruction with internationally-qualified instructors
- On mountain accommodation, 10 minutes walk from the slopes