Skiing and Snowboarding in Canterbury with the Family
All you need to know for your Christchurch and Canterbury snow vacation with the kids!
With more mountains than Switzerland, more than 25 scenic ski areas and lots of perfect, crisp, blue-sky days, New Zealand has the best ski and snowboard areas in the Southern Hemisphere. Base yourself in Christchurch, Methven or Hanmer Springs and you'll be as little as half an hour's drive from nine fantastic ski areas to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, toboggan, tube and play in.
If your snow vacation includes the kids, you can find everything independently or book a ski or snow holiday package. A snow holiday package can include flights, car rental or mountain transport, pants or gear hire, ski or snowboard lessons, lift passes and more. The New Zealand ski season runs from late June to late September, although the snow areas of New Zealand do not open or close at the same time; it depends on the season and weather. Click on the individual ski field's website to find out their expected open and close date for the next snow season.
First, here's the lowdown on the ski and snowboard areas close to Christchurch and around the Canterbury region of the South Island, New Zealand.
How far is Mt Hutt from Christchurch and Methven?
94km / 80 mins from Christchurch or 15km / 35 mins from Methven
Located high in the Southern Alps, Canterbury’s Mt Hutt Ski Area receives some of the lightest and driest powder in Australasia. Renowned for its laidback and rural atmosphere, Mt Hutt is family and beginner friendly. The slopes are wide and the runs varied.
How far is Porter Heights from Christchurch and Methven?
89km / 70 mins from Christchurch or 15km / 35 mins from Methven
Christchurch's closest ski area at just 89km away, with a short, easy access road make this a favourite. Easy beginner slopes, cruising intermediate trails and spectacular terrain for advanced skiers and boarders.
How far is Hanmer Springs Ski Area from Christchurch and Hanmer Springs?
150km / 110 mins from Christchurch or 25km / 40 mins from Hanmer Springs
Small club field, well-suited to beginners and intermediate skiers and boarders, and just a short drive from the resort town of Hanmer Springs.
How far is Mt Lyford from Christchurch and Hanmer Springs?
146km / 100 mins from Christchurch or 60km / 50 mins from Hanmer Springs
This field is a favourite with families as it has great facilities for learners and a variety of challenging runs for the more experienced.
How far is Temple Basin from Christchurch?
128km / 120 mins from Christchurch (plus 45 min walk to ski area and lodge)
Temple Basin offers a great variety of terrain spread over four separate basins. There are gentle slopes for complete beginners, adrenalin-pumping challenges for the expert, and everything in between.
How far is Broken River from Christchurch?
104km / 90 mins from Christchurch (plus 20 min walk to ski area and lodge)
The terrain is a series of rolling bowls with awesome runs to challenge all levels of snowboarders and skiers, beginner to expert.
How far is Craigieburn from Christchurch?
110km / 90 mins from Christchurch
Known as “New Zealand’s largest off piste ski area”, this is not a beginners’ field. Suitable for intermediate and advanced skiers only.
How far is Mt Cheeseman from Christchurch?
100km / 80 mins from Christchurch
The second-closest ski area to Christchurch. With great beginner and intermediate slopes, Mount Cheeseman is perfect for learners and families.
How far is Mt Olympus from Christchurch?
128km / 115 mins from Christchurch or 66km /80 mins from Methven
Unrivaled skiing and boarding, irrepressible club spirit and spectacular New Zealand scenery make Olympus an unforgettable adventure.