Map of Ski New Zealand: 5 Day South Island Snow Explorer

Off-piste adventure in New Zealand’s famed Southern Alps

If you’re an intermediate to advanced skier or snowboarder looking for an epic guided snow tour in New Zealand, we have the South Island's winter wonders all packaged up for you. Our expert guides will show you the ropes on beautifully uncrowded slopes on this five-day snow tour which takes you to four epic ski/boarding areas: Porters Alpine Lodge, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple Basin and Craigieburn. These Club Fields are small, private or family-owned ski areas where you can get into the snow with minimal fuss and maximum fun minus the crowds. We can also help with equipment hire and more!


Start
Christchurch, New Zealand
Finish
Christchurch, New Zealand
Destinations
Style
Basix
Theme
Active Adventures, Winter Active
Code
PHXE
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 6, Max 8

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy five days of off-piste powder heaven in New Zealand’s famed Southern Alps.

  • Escape the bustling crowds of Queenstown and get a taste of New Zealand’s best and friendliest club fields.

  • Leave the beaten track behind and sample four epic mountains considered by locals as NZ’s best-kept-secrets: Porters, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple Basin and Craigieburn.

  • Whether you're an intermediate or advanced skier, our expert guides are always there to lead the way.

  • Stay 'on mountain' in the tiny ski hamlet of Craigieburn with the ski fields literally outside your front door.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Due to the nature of the terrain and use of tow ropes this trip is only suitable for intermediate to advanced skiers or snowboarders.

  • The skiing/boarding takes place on Ski Club Fields, small, private or family-owned ski areas where you can get into the snow with minimal fuss and maximum fun.

  • Much of the snow activities are off-piste rather than on groomed slopes, and do not feature commercial chairlifts or gondolas.

  • While our Group Leaders will often join the group on the snow due to the nature of the terrain and our clients personal ski run preferences they can not be with everyone in the group at all times.

Itinerary

Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch, gateway to New Zealand's sublime ski fields. After a short group meeting, depart Christchurch at 6am and pick up your hire gear (for those who need it) on the short drive inland (approximately 2hrs) to Porters, the closest ski field to Christchurch which is renowned for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and stunning mountain backdrop. The skiing and boarding here ranges widely and your guide will help you access the right level for you.

Kia-ora! Welcome to Christchurch, gateway to New Zealand's sublime ski fields. After a short group meeting, depart Christchurch at 6am and pick up your hire gear (for those who need it) on the short drive inland (approximately 2hrs) to Porters, the closest ski field to Christchurch which is renowned for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and stunning mountain backdrop. The skiing and boarding here ranges widely and your guide will help you access the right level for you. Try Big Mama (which towers above the left of the base area) or Bluff Face (which towers above the right). At 620m, Big Mama boasts one of the largest vertical drops in one lift-accessed run in New Zealand. For those looking for easy backcountry skiing, that’s available too from the top of the T3T-Bar – your options are endless. For the next two nights we stay off the mountain in or near the small town of Springfield, a snow sports enthusiast’s haven, complete with majestic views to enjoy after a busy day on the slopes plus some great bars and restaurants - ask your group leader to recommend their favourites.
Included Activities
  • Ski lift pass - Porters ski field
  • Qualified Ski Guide - 5 Days
Optional Activities
  • Punting on the river - NZD20
  • Gondola - NZD22
  • Christchurch - City Tour - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
SLOPE INFO - Porters
Difficulty: 15% Beginner, 35% Intermediate, 50% Advanced Height: 1950m Vertical: 610m Skiable Area: 350ha
A short morning drive (approximately 1 hr) takes you further into the Southern Alps and ready for a true alpine adventure at the unpretentious Broken River ski area, one of New Zealand's unique Club Fields where members and non-members alike are welcome. This ski field was born in the early 1950s and offers some of New Zealand's best off-piste, soft-snow skiing and snowboarding. Broken River offers a more intimate experience as chairlifts are replaced by ‘nut crackers’, five electrically driven, high capacity rope tows. After a 15 to 20-minute hike to the first rope tow, learn the techniques you'll need to get started on these amazing slopes. Don’t worry if you have not ridden tows before – your guide will help you with your technique. Most people take a few times to get it right; it’s all part of the experience. A short trek offers access to the back basins, Craigieburn Valley and some incredible terrain. Finish the day with a short drive back to Springfield.
Included Activities
  • Ski lift pass - Broken River ski field
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
SLOPE INFO - Broken River
Difficulty: 10% Beginner, 30% Intermediate, 60% Advanced
Height: 1920m, Vertical: 420m, Skiable Area: 300ha

Tow protection gloves are provided.
Today you leave Springfield behind and drive north (approximately 1.5hrs) to the tiny ski hamlet of Craigieburn, in the heart of snow country. Depending on weather conditions, you’ll head to either Mt Olympus or Temple Basin. Mt Olympus ski area, a south-facing basin set high in the Craigieburn Range – is perfect for trapping powder dumps and affectionally known as ‘the playground of the Gods’ and has more than 60 hectares of ski fields. Far from the commercial groomed slopes, chairlifts and latte-filled cafes, Temple Basin was founded in 1929 and still has that rustic pioneering feel that represents a true alpine environment at the heart of Arthur’s Pass National Park. When you come off the hill at the end of a big day, we will grab a well-earned drink and dinner (included) at our cosy lodge in Craigieburn, your accommodation for the next two nights.
Included Activities
  • Ski lift pass - Mt Olympus/Temple Basin ski field
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
SLOPE INFO - Mt Olympus
Difficulty: 10% Beginner, 55% Intermediate, 35% Advanced
Height: 2096m, Vertical: 450m, Skiable Area: 60ha

SLOPE INFO - Temple Basin
Difficulty: 10% Beginner, 50% Intermediate, 25% Advanced
Height: 1753m, Vertical: 427m, Skiable Area: 320ha
For big mountain skiing, Craigieburn has a well-deserved cult following among the locals. Steep and deep, with wide open powder bowls and lofty narrow chutes accessed by three high-capacity rope tows servicing a vertical rise of 503m, Craigieburn leaves little to be desired. Terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging, with the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle Basin (which is often compared to a heli-skiing experience) accessible by a short traverse from the tow. Craigieburn Valley offers something for intermediate to advanced skiers, and is sure to be a highlight of your skiing experience. After an amazing day on the slopes retire back to the cosy Craigieburn Lodge and exchange stories over your included dinner.
Included Activities
  • Ski lift pass - Craigieburn ski fields
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
SLOPE INFO - Craigieburn
Difficulty: 20% Beginner, 55% Intermediate, 25% Advanced
Height: 1811m, Vertical: 503m, Skiable Area: 400ha
Enjoy a hearty breakfast and one last snow day in the Southern Alps mastering the slopes of Craigieburn before driving back (approximately 2hrs) to cosmopolitan Christchurch where your trip finishes on arrival around 8pm.
Included Activities
  • Ski lift pass - Craigieburn ski fields
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
SLOPE INFO - Craigieburn
Difficulty: 20% Beginner, 55% Intermediate, 25% Advanced
Height: 1811m, Vertical: 503m, Skiable Area: 400ha

Accommodation is not included in Christchurch. Should you wish to add a night's accommodation here, please contact your agent.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Ski Lodge Hostel, shared dorms (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Ski lift pass - Porters ski field
  • Qualified Ski Guide - 5 Days
  • Ski lift pass - Broken River ski field
  • Ski lift pass - Mt Olympus/Temple Basin ski field
  • Ski lift pass - Craigieburn ski fields

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Ski New Zealand: 5 Day South Island Snow Explorer trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. This trip requires a minimum of 6 clients to operate.
2. This trip is operated and run by Haka Tours, an Intrepid Company. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Haka customers and Intrepid customers. Intrepid works closely with Haka Tours to ensure that all of our customers enjoy their time in New Zealand.
3. This trip is suitable for intermediate to advances skiers/snowboarders only
4. This trip starts at 6am and finishes on arrival back to Christchurch on Day 5 (approx 8pm)
5. This tour features many 'off-piste ski runs on Ski Club Fields - we recommended to purchase travel insurance which includes "adventure" activities.
6. Snow gear including helmets, skis/snowboard, boots, poles and ski clothing are available to hire - if you wish to book gear please contact your agent. Note that tow protection gloves are included and do not need to be requested.
7. Due to unforeseen weather conditions changes may need to be made to the itinerary.
8. While our Group Leaders will often join the group on the snow, due to the nature of the terrain and our clients personal ski run preferences they can not be with everyone in the group at all times.
9. This trip does not spend any included time in Christchurch – if you wish to book extra accommodation please contact your agent.
10. A Single Supplement is available on this trip.

Essential trip information

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