Broken River

Image: Broken River Ski Club

Image: Broken River Ski Club

Broken River

With varied terrain, cosy mountain lodges and even its own craft beer, this hidden gem of a field promises unique off-piste adventures.

If you’re after a friendly atmosphere and no lift lines, then Broken River is the place for you. Start your day with a stunning four-minute ride up through native forest on New Zealand’s only alpine funicular railway – the Tyndall Tramway.

Start the day finding your feet on the mellow groomed slopes of the lower Broken River Basin, then jump on the nutcrackers and move up to higher and more adventurous terrain. Take the Ridge Tow to Allan’s Basin for unbeatable powder runs and patrolled backcountry terrain. This is the jewel in Broken River’s crown. A whole bowl that’s 100% off-piste and natural, not even a tow to break up the views. After you carve out some freshies, there’s an easy route back to the main basin, but be warned, you’ll want to lap this bowl all day long.

Read more for the latest season info on skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand

When it’s time for a break, relax on the Southern Alp’s best sundeck at Palmer Lodge – Broken River offers a real family/community feeling and the regulars will make you feel welcome. You’ll definitely want to try the field’s own frosty-cold craft beer. Stay in one of the cosy, centrally-heated, on-mountain lodges, just 10 minutes’ walk from the lifts and either crash into bed or stay up for the field’s legendary night skiing, under lights and under the stars. Don’t forget to check out the sauna.

Quick facts

  • Where 100km, 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch, shuttles available
  • Ski & board Learner slopes, wide-open groomed trails, patrolled backcountry bowls, un-patrolled touring and backcountry
  • Season Late June – October
  • Access road 6km unsealed, carry chains; take the Tyndall Tramway or walk from car park to ticket office
  • Ratings Beginner 5%, intermediate 50%, advanced 45%


  • Highest point 1820m
  • Vertical 500m
  • Skiable area 175ha
  •  Lifts 3 x high-capacity rope tows, 2 x learner rope tows
  •  On-field ski/snowboard hire No
  • Tuition Yes
  • Lift passes $85/$40 adult day/night, $35/$25 kids, discounts for families, students and seniors, over 70s and under 11s are free
  • On-mountain accommodation Backpacker and fully serviced options
  • Package deals Wicked Weeker and Mid Week Madness ski-and-stay packages


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