31 best things to do in the central North Island
Dominated by the enormous Lake Taupō and a trio of volcanoes including Mount Ruapehu, the Central Plateau is sporting a plethora of natural ...
Famous for all-day sunshine, wide-open, uncrowded runs and a relaxed Kiwi atmosphere, Mount Dobson offers outstanding skiing and boarding.
Beginners, roll up! Mt Dobson has New Zealand’s largest learner/intermediate area, and the Snow School boasts a team of international instructors who can do private and group lessons for any ability level. When you’re up to hitting the more advanced slopes, you’ll be stoked with the 3km wide basin with 14 separate expansive groomed runs tracking through it – ideal for developing your skills.
For more advanced riders, the triple chair and T-bar provide access to the steep terrain at the top of the bowl where you can ride off-piste all day. A short hike takes you to the Mt Dobson summit, where you can carve fresh tracks any day of the week. When the weather gods play ball, Dobson gets amazing dry powder that might have you dusting off those beefy skis you’ve only ever used in Japan. The mountain even has a huge natural half-pipe for snowboarders to play in.
Like all good clubbies, the Mt Dobson vibe is relaxed and friendly – you’ll be mixing with Fairlie locals who have been skiing the mountain their whole lives, and adventurous visitors from all around the country. Leave your thermos and lunch at home; the Foote Rest Café has Underground Coffee and famous Fairlie Bakehouse pies – the Pork Belly and Apple is an absolute winner.