Image: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area

Craigieburn Valley Ski Area

Quick Facts Ski & Board Largest off-piste area in NZ Location 110 km from Christchurch Season June – October Access Road 6 km unsealed, chains required Price Range Adult day lift pass $75 Ratings Beginner 0%, intermediate 55%, advanced 45%

A warning to the uninitiated – you will not find any chairlifts, gondolas, grooming, snow-making, or fine dining at Cragieburn, but what it does offer is a friendly club atmosphere, an environmentally responsible approach to skiing and snowboarding, and ready access to some of the best off-piste skiing terrain in the world. If you are an advanced or expert rider then Craigieburn is your holy grail, with steep narrow chutes, wide open powder bowls and uncrowded runs. Craigieburn also offers some of the most readily accessible side-country for touring or hiking. The Craigieburn Day Pass also lets you ski Broken River, though you will need to be equipped with a beacon, probe and shovel (and know how to use them). Koroheke and Matuhi Lodges are set amongst native beech forest at the base of the field and accommodation prices include bed, breakfast and dinner – and are half price in July and September!

Essentials Highest point 1,922 m Vertical Over 500 m Skiable Area 400 ha Lift Pass Prices Adult $75, student/affiliate $50, youth $35, under 13 & over 70 free Lifts 3 high-capacity rope tows On-field ski/snowboard hire No Tuition Yes  Package Deals All-inclusive packages include lift passes, accommodation, dinner and breakfast (5 nights or more) On-field accommodation Yes.