Broken River3 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
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Ultimate Heliski Tour New Zealand

Broken River New Zealand
Broken River New Zealand
The "cable car" to get up to the ski field
The
Broken River day lodge
Broken River day lodge
Broken River ski field
Broken River ski field
Broken River Accommodation
Broken River Accommodation
Plenty of wide open terrain
Plenty of wide open terrain
An uncrowded NZ ski field
An uncrowded NZ ski field
Lots of off-piste terrain
Lots of off-piste terrain
Dramatic views from the day lodge
Dramatic views from the day lodge
Broken River: almost deserted!
Broken River: almost deserted!
Ski Broken River
Ski Broken River
Big Mountain Terrain
Big Mountain Terrain
Broken River NZ
Broken River NZ
Broken River Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Broken River Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Relaxing in the sun at the day lodge
Relaxing in the sun at the day lodge
It's easy to ski fresh powder at Broken River
It's easy to ski fresh powder at Broken River
Broken River New Zealand
Broken River New Zealand
Broken River NZ
Broken River NZ
Nutcracker Ropetow
Nutcracker Ropetow
Broken River Ski Field
Broken River Ski Field

Broken River

Broken River ski area is a New Zealand club field that caters to those with an adventurous spirit. It’s a complete no frills “ski resort” where there is not a day spa or boutique in sight.

Broken River has a remote backcountry feel to it with great ski terrain, uncrowded slopes and good quality snow. However the Broken River experience isn’t just about the skiing and boarding. It’s a place where you can experience the traditional “skiwi” culture, with back-to-basics fun and a friendly atmosphere minus the hardcore attitude.

Broken River is a bit of a hidden gem amongst the Canterbury club fields. Its next door neighbour, Craigieburn ski area, seems to get all the international attention whilst BR flies under the radar. Broken River has the same great snow as Craigieburn Valley. The only differences are that BR has less suicidal runs and some milder terrain making it more suitable for families or people who don’t need to constantly scare themselves. BR also has fewer visitors than Craigieburn, so the fresh powder lasts longer.

And one of the best things about BR is that it’s the ski field most likely to remain open in the Canterbury region. The road is less inclined to be closed because it’s not prone to avalanches, and the ski area itself can remain open on windy days because the bowls are generally protected from the prevailing winds. Broken River doesn’t have the nickname of Mt Shut!

Broken River Ski and Snowboard Terrain Broken River consists of two large bowls that are sheltered from the wind and catch the powder. The Broken River ski area is serviced by five high capacity rope-tows, two of which are suitable for learners. Much of the terrain is suitable for advanced and expert riders with steep basins, chutes, drop-offs and other slopes for the adventurous. A substantial component of the terrain is ideal for off-piste intermediate skiers and boarders. There is also a small beginners’ area near the day lodge, although this probably isn’t the best place for complete novices because it’s too tricky to get up to the beginners’ area.

If the 300 hectares at BR isn’t enough for you, take a short hike (in the right conditions) and head over to Craigieburn for a few runs. There are also ski touring opportunities from Broken River.

Where is Broken River? Broken River ski area is located in the Craigieburn Range adjacent to Craigieburn Valley ski area, 110km (90 mins) north-west of Christchurch. The access road off highway 73 has the potential to be somewhat perilous; the type you don’t take a campervan on. If you don’t want to undertake the drive yourself there are a couple of private transport operators. From the car park you can catch the inclinometer cable car (which is very progressive for a club field!), and from there you have to take a 15 minute hike up to the first tow. Consider this as a little warm-up for the day’s activities.

See our getting to Broken River page for more information.

Accommodation There are three levels of very affordable Broken River accommodation ranging from backpackers to basic, with differing degrees of catering provided. The lodges are generally ski-in and are only a 5-10 minute walk to the bottom tow. Staying on-mountain is all part of the experience. Alternatively you can stay in Springfield, Castle Hill or at the nearby Flockhill Lodge.

Broken River Facilities The facilities are somewhat basic and typical of a NZ club field. Broken River provides very inexpensive ski and snowboard instruction and there is a day lodge which has a canteen selling basic lunches, snacks and drinks. Ski and snowboard equipment hire is not available on-mountain, but those without a nutcracker harness can borrow one from the lift ticket office. Don’t expect any other frills such as shops, massage services (unless you BYO) or sleigh rides!

Why Ski or Snowboard at Broken River? Broken River is a good all rounder as far as club fields go. So long as you don’t need any flashy resort trimmings, or are a first-timer, BR is the place to go for an inexpensive ski trip. For families it’s particularly good, especially considering that all kids under the age of 13 ski for free making it cheap as chips!

Broken River doesn’t have the range of gnarly terrain that can be found at Craigieburn and BR may not be “The Big One”, but they are certainly “The Friendly One”.

Tours That May Include Broken River

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
South Island Snow Odyssey DETAILS
FULLY HOSTED & GUIDED ROAD TRIP
12 Days | 11 Nights | 9 Days Skiing | 8 Resorts
From price based on quad share option.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,129
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Explore 8 mountains over 12 action packed days that take your far away from the commercial ski fields of Queenstown. The Odyssey tour includes the following mountains: Porter Heights, Mt Olympus, Temple Basin, Craigieburn, Broken River, Mt Dobson, Ohau and Treble Cone.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Broken River here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Clubbies Snow Hunter Safari DETAILS
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
4 Nights | Up to 5 Days Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin-share (group of 4).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,135
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Wanting a MAXIMUM ski or snowboard adventure in NZ this year? This FULLY CUSTOMISABLE tour (from 2 nights) might be just the ticket! Based in Methven or Castle Hill, you will chase the best snow each day at Mt Olympus, Craigieburn, Broken River & Mt Cheeseman with an expert local guide, 4 X 4 & driver.
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Mint Methven Heli Tour DETAILS
GUIDED SNOWBOARDING ADVENTURE
6 Days | 5 Nights | 1 Day Heli + 2 Days Resort
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,627
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Warm up with a day of riding at the big resort of MT HUTT and then a day at one of the lesser know CLUB FIELDS before shredding some of the best powder in NZ with a day of HELI BOARDING in the ARROWSMITH RANGES with METHVEN HELISKI.
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Neon PomPom - Canterbury Adventure DETAILS
LIFT ACCESSED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
FROM: 3 Nights | 2 Days Skiing/Riding
From price based on 3 nights / 2 days skiing twin-share (per person).
Base/invoice currency is inc NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,349
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Ski at some of NZ's hidden gems with experts who have an intimate knowledge of the terrain & local areas and sit back and enjoy great in-chalet hospitality every day. Just turn up and, have fun and then leave; everything else is catered for!
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Broken River here
Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours
Neon PomPom - FreeSki Academy DETAILS
BACKCOUNTRY FREE RIDING PROGRESSION
6 Nights | 5 Days Coaching / Guiding
From price based on 6 nights / 5 days skiing twin-share (per person).
Base/invoice currency is inc NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,485
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Become a safer, stronger, better off-piste freeskier or boarder with the Neon PomPom Freeski Academy! New Zealand’s first all-inclusive, privately-hosted, off-piste ski & snowboarding coaching experience. Ski NZ's epic Club Fields with options for Heli Skiing.
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See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit Broken River here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
High Peak Heliski FLEXI Packages DETAILS
HELISKIING & CLUB FIELDS FLEXI PACKAGE
5 Nights Lodging & Meals | Airport Transfers
From price based on 5 nights twin/double-share deluxe lodging with meals & open bar including return airport transfers.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,207
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This FULLY CUSTOMISABLE deluxe package is available from 2 days or more (however the example package is based on 4 nights deluxe lodging, all ground transport, all gourmet meals, open bar...and you can add what you need as you go.
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Broken River here
Heli Skiing Tours
High Peak Heliski & Clubbie Combo DETAILS
HELISKIING & CLUB FIELDS COMBO PACKAGES
6 Nights Lodging | 2 Days Heli | 3 Days Club Fields
From price based on 6 nights twin/double-share inc. 2 days heli + 3 days guided club fields.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,692
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This FULLY CUSTOMISABLE deluxe package is available from 2 days or more (however the example package is based on 2 days heli + 3 days guided club field days + 6 nights deluxe lodging, all gound transport, all gourmet meals, open bar...
More
See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Broken River here