Craigieburn3.5 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
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Wagner Custome Skis
Club fields package tour

The amazing vistas of Craigieburn New Zealand
The amazing vistas of Craigieburn New Zealand
Nutcracker ropetows
Nutcracker ropetows
Amazing views from the deck of the day lodge
Amazing views from the deck of the day lodge
The day lodge
The day lodge
Cook a hamburger for lunch
Cook a hamburger for lunch
Craigieburn ski field NZ
Craigieburn ski field NZ
Amazing ski terrain at Craigieburn
Amazing ski terrain at Craigieburn
Craigieburn New Zealand
Craigieburn New Zealand
One of many chutes at Craigieburn
One of many chutes at Craigieburn
Craigieburn NZ on-mountain accommodation
Craigieburn NZ on-mountain accommodation
Apres ski drinks at the bar
Apres ski drinks at the bar
The Craigieburn ski field access road
The Craigieburn ski field access road
View of Craigieburn from the car park
View of Craigieburn from the car park

Craigieburn

Steep, deep and cheap sums up Craigieburn ski field in New Zealand. The club field in the Southern Alps (about 1.5 hours north-west of Christchurch) is definitely not a “resort” as there are no frills and definitely no glitz or glamour. You won’t find any of the Prada wearing set here, as it’s reserved for hard-core ski enthusiasts and powderhounds. The famous mohawked skier Glen Plake loved the Craigieburn ski area so much that he joined the club. A run has now been named after him – “Plake’s Mistake”. If Glen Plake made a mistake, then it gives you a bit of an idea about the difficulty of the terrain at Craigieburn Valley.

Craigieburn Ski and Snowboard TerrainCraigieburn Valley (or Craigieburn for short) has some of New Zealand's most challenging patrolled terrain. The Craigieburn ski terrain varies from steep narrow chutes to wide open powder bowls. There is no grooming except for the grooming that Mother Nature performs, so the ski area is all “off-piste”. Long runs resemble heli-ski runs when there is fresh powder. Heli-skiing at the price of a lift ticket - choice eh?

Of course Craigieburn doesn’t have the luxury of a helicopter, but rather a fairly primitive lift system. There are three nutcracker ropetows to transport skiers up steep pitches to cover 500 metres of vertical. The lifts are pretty fast, but the basic nature of them is great for keeping the crowds away. The major benefit of course is that there are more fresh tracks for those who are super keen (and super-fit).

If the steep nutcrackers on the way up don’t humble you, then the terrain on the way down might. This is not a ski area for families or beginners. Even strong intermediates would struggle with the terrain unless the snow conditions were absolutely perfect. Sixty percent of the terrain is under-rated as blue, but perhaps these runs are considered easy in comparison to the triple black runs which are described as “suicidal”.

Officially the resort has around 400 hectares of skiable area, but Craigieburn is a gateway to many more acres of back-country terrain. A bit of trekking is involved to get the best snow, but it is definitely worth the effort. Craigieburn and Broken River ski areas are “interconnected” via a hike of about 15 minutes, which opens up even more terrain.

Craigieburn Ski Area AccommodationThere is limited lodge accommodation at Craigieburn available to the public on mountain, which is ski-in, and “sort of” ski-out. There are private rooms and bunk style rooms with shared facilities. Part of the experience of skiing at Craigieburn is staying on the mountain and sharing your stories with the friendly club members at the bar after a big day skiing. Alternatively, Flock Hill Lodge provides fantastic off-mountain accommodation nearby, or the town of Springfield 45km away has a few options.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Craigieburn NZ?Craigieburn is not for the faint-hearted or unfit, but is incredible for those who love steep and relatively untouched terrain. Nicknamed by some as “The Big One”, Craigieburn is not as “big” as Jackson Hole in the United States (another “The Big One”), but considering the fantastic challenging terrain it certainly deserves the “Big” reputation.

Tours That May Include Craigieburn

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 2,159
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, 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.
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Canterbury Explorer DETAILS
FULLY GUIDED ROAD TRIP
9 Nights | 7 Days Skiing/Riding | Up to 5 Ski Areas
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 2,181
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Ski & snowboard at Mt Hutt & NZ's lesser known club fields (Craigieburn, Broken River, Mt Cheeseman & Porters) and the great little private ski area of Ohau. This trip is ideal for those wanting to explore the lesser known ski areas of New Zealand's south island.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Craigieburn 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 1,151
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, 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 1,671
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, 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 932
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, 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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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 2,088
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, 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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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 3,168
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, 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...
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Craigieburn here