Mt Dobson ski area in New Zealand has the relaxed and friendly atmosphere you’d expect from a NZ club field…… except that Mt Dobson is not a club field. Mount Dobson has the best of both worlds because it’s actually a commercial ski resort with facilities you’d expect of a commercial operation. Unlike club fields and their unwieldy nutcracker ropetows, Mt Dobson has a chairlift – a great relief for those who prefer to save their energy for going down the hill!
Mt Dobson is particularly good for those on their L plates or P plates with a nice learner and intermediate area. There are no crowds to intimidate novices, there’s a good ski school, and the experience won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The 400 hectares of Mt Dobson ski terrain is contained within a treeless basin that catches the sun. The sunny ski area is well appreciated by the ski and board apprentices that practise on the wide open groomed runs. Many powderhounds don’t like sun-baked slopes, but the snow quality at Mt Dobson is well maintained by temperatures that stay reasonably cool, in part due to the high elevation of the base area (by NZ standards).
Twenty five percent of the terrain at Mt Dobson is designated for old hands. Many advanced riders like to play in the natural half-pipe under the chairlift or make the most of the upper slopes. And without any crowds, powder days at Mt Dobson can be epic.
Other than the triple chair which is the pride and joy of Mt Dobson, the lift infrastructure is fairly basic including a t-bar, platter lift and a learner ropetow.
Where is Mt Dobson?
Mt Dobson is located in the Mackenzie region in the Two Thumb Range, 40 minutes drive (29km) from the town of Fairlie. It’s not far off the Christchurch-Queenstown highway about 2.5 hours drive south west of Christchurch and 2 hours south-west of Methven
. The access road is reasonably well maintained and is appropriate for buses and motor-homes. There is also a shuttle bus available from Fairlie during holidays and on weekends.
Inexpensive accommodation can be found off-mountain in Fairlie and Tekapo. Fairlie is a cute little farming town with a population of about 800 Kiwis. Fairlie accommodation
includes two hotels, a range of motels, bed and breakfast accommodation, cottages, a holiday park and various farm stay options. The town is the antithesis of Queenstown and is ideal for those wanting a quiet and relaxing holiday.
The village of Tekapo is only a fraction further away and has more of an alpine feel and more activities on offer. Tekapo accommodation includes motels, apartments, a variety of bed and breakfasts, and various Lake Tekapo hotels
Mt Dobson Facilities
The Mt Dobson ski field has basic resort facilities and services including a simple canteen and a ski and board rental "shop". The ski school is well established with various programs such as beginners’ packages and race clinics.
Why Ski or Snowboard at Mount Dobson?
Apart from the skiing, Mt Dobson is also a great place to relax in the sun whilst appreciating the spectacular views across the lakes and to Mt Cook.
A ski holiday at Mt Dobson (and Fairlie or Tekapo) is perfect for families and anyone else who doesn’t have wads of cash and doesn’t need a party scene.
Tours That May Include Mt Dobson