Craigieburn Ski Area

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

Craigieburn Ski Area

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Craigieburn

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Club fields package tour
World Nomads Travel Insurance
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 Terrain

Craigieburn 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 Accommodation

There 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

Snow Explorer
GUIDED CLUB FIELD TRIP
5 Days | 4 Nights | 5 Days Skiing
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Advanced
This adventure is ideal for the young at heart who want to pack in as much skiing or snowboarding and fun as possible into a single week. You will visit NZ's renowned club ski areas with professional hosts who will get you to the best skiing/snowboarding in each of the locations.
Price p/p Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 974
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Craigieburn here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Clubbies Snow Hunter Safari
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
4 Nights | Up to 5 Days Skiing/Riding
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.
Price p/p From price based on twin-share (group of 4).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,039
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Clubbie Max Pack Day Tours
GUIDED OFF-PISTE DAY TRIPS
Min group 2 people
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
If you are heading to Methven this ski season and you want to explore the fabulous Canterbury Club Fields (Mt Olympus, Craigieburn, Broken River & Mt Cheeseman), book a Clubbie Max Pack Day Tour which includes driver/guide/instructor, 4x4 vehicle, lift pass, lunch, rope tow harness, avo beacon & on-mountain guiding.
Price p/p From price based on min group of 2. 10% discount for groups greater than 2.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 192
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Craigieburn here

Heli Skiing Tours

High Peak Heliski & Clubbie Combo
HELISKIING & CLUB FIELDS COMBO PACKAGES
5 Nights Lodging | 3 Days Heli | 2 Days Club Fields
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This deluxe package includes 3 epic days heliskiing in the Arrowsmiths + 2 days guided off-piste at the Canterbury club fields + 5 nights deluxe lodging, all ground transport, all gourmet meals, open bar...and more....
Price p/p From price based on 5-nights twin/double-share during peak season inc. 3-days heli + 2-days guided off-piste.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,897
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