Mt Olympus Ski Area

Mt Olympus, playground of the gods
Mt Olympus ski field has lots of chutes of varying widths
Mt Olympus NZ is ideal for those happy to earn their turns
Mt Olympus New Zealand has lots of steeps
The playground of the gods!
The view from the hot tub
Mt Olympus has relatively easy to use nutcracker rope tows
Mt Olympus NZ: gateway to amazing backcountry
The Mount Olympus lodge (day lodge and accommodation)
No crowds, especially mid-week
A hike-to chute
Spectacular vistas
Amazing views from the lodge deck
Mt Olympus ski field
Lots of hike-to terrain
The lift accessed terrain
Mt Olympus New Zealand
The lack of crowds is a huge bonus
One of the nutcracker rope tows
Mt Olympus Accommodation - Top Lodge

Mt Olympus Ski Area

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Mount Olympus

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Mount Olympus3.5 out of 5 based on 10 reviews
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Mount Olympus Ski Field New Zealand

In Greek mythology the home of the gods was Mount Olympus, so the motto of the Mt Olympus ski area is “Playground of the Gods”. At Mt Olympus NZ there is big mountain skiing, south-facing slopes that trap lots of powder, no crowds and a relaxed attitude. It sounds like a playground for powderhound Gods!

This New Zealand club field shouldn’t be confused with the Mt Olympus ski resort in Cyprus, where a different breed of gods play.

Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Mt Olympus ski and board terrain is petite at only 60 hectares, and much of this needs to be accessed with significant traversing (so snowboarders may not love this mountain as much as skiers). Above and beyond the lift-accessed terrain are a feast of treats for experts that require some hiking, or tramping as the Kiwis like to call it.

The treeless ski area is a south facing basin that has terrain for “all ability levels” (in the minds of the hard-core kiwis!). There is a “beginners’” area halfway up the mountain, but beginners need to be super courageous and they might have to walk up and down the first rope-tow. Despite the statistic of 55% of the terrain being for intermediates (hee hee!), intermediates will also need to be super adventurous.

At the other end of the spectrum there are chutes and extreme lines off Little Alaska or The Sphinx, and Mt Olympus is a good gateway for ski touring. There are also plenty of runs for ability levels in between, but these are suited to “off-piste” riders because the only grooming is that which Mother Nature provides. Brave riders can also partake in a spot of night skiing.

The Mount Olympus ski area is serviced by three successive nutcracker rope-tows as well as a learners tow in the beginners’ area.

Where is the Mt Olympus Ski Field?

Mount Olympus Ski Area is located in the Craigieburn Range on New Zealand’s South Island. The ski field is 45 km from Windwhistle (near Mt Hutt), 1 hour from Springfield, and only a 1.5-2 hour drive from Christchurch.

Crowds are also kept to a minimum because Mt Olympus is off-the-beaten-track, unlike some of the other Canterbury club fields off Highway 73.

If you’re very adventurous you can self-drive to Mt Olympus. The mountain road is shingle, chains should always be carried, and sometimes mountain access from the bottom hut becomes for heavy duty 4WD vehicles only. The last part of the access road is single lane and a bit scary! Getting there is definitely part of the adventure and one of various “filters” that discourage the caffe latte set from visiting.

An easier way to get there is with Black Diamond Safaris who provide transport between Methven and Mt Olympus (it takes about 1:15 hours).


Mt Olympus is good for a day trip for those staying in Methven, Springfield or Christchurch, or alternatively there is on-mountain accommodation at Mt Olympus where it’s possible to stay for a week or the weekend. The Top Hut Lodge (half way up the ski field) has bunk style accommodation at very reasonable prices, or there’s very basic self-catering accommodation at the Bottom Hut.

Ski weeks start on a Sunday morning and finish the following Saturday afternoon. Each of the weeks are designated to ensure the right mix of people for the week. One week is called “Wrinkle Free” which caters to young people, or the young at heart who get Botox injections. There is also a “Fanta Pants” week that sounds very interesting!?

Mt Olympus Facilities

In keeping with its NZ club field status, the ski “resort” facilities are very basic. The rustic Top Hut Lodge doubles as a day lodge which includes a canteen selling lunches, snacks and drinks. No ski hire is available on-mountain, but they do lend out rope-tow belts. It is also possible to organise ski and snowboard lessons which are included as part of the ski week packages.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Mount Olympus?

Like other NZ club fields, Mt Olympus is a true adventure. This is a fantastic hill for advanced riders and experts who are willing to hike for the goods. It is relatively inexpensive and is perfect for those with a relaxed (but hard-core) attitude to life. No one goes to Mt Olympus to look pretty – it’s all about the skiing and snowboarding. 

Mt Olympus feels remote and you can be one with nature without the crowds that you find at commercial ski resorts. And most importantly, you might score some great powder snow because your prayers to the Snow God will definitely be heard considering that he (or she) lives right on the mountain.

Day Trips to Mt Olympus with Black Diamond Safaris

Black Diamond Safaris provide a range of options for day trips from Methven to Mt Olympus. The options include:
  • Transport only
  • Transport plus use of nutcracker harness, avalanche transceiver, and rope-tow and mountain familiarisation
  • As above plus lift ticket, lunch and mountain guiding
There are multiple benefits to going with Black Diamond Safaris:
  • It can be tricky to find Mt Olympus, let alone drive up the sweaty-pits access road. Take the stress out of getting there by letting BDS drive you. BDS also know a couple of short cuts from Methven.
  • If you’re a novice at riding nutcracker ropetows, it’s great to have support and assistance.
  • Using their proper harness and nutcracker is far superior to the belts provided by Mt Olympus (which makes riding the lifts much easier).
  • BDS provide you with a glove protector so you won’t ruin your lovely Goretex gloves. - Mt Olympus looks like a tiny little ski field unless you know where to hike to get the right lines, and what time of day to access different slopes. You’ll get the most out of this mountain by having a guide.
  • Many of the steep off-piste slopes at Mt Olympus are avalanche prone. If you don’t have the equipment or the know-how, you’ll want a guide.
Tours That May Include Mt Olympus

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

South Island Snow Odyssey
11 Nights | 11 Days Riding at 10 Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Take an odyssey of the South Island to the best New Zealand ski fields ranging from big commercial ski resorts to club field gems with barely any crowds. No need to worry about driving or organising anything as your host looks after all the logistics.
Price p/p From price based on quad share option.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,111
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Mount Olympus here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Clubbies Snow Hunter Safari
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 1,023
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Clubbie Max Pack Day Tours
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 211
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Mount Olympus here

Heli Skiing Tours

High Peak Heliski & Clubbie Combo
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 3,837
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Mount Olympus here