Overall Rating

Mt Dobson

Mt Dobson3/59
Mt Dobson3 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
  • Recommend
    89%
  • Would Revisit
    78%
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Mt Dobson - Reviews

Mt Dobson - Reviews

Hidden Gem

Matt
03/09/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    4

Hidden Gem

Matt
03/09/2018
Mt Dobson is one of those ski fields that caters to all skiers from those that want a more commercial field to those that like the peace and quiet of club fields.

Firstly the lifts are of a commercial grade although they are a bit older and slower. But there is absolutely no waiting in queue to get on one of these, real get on get off ski to the bottom get back on. Also as the lifts consist of a T-bar a Poma and a chair you do not need to use nutcracker tows which also makes it great for beginners and children.

The car park is not that large but it is suitable for the field and I have never heard of it being closed because the car park is full. There is also a Cafeteria that serves barista made coffee and a good range of lovely pies along with a multitude of cold drinks.

The snow conditions are generally pretty good somewhere on the mountain due to it multiple aspects. One part might be icy and hard but head onto a different aspect and wind blown soft snow abounds. The terrain is pretty varied with a number of rollers valleys and boulders to ski around.

While most of the easily accessed terrain is intermediate it is not difficult to hike to find advanced terrain it mostly involves climbing. The Te Kahui Steeps and Firewood creek below the chair always seem to have good snow varying from Deep Powder to Silk and it is very easy to find fresh tracks even a week after snow on these runs due to the walk back to the base of the chair being the major reason to put people off.

Above the chair on the left (skiers right) is a myriad of advanced/expert terrain that one can easily hike to a few chutes a couple gullies and a nice bowl and that's without leaving the relative safety of avalanche control areas, although snow on this face can be a bit patchy. If you are inclined towards back-country/Ski touring, the back bowls, faces and basins should provide plenty of interesting lines.

I can understand peoples hesitation to come up the road although it is well cambered and relatively wide it is a long road that almost always has snow at the top and drops away to nothing without a barrier. But it you are willing to drive up (or catch the van) and willing to walk for more advanced terrain it is a great field.

Fresh snow = Dobbo playground!

Tom
25/10/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    5

Fresh snow = Dobbo playground!

Tom
25/10/2017
Dobson Access Road
Dobson 1
Dobson 2
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Dobson 4
Whilst staying in the beautiful town of Lake Tekapo, our group drove up to Dobson on a beautiful sunny Saturday. The drive took about 40 minutes and was on a decent gravel road, but there were some pretty gnarly drop offs towards the top of the mountain that would scared the novice driver.

The resort had 10-15 cms of dry snow overnight, and being the weekend was ‘busy’. A local on the chair with us said it was the busiest day of the year they had seen. We laughed and told her that compared to a busy weekend day at an Australian ski field, this was paradise! Most of the easier accessed fresh snow were tracked out by lunchtime, but we got lots of nice runs in during the morning. The resort has one super slow chair, and two t-bars, the smaller of which only accesses beginner terrain. We felt like we had skied the whole place within a day, but that doesn’t mean you would get bored here.

The mountain is in one giant bowl, with plenty of rocks and natural rollers that made it a joy to explore, especially with the fresh snow on the ground. Our favourite runs were the black runs off the middle t-bar. We went for a few short hikes after lunch up above the beginners t-bar and were skiing fresh snow on the ‘busiest day of the year’ all afternoon, what a day!

I can understand how you may get bored if it hasn’t snow for a while at Dobson, as they resort isn’t huge, and the lifts can be pretty painful. But our opinion of Dobbo is jaded because we had a fresh snow bluebird day in one of their best snow depth seasons in years!

Tip: BYO lunch and drinks as the little cafeteria doesn’t have much on offer.

What an awful place

Guy
30/12/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    July
  • Admin Rating
    2

What an awful place

Guy
30/12/2015
With only one chair lift you would expect them to have it ready for their paying customers, however due to their errors the only chair lift didn't open. When finding out it wasn't going to open we asked for a refund, none was given and instead the rude manager pushed my girlfriend out of the way so he could close the door on her face.

The rentals are also an embarrassment, how people can charge for the equipment they rent out is amazing. It is uncomfortable and unsafe!

Definitely avoid!

You can keep Queenstown

Brooke
10/10/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    3

You can keep Queenstown

Brooke
10/10/2015
The trio of fields in the Lake Tekapo region are, at the risk of sounding cliched, hidden gems. As long as wind or a pounding of snow doesn't close the field, Dobson delivers awesome uncrowded dry snow that lasts for days.

Also eating Fairlie Bakehouse pies for lunch with a BYO beer in the sun is not far off the perfect day.

Sure the drive is hairy, but a small price to pay for a little chunk of sweet sweet paradise.

Queenstown can keep its fancy fields. Give me Dobson's one chairlift and drop toilets any day of the week!

Off the beaten path

Brendan
14/10/2012
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    4

Off the beaten path

Brendan
14/10/2012
It seems the further you get away from Queenstown the better the fields get and uncrowded doesn't even begin to describe them. Mt Dobson much like its neighbors Roundhill and Ohau, is an absolute little gem of a field if you don't mind riding a Tbar or driving up the unsealed roads that are the norm in the South Island.

The Triple Chairlift is great for relaxing on, it's slow, real slow. It is worth it though to not have to share fresh snow with hundreds of other people and to still be getting fresh lines in the afternoon. The Snow quality can be a bit hit and miss though.

Not far away in Lake Tekapo after a long day up the Mountain you can hit Tekapo Springs for an Onsen Spa and they also have an Ice Rink and Tube Park if you have any energy left and is also handy for Roundhill. The views are amazing and it is perfect for relaxing all those aches and pains from Skiing/Riding multiple days. Alternatively you can stay at Fairlie which is closer to Mt Dobson and has range of Accommodation options.

The mountain that rocks, DOBSON

Sarah
16/08/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35

The mountain that rocks, DOBSON

Sarah
16/08/2011
Pretty awesome, snow off the runs not so good but that was 2 days ago. Wind blown pockets of powder to be found, looking forward to after the storm.

Absolutely No Crowds

04/09/2010

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS.COM

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    4

Absolutely No Crowds

04/09/2010
Mt Dobson is one of a trio of hidden gems of the Mackenzie region. Like Ohau and Roundhill, the Mt Dobson ski field is fabulously uncrowded. On weekdays it’s practically deserted, so on a powder day powderhounds will get all the freshies they desire.

Mt Dobson is perfect for beginners and when the snow conditions are good, there’s plenty of off-piste fun for advanced riders. And the best thing about Mt Dobson is that it’s inexpensive.

The lift infrastructure is incredibly luxurious relative to the nutcracker ropetows of club fields, but the chair lift is very slow and riding the T-bar gets a bit tedious.

Like most other NZ ski areas the cons include: no on-mountain accommodation necessitating a drive up the mountain each day; an unpaved access road; major inconsistency with regards to the snow quality (although Mt Dobson is at slightly higher elevation relative to other NZ ski fields); and a lack of trees so there’s potential for impaired visibility and exposure to the weather.

For more detailed ratings of Mt Dobson and to see how it compares to other ski resorts around the world, see our powderhounds resort ratings.

No Queues at Mt Dobson

Maria Prince
25/08/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Admin Rating
    3

No Queues at Mt Dobson

Maria Prince
25/08/2010
Mt Dobson is a brilliant ski field in South Canterbury. It doesn't have huge crowds, the snow is really deep this year, and it has a triple chairlift, making it an ideal field for children (5 - 15 years) to tackle more advanced terrain, without having to use a t-bar or fear of getting knocked over.

I've been taking my 3 year old son up there for his first attempt at skiing. There's no stress about queuing for chair lifts or argy-bargy that you get in the busier fields. Everyone is just out there to have a great time and everyone I've met has been friendly - which is also nice.

My Favourite Mountain in NZ

Christian
13/08/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Admin Rating
    3

My Favourite Mountain in NZ

Christian
13/08/2010
We visited Dobson in the second part of our South Island trek having already boarded Coronet Peak, Treble Cone, Cardrona and Roundhill.
Dobson is basic, with a tricky road to get to it, but the snow is worth the trip provided you can handle pomas and T-bars. It had a really friendly vibe and the best snow I saw in our whole trip. In fact to quote one of the head instructors there "we have so much snow, we've banked some up on a run out the back to make some snowboard moguls, I don't know what we'll do if we get that 1m they're predicting this weekend". I'd be interested too, as they ended up with another 80cm.

Don't rule out taking the family either, though my wife is more impressed with other resorts, my daughter loved the bunny slopes and we all loved the pumpkin soup for lunch while taking in the awesome views.