Mt Cheeseman Ski Area
Mt Cheeseman Ski Field NZ
Mt Cheeseman Backcountry
Easily Accessible Backcountry
Access Road to Mount Cheeseman
Typical NZ Ski Field Access Road
Mt Cheeseman is Very Good for Beginners
Modern Day Lodge and Ski-in Ski-out Accommodation
Family Friendly Mt Cheeseman
Groomed Trails for Beginners and Intermediates
Mount Cheeseman Ski Terrain
Alpine Off-Piste Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Modern Day Lodge
Cafe Sells Homemade Food & Coffee
Mount Cheeseman NZ
Great Views from the Day Lodge
Mt Cheeseman Ski Hire
Mt Cheeseman Accommodation
Tarn Basin
Mt Cheeseman Skiing

Mt Cheeseman Ski Area

Readers Ratings

Mt Cheeseman

Mt Cheeseman3.5/52
Mt Cheeseman3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit

Mt Cheeseman Ski Field

Mount Cheeseman New Zealand is a ski field in the Canterbury region that is renowned for providing a great family friendly experience that’s very affordable. Mt Cheeseman is a New Zealand club field. It’s open to the public, but unlike the other Canterbury club fields, the Cheeseman lifts are T-bars instead of nutcracker ropetows. Nutcrackers are a bit scary for the uninitiated. They’re not all they’re cracked up to be and often don’t provide a cracking good time! So the T-bars at Mount Cheeseman are a great relief for many, and it provides an easier introduction to the New Zealand club field experience.

Mount Cheeseman Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Mt Cheeseman is a little ski field with only two T-bar lifts, a learners’ tow, and 320 metres of vertical drop. The ski field sits within an alpine basin with terrain that varies from mellow to steep, and there are generally also some park features such as jumps. The official terrain stats are 15% beginner, 50% intermediate, and 35% advanced.

The learners’ tow and small novice area are conveniently located right out the front of the day lodge, whilst the Main T-bar services a handful of groomed runs for beginners and intermediates.

Mount Cheeseman has a reputation for being a tame ski area for families and beginners. This is absolutely true, but Cheeseman also has a dark side and this is highly advantageous to powderhounds in the know. Hard core riders flock to nearby Craigieburn as well as Broken River and Mt Olympus. Meanwhile Cheeseman remains pretty much devoid of other powder hounds to steal your freshies!

The Ridge T-bar (top lift) provides access to a variety of adventurous off-piste runs for advanced riders, some which require a hike to get to the goods. And with just a little more effort, those equipped for the backcountry can drop over into Tarn Basin where there are generally fresh lines galore. 

Where is Mt. Cheeseman?

Mt Cheeseman is the second closest ski field to Christchurch; located 90 minutes drive (99km) west of Christchurch on the South Island of New Zealand. Cheeseman is situated in the Craigieburn Range with Porters ski field to the south, Broken River to the north, and Mt Olympus is not far away as the kea flies. Mt Cheeseman is 91km (one hour drive) from Methven via the Lake Lyndon Road (ie go out past Terrace Downs and turn right at Lake Lyndon Road and then left onto SH73).

The 12km access road comes off SH73 approximately 2km past the Castle Hill village. Like many other NZ ski fields, the access road is really gnarly (the Mt Cheeseman staff call it scenic!). Chains must be carried and a 4WD vehicle is highly recommended, and don’t even dream of taking your camper van up there.

Conveniently there’s an unloading area right next to the base facilities, and the car park is not far below the unloading area.

If you don’t have your own wheels, Black Diamond Safaris can provide transport to Mt Cheeseman.

Mt Cheeseman Accommodation

Snowline Lodge provides on-mountain ski-in ski-out accommodation, a bit of a rarity for a New Zealand ski field. As to be expected for a club field, the accommodation is somewhat simple and consists of 13 bunkrooms that sleep four to six people. The resident cook provides meals, and guests are expected to pitch in with various chores. Guests have to provide their own sleeping bag, pillow-case and towel, or linen hire is available.

Forest Lodge is located in amongst the beech forest half way along the access road. The bunkroom accommodation is ideal for backpackers with self-catering facilities and generator power, and nearby is an outdoor skating rink!

The other option is to stay in Castle Hill Village, which is a couple of kilometres from the base of the access road. Castle Hill accommodation includes houses, lodges, and a bed and breakfast. Alternatively stay in Methven accommodation, a one hour drive away.

Ski Field Facilities

The modern day lodge overlooks the learners’ area and affords amazing views across the rest of the ski field and across the valley, from either the indoor seating or the outdoor deck. The licensed Cockayne Café serves up homemade food, snacks, coffee and other beverages.

Other ski resort facilities include ski and snowboard hire, and inexpensive ski and snowboard lessons from Swiss instructors. Mt Cheeseman offers very inexpensive beginner packages that include equipment rental, lift ticket and lesson.

More Reasons to Ski or Snowboard at Mount Cheeseman

Cheeseman offers the cheap prices, the lack of crowds and the relaxed skiwi atmosphere that’s typical of a New Zealand club ski field, but it’s got some features that make it stand apart from other clubbies. It’s ideal for beginners and intermediates, and there are groomed runs as well as some terrain park features. Cheeseman is much more family oriented than other club fields, and the ski-in ski-out accommodation is a bonus for families or others who want simple lodging and the convenience of staying right on the mountain. 
Tours That May Include Mt Cheeseman

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.
AUD 1,483
View Details
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.
AUD 306
View Details
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Mt Cheeseman 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.
AUD 5,561
View Details
See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Mt Cheeseman here