Mt Lyford Ski Area

Mt Lyford Ski Field NZ
Completely uncrowded
Mount Lyford New Zealand
Mt Lyford ski area day lodge
The ski field has basic but adequate facilities
A powder hound!
Plenty of opportunity to get freshies
The easy to ride T-bar
Lots of wide open slopes
Note the number of cars in the car park!
You won't have to fight any crowds to get fresh tracks
Mt Lyford ski field
Amazing views from the top
Mount Lyford ski area
Mt Lyford is 2 hours north of Christchurch
An adventure playground
Mt Lyford New Zealand
Mount Lyford has some groomed runs
The drive up is half the adventure!
Big mountain skiing at Mt Lyford

Mt Lyford Ski Area

Readers Ratings

Mt Lyford

Mt Lyford3/55
Mt Lyford3 out of 5 based on 5 reviews
  • Recommend
    80%
  • Would Revisit
    60%

Mt Lyford NZ

Mt Lyford Ski Field is the sleeper of New Zealand skiing. Mt Lyford NZ is a great ski hill that has flown under the radar for too long, but now that you’ve read this, I guess the secret is out! One of the first lifted ski areas in Kiwiland, and still family owned and operated, it remains undiscovered for most snow riders. Relatively few skiers and boarders appreciate that the mountain has some awesome terrain. The highest point, Mt Terako, has the best views of any lifted ski area in NZ and crowds simply do not exist.

The Mount Lyford Ski Field location means storms deliver powder here when no other ski hills get it. When a south easterly storm hits, checking out Mt Lyford will pay dividends!

Pros and Cons of Mount Lyford

Pros
  • The slopes are generally deserted, save for a few school kids.
  • It provides a big mountain feel.
  • Some of the runs are groomed, which is not something you take for granted when it comes to small NZ ski fields.
  • Mt Lyford Ski Field has a delightfully laid back vibe, reminiscent of many of the NZ club fields (even though it’s not a club field).
  • Mt Lyford Ski Field offers some of the best views of any ski hill in New Zealand.
  • It offers affordable skiing and snowboarding, food and accommodation.
Cons
  • There is not a huge amount of piste terrain.
  • Like a lot of other NZ ski fields: simple lift infrastructure; an unpaved narrow road; bad weather can shut it down; and poor visibility can make skiing or snowboarding impossible.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • In the right conditions, the snow can be awesome, but of course this is New Zealand so when it comes to snow, anything could be served up.
  • It has a nutcracker ropetow, but it’s reasonably easy to get on because it starts downhill.

Mount Lyford Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Great beginner terrain, a range of intermediate slopes, grooming, a number of terrain park features plus hike-to terrain, mean everyone’s a winner at Mt Lyford.

Mount Lyford Ski Field isn’t huge, with about 15 piste (plus plenty of off-piste) and 5 lifts made up of one T-bar, 2 platter lifts, a learners’ tow, and an advanced nutcracker rope tow that has 2 parts to it.

Skiing the main face of Mt Terako has the big mountain feel of the USA or Europe, coupled with the ocean views of Rusutsu in Japan (minus the trees!).

See the Mt Lyford ski resort terrain for more information.

Where is Mt Lyford Ski Field?

Mt Lyford is in the northern half of the South Island of New Zealand. It is 146km, approximately 2 hours drive north from Christchurch, and 1 hour (60km) south of the interesting coastal town of Kaikoura.

For the uninitiated, the drive up to the Mt Lyford Ski Field may feel challenging, but there are shuttles each morning from below the snowline if you prefer not to drive.

Mt Lyford Accommodation

‘Tis a shame there is no ski-in ski-out accommodation on the hill at Mt Lyford, because it’s a beautiful location. Just down the road, are some funky eco-friendly cabins.

The excellent Mt Lyford Lodge and a few self-contained log homes for rent in Lyford ‘Village’ provide very adequate digs at the base of the mountain. See the Mt Lyford accommodation page for more information.

Mt Lyford Accommodation Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

Facilities on the mountain are basic but do the job. Propped beautifully in the sun looking up at the Mt Terako face, the single building houses a simple cafe, toilets, ski, snowboard and tube rental shop, ticket office and ski school, and a couple of dogs.
Tours that may include Mt Lyford
No listings were found for Mt Lyford.
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