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
  • Would Revisit
Ultimate Heliski Tour New Zealand
Wagner Custome Skis

Mt Lyford NZ

Mt Lyford is the sleeper of New Zealand skiing. One of the first lifted ski areas in Kiwiland, and still family owned and operated, it flies under the radar of 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.

Its 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!

Where is Mt Lyford Ski Field?

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

Depending on conditions, the drive up to the mountain can be best described as ‘adventurous’ for a 2WD. Some have alternatively described the drive up as ‘sphincter puckering’!

Mount Lyford Ski and Snowboard Terrain

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!).

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.

Mt Lyford Accommodation

‘Tis a shame there is no accommodation on the hill at Mt Lyford, because it’s a beautiful location.

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


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 cafe, toilets, day lodge, ski/board/tube rental shop, ticket office and ski school.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Mt Lyford?

An adventurous drive up, deserted slopes, big mountain feel, laid back attitude, some of the best views of any ski hill in New Zealand and in right conditions – awesome snow, Mt Lyford is a great ski hill that has flown under the radar for too long. The secret is out..........
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