Roundhill

Roundhill

Overall Rating

Roundhill

Roundhill3.5/56
Roundhill3.5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Roundhill - Reviews

Roundhill - Reviews

Revisiting Heritage

31/05/2020

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    July
  • Admin Rating
    4

Revisiting Heritage

31/05/2020
I've had some great days at Round Hill, with my Timaru friends. But it has been a few years since I have managed to ski the Heritage rope tow. That's because it is a bit rare for the stars to align for this face, which can stay too thin for an entire season.

We were on our way to ski Ohau from Wanaka in July 2019, when our friends texted us: "Heritage open!" The first day for the season. And the first for the last season too! There was a fair crowd, by Round Hill Standards. Beautiful bluebird day and good snow. The queue was quite long and of course the tow is not fast. The wait was 20 to 30 minutes initially, but by late morning the numbers thin out. This is a tiring ride, even if you use rope tows frequently.

This should be on powderhounds' hit list. It's a lovely spot, in a country of lovely spots. This face might arguably be the best skiing in New Zealand, on the occasions when it is open. I hope I get another text soon.

Fun, but missed the rope tow

Tom
27/09/2017
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    September
  • Admin Rating
    5

Fun, but missed the rope tow

Tom
27/09/2017
Our group was staying in in the beautiful town of Tekapo and drove the short and pretty cruisy dirt round around the lake to Roundhill on a Friday. The drive takes about 30 mins and is super easy compared with some of the other club field roads. When we arrived in the car park we saw there were only 20 or so cars, and that there had been about 10-15cms of new snow overnight. Unfortunately there was some low cloud hanging about and visibility was poor. This meant that the huge Heritage Express rope tow was closed when we bought our lift tickets at 9am, but that if the weather cleared they would hopefully open it later in the day.

Well, the weather did clear at lunch time, providing some amazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains. However that did NOT open the rope tow. It was very frustrating gazing up at the huge untouched mountain face and vertical the rope tow accesses, but not being able to get up there. Not sure what resort management were doing on that one.

Without the big rope tow Roundhill is quite a small resort. Luckily the fresh snow kept us busy for most of the day, and there weren’t many people venturing off piste, but I wouldn’t revisit Roundhill unless I was sure the rope tow would operate. The runs the other T-bars access are great for beginners and intermediates, but advanced skiers will get bored quickly.

The vibe of Roundhill was really fun and friendly. Because the rope tow was closed one of our group took the opportunity to change from boarding to skiing and had a lesson, which he says was great. Props to the instructors.

Overall, Roundhill is a must visit if you’re a beginner or intermediate as it has long blue and green cruisers with amazing views of the lake and mountains (just make sure you can ride T-bars as there are no lifts). Advanced skiers would want to make sure the rope tow is running though, as if its shut you’re essentially paying $80 for 2 T-bars and a small ski area.

Roundhill

Peter Curtis
13/07/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70

Roundhill

Peter Curtis
13/07/2015
Relaxed casual skiing for the whole family.

Hit "the Wall"

13/08/2013

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    N/A
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Admin Rating
    4

Hit "the Wall"

13/08/2013
I revisited Round Hill in July, 2013 with my son. What a discovery! This was the first field I ever skied at, growing up in Timaru, back in the 1970s. As a kid I don't remember even registering the huge face looming over the skifield. These days though, it is the first thing that catches your eye.

Round Hill was closed in the 80s and I was interested to see it had re-opened a few years ago, with new lifts, but still thought of it as a basic, small field, good for beginners and families. I didn't know about the new rope tow however, which opens up the huge face of the Richmond Ridge. From the top the rest of the ski field looks like a lego village. The 780m drop is the longest in NZ and I think the pitch is just about perfect.

We visited in the first week of the New Zealand school holidays and to be honest I was just trying to avoid the crowds on the bigger fields. The skiing on "the Wall" that first day was sublime however. Perfect snow and about 5 other people skiing it. The rest of the field was busy, but only by Round Hill standards. My son was very happy practicising his snow boarding on the main field and I felt perfectly happy leaving him to snowboard on his own, while I did runs on the rope tow. The lower field is a great, safe place for kids to ski and board (as long as they can use a T-bar). I could do runs off the rope tow, into the base area and find him almost immediately to do a couple of runs on the groomers.

We ended up skiing five consecutive days at Round Hill! We met a lot of New Zealand families who were basing themselves in Tekapo for the school holidays rather than Wanaka or Queenstown. Accommodation is cheaper and there is a great ice skating rink and hot pool complex. We had four great days at Treble Cone as well and skied at Ohau and Mt Dobson, but Round Hill was a real highlight for us.

We were lucky with our snow conditions. “The Wall” has rocks and scree that show through if there is not enough snow (a la the adjacent Mt Dobson) and the field does not always get favourable snow. The last 3 days we skied were unseasonably warm (the story of the 2013 ski season in NZ by the look of things) and there was a spring freeze/melt cycle going on, which meant that the afternoon was the best time to hit the field. The same thing applied to most other NZ skifields however.

New Zealand powder hounds are cool with rope tows and nutcrackers. The rope tow at Round Hill is supposed to be the longest in the world and it is pretty steep. It is also probably the newest rope tow in the world though. It is perfectly straight and has a tensioning system, which makes it pretty easy to ride, by rope tow standards. The rental harnesses at Round Hill are pretty good too.

This is definitely a field for powder hounds to check out. It might not be somewhere to base a whole ski holiday around, but it is certainly worth a few days of a South Island ski schedule. Check the “Heritage rope tow” is running first and that the snow is good. You can stay in Tekapo, but you could also easily stay in Fairlie or Twizel. Twizel has some great accommodation deals and from there you could ski Ohau as well and even include a day’s heli at Mt Cook….

Lake Tekapo's Round Hill Ski Field

Stephen Hunter
18/10/2011
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Admin Rating
    3

Lake Tekapo's Round Hill Ski Field

Stephen Hunter
18/10/2011
Round Hill has always been a "feel good" ski area. It's safe, friendly and sunny, and the hill always sends you home with a smile on your face. The perfect family field, with an easy access road and fantastic views. The trails are well prepared and the facilities good.

Now with the addition of the Heritage Express up to the top of the Richmond Range, the area has taken on a whole new dimension. This is a big lift, with seriously big and steep vertical. I've skied some big ones, notably the Cassons Grad in Flims, Switzerland but this slope at Round Hill is bigger. It's wide, long, and steep, from top to bottom. A challenge and a thrill for any good skier.

Who's Your Daddy?

14/09/2010

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
  • Month Visited:
    August
  • Admin Rating
    4

Who's Your Daddy?

14/09/2010
Roundhill ski field has been revolutionised since the installation of the new mega ropetow. Roundhill was only ideal for beginners and young families, but now Roundhill also has something on offer for advanced skiers and boarders. The size and pitch of the slope that is accessed via the new ropetow is impressive, and is probably enough to entertain advanced riders for a few days (pending snow conditions).

The distinct lack of skier traffic at Roundhill can be incredibly beneficial to powderhounds, with fresh lines likely to last for days. We visited Roundhill 10 days after a snowfall and there was still an abundance of freshies. Sure it wasn’t powder, but fresh creamy lines still make a powder hound’s tail wag a lot!

Other pros of Roundhill: cheap and cheerful; good for families; the car park is next to the novice slope; and spectacular views. The easy drive to the ski field is also a major plus.

Cons: small ski area for beginners and intermediates; snow conditions can be highly variable; and low snowfall.

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