Club Ski Fields

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Club Ski Fields

In addition to the high profile commercial New Zealand ski resorts, NZ has many ‘club ski fields’ which are open to the public even though they are owned and operated by a ski club. Whilst the majority of these NZ ski club fields are quite small, they all offer unique experiences with interesting configurations of lifts and terrain. The club fields are a great way to get away from the crowds and find your own little powder stash.

Pros and Cons of NZ Ski Club Fields

Pros

  • on-snow accommodation, some of which is ski-in ski-out
  • uncrowded slopes and no lift queues - the likelihood of fresh tracks on a powder day (or the next day) is much higher than at the commercial resorts
  • cheaper lift tickets
  • quintessential skiwi culture

Cons

  • basic facilities such as limited lift infrastructure and having to negotiate surface tows such as nutcracker ropetows
  • no frills accommodation
  • primitive access roads

Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective

  • many of the NZ club fields require a degree of hiking to make the most of the terrain (and some require a lot of hiking to even get to the first ropetow).

New Zealand Club Field Terrain

The terrain is varied but commonly the ski fields are suited to intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders. A couple of the club fields have small groomers for beginners (e.g. Mt Cheeseman), but most of the areas are ungroomed. Most club fields also have a degree of back-country skiing accessed with short hikes.

For a comparison of the club fields in regards to size, mix of terrain, elevation, ski vertical and cost, see our NZ ski statistics comparison document.

Accommodation

The accommodation is generally pretty basic but very cheap. The accommodation may be shared, and you are likely to have to complete some chores. Food is generally included and some have licensed bars whilst others are BYO. The major bonus of club field accommodation is that much of it is ski-in ski-out. Yippee!

North Island Club Fields

There are two club fields on the North Island which are Tukino on Mount Ruapehu, and Manganui on Mount Egmont.

South Island NZ Club Fields

There are many more club ski fields on the South Island of New Zealand. The Craigieburn Range has four club fields; Craigieburn Valley, Mt Cheeseman, Broken River and Mount Olympus.

Temple Basin Ski Area is a 2 hour drive from Christchurch near Arthur’s Pass.

Hanmer Springs is near the Hanmer Springs thermal resort in North Canterbury.

Fox Peak is in South Canterbury, 2.5 hours drive south west of Christchurch.