1. There's more to this forum than meets the eye!

    We have a vibrant community here conversing about all sorts of non-snow topics such as music, sport, politics and technology. Simply register to reveal all our Après topics.

    NOTE: This notice may be closed.

    Dismiss Notice

Ideas for trip from Oz to Canterbury / Mackenzie smaller fields

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by GlenH, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Hello

    I would welcome any ideas for a trip from Oz to the Canterbury / Mackenzie smaller fields.

    We would be looking at a 9 day trip in mid / late August so allowing for flights and driving that would be 7 days skiing.

    We are 'high intermediate' skiers of some vintage. At home we ski Perisher and Thredbo and are at our best on groomed runs.

    In NZ we've visited all the big fields including Ruapehu, Mt Hutt and the Queenstown/Wanaka fields so would like to try the smaller commercial / club fields for a bit of variety.

    Interested in suggestions to spend say a few days each at maybe 2 or 3 fields (with some grooming) without having to move accommodation or maybe moving once mid week.

    Prefer towns where you can eat out for dinner, but could do own food if need be.

    On previous NZ trips we have rented a RAV4, but not sure whether that would be "4WD enough" for these sorts of roads?

    Thank you for any advice.
     
  2. geewhiz

    geewhiz First Runs

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Glen. I did a road trip with my family last year late August, from Wanaka to Mackenzie area and back. We did Cardrona/Ohau/Mt Dobson....I'm doing the same thing again this year last August, but going back with a mate and maybe doing a Canterbury field or two as well.
    In short, I would highly recommend Ohau (not really Mackenzie but if you're doing Mackenzie I reckon you're crazy not to go to Ohau), it's a small field but the vibe is probably the most unique I've experienced in NZ.You can stay at the Lodge, if you don't want to cook that's the best (or only) option.
    If you are doing Roundhill/Mt Dobson, Lake Tekapo and Fairlie are your two accommodation options - both have their pros and cons. Lake Tekapo has more backpacker options, Fairlie is more of a farming community, but the accommodation available is more holiday homes, with the odd motel. Fairlie is closer to Dobson, Tekapo is closer to Roundhill. Dobson is possibly the most uncrowded field I've ever been to - I almost got lonely, constantly getting the chair on my own! I think the most cars in the carpark I ever saw at Dobson was maybe 20-30 cars.

    I wouldn't stress over the car thing - I think a Rav4 is fine. Ohau road is one of the ones that gets more of a "scary" rap to it, but we did it in a Subaru Liberty and I thought as long as you took it slowly it was pretty cruisy. Mind you, snow last year was pretty high, and roads were never icy/snowy. The main reason I get a Subaru 4WD is not really for handling on ski field roads, it's that I hate putting on chains on a car and then crawling up the hill in my chains.....

    Best tip on the Mackenzie is to look out and see if Dobson do a "buddy pass" this year. Last year they did one, and that means that if you have one person pay the full rate of maybe $70 NZ a day for three days, your "buddy" gets in for $10 NZ a day....
    which makes it slightly cheaper than Perisher.........

    In short, I would do Ohau, either Roundhill or Dobson (depending on weather/snow), and then maybe a club/small commercial field of your choice behind Christchurch - Porters or maybe Cheeseman. You could do Temple Basin/Olympus/B.River etc but none of those will be groomed, if that matters.........
     
  3. Angus_McCrory

    Angus_McCrory Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Messages:
    24,022
    Likes Received:
    12,005
    Location:
    Lurking
    Hmmm...if you are at your best on the groomers at Perisher and Threadbo you may struggle a bit with club field grooming (or lack of) and rope tows/nutcrackers.
     
  4. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    21,774
    Likes Received:
    6,693
    Location:
    Perth
    geewhiz, welcome to the forum and thanks for all the info. If you only had one day would you ski Dobson or Roundhill ? and are both those access roads easier than Ohau ?
     
    #4 Summit, Mar 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  5. geewhiz

    geewhiz First Runs

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be honest I didn't ski Roundhill - the days we were around that area Dobson was closer (we stayed at Fairlie) and Dobson had greater snow cover so we went there. Dobson has the advantage of having a chair plus a tbar vs only tbars and a hell of a nutcracker(at Roundhill)! Last year when we went there Dobson had a 2m base at the carpark and about 2.5m at the top - Queenstown resorts were around 90cm (and that is debatable, I was there) at the base.
    I was with my wife and kids so the greater snow cover plus the chair, plus being closer meant Dobson was the obvious choice.
    When we drove on the road it was pretty cruisy, but there wasn't any ice or snow down low when we went last year. Without snow/ice it was actually pretty similar to the Ohau road. The main difference is you get more cows on the road to Dobson.

    It's basically a really pretty dirt road that winds through a few farms - the sign to Dobson reminds you to give way to cattle! I could imagine in icy conditions the Dobson road would be less hairy than the Ohau road. Last year they were both fine.

    All the GoPro footage of my son on the learners slope there, there is not one other person to be seen, on the entire learners area (which is huge). That is probably the main drawcard for me - give way to the cows, pay next to nothing and enjoy fairly cruisy intermediate terrain with just about nobody around.

    I will possibly get to Roundhill this year - I am going with a mate this year, not my wife and kids, so the chair vs nutcracker thing isn't as big of a deal.
    Will give you a Roundhill report possible in about 6 months!
     
  6. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    21,774
    Likes Received:
    6,693
    Location:
    Perth
    Thanks again for the info. I've had that area on the agenda since I last skied the south island about 10 years ago. I was skiing the Wanaka resorts, took a day off and rented a car for a day having a look at the Ohau area (drove up to the lodge), Twizel (don't think I'd be staying there !)and the Mt Cook area where I caught a small plane that landed on Tasman Glacier..awesome experience !

    Looking forward to skiing Treble Cone again now that the Basin area has a chair, but I keep putting it off, waiting for them to put in that gondola from the valley so you don't have to endure that access road. I believe they now have approval but not the money to do it ?

    Isn't there another area (maybe Porter Heights)near Christchurch where they're going to build a resort at the base of the lifts and expand the ski area ? Though that announcement might have been just before the earthquake.
     
    GlenH likes this.
  7. tbnext

    tbnext One of Us

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    4,538
    Likes Received:
    221
    Sorry minor hijack but in theme. I have been to nz three times, twice at mt hutt (skied porter heights both times) and once queens town. Only way I'm going back is club fields and heliski. I would actually prefer none or limited grooming, I will hike but I hate it, nutcracker tows scare me but I've never ridden one so maybe they are overhyped.

    I go stir crazy if there are no nights "out" available.
     
  8. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    80,266
    Likes Received:
    53,543
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    Yep that was my main thought after reading the OP.
     
    #8 CarveMan, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  9. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Hello and thankyou everyone for the feedback 2 years ago. Sorry for the slightly delayed reply!.

    Am still thinking about this idea.

    So, do any of the club fields have any grooming on the intermediate to advanced slopes?

    Also a few commented on the nut cracker tows. What is so difficult about them and should we avoid those fields?
    thanks again!
     
  10. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
    LOL, 2 seasons down the track. I thought you would have answered those questions yourself and reported back on your findings.

    Reading back through your requirements as others have suggested, the club fields and their lack of grooming probably aren't going to suit, so you would be looking at the smaller commercial fields.

    You could so something like this:
    - From Christchuch head to Porters Heights for a day then continue on to Fairlie.
    - Have 2-3 days at Dobson,
    - Continue on to Tekapo and from there do trips to Round Hill & Ohau
    - While in Tekapo if it is a fine day, maybe even head to Mt Cook and try the Tasman glacier by ski plane
     
    #10 Heinz, Sep 21, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2014
    Red_switch likes this.
  11. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thanks for that and yes I should have been quicker in my previous response. :)

    I now realise I've been confusing the situation by thinking that anything other than the 'big ones' that we know about on the South Island (Mt Hutt / Wanaka / Queenstown) are club fields.

    Sounds like the smaller commercial fields might be worth a look, although I guess we wouldn't want them to be too 'tame'.

    I guess elevation and reliability of snow is a key factor when planning a trip from Australia.

    We are really just looking for somewhere different.

    We've been to Mt Ruapehu the past 4 years with mixed success on weather, and now am just pondering our next move for winter 2015.

    The sort of terrain we like are runs like Mother-in-law at Guthega and Vertigo at Turoa for example.

    Cheers.
     
  12. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
  13. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Wakatipu
    FYI (being Pedantic here) Mackenzie is in canterbury...

    If you want grooming Id check out Cheeseman, Porters, Dobson, Ohau and roundhill.
    Porters will have a new chair next winter and rumor has it cheeseman will have another T-bar! Maybe Ohau will get their new chair in this summer too...
     
    Red_switch likes this.
  14. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Many thanks, you can tell I don't know the area! :)
     
  15. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thanks again, your suggestions have certainly got me thinking.

    It is a long time since we have skiied the Wanaka fields too, so we might try something like driving from Christchurch for a few days at Mt Dobson / Roundhill, then move on to Wanaka for a few days, possibly via a detour to Ohau for a day along the way.

    On that basis we'd need to get ski hire in whichever town we stayed for a few nights, i.e. either Fairlie or Tekapo (I'm thinking Tekapo?).

    Which would be the better town for ski hire?

    If we ducked into Ohau I gather we could hire there for the day.

    I realise once in Wanaka there are ample ski hire options available.

    Thanks. :)
     
  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,730
    Likes Received:
    4,808
  17. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thankyou for the link. We are planning for our adventure next year so that will be a handy page to monitor.
     
    Ziggy likes this.
  18. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Wakatipu
    Im not aware of any ski hire's in tekapo, its quiet a small town and skiing isnt its main source of income (its mostly famous for its absolutely incredible night sky!) however round hill has its own ski hire on mountain as does mt dobson and ohau. There is however a small ski high in Fairlie but im not sure of the quality of the equipment or not.

    Wanaka certainly has plenty of options for ski hire!
     
  19. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thanks for that. We are just trying to plan the best way around it.

    I gather on-mountain hire may be better stock, but as we will only have a few days in the area I wouldn't want to end up finishing at the wrong mountain (or having a closed day) prohibiting timely returns.

    Maybe Fairlie is the go. I suppose even if we stayed at Tekapo (which I presume is quite a pretty town?) we could hire from Fairlie on the way through from Christchurch and then just have to drop it back there before heading further south.

    I'm still trying to get my head around distances and where there mountain turn-offs are.
     
  20. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
    If you are skiing the whole time you could hire in Christchurch or Methven on the way through and drop off on the way back. Issue though is if you want to change anything. Otherwise just hire at each hill as you go.
     
    #20 Heinz, Sep 29, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  21. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Wakatipu
    This is a better idea, methven would have better equipment and range
     
  22. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 4, 1999
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    3,013
    Location:
    vic
    Drive you nuts hiring and returning every day of two. Plus the rate almost always improves with longer hires.
     
  23. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    OK, many thanks for these ideas.

    We had been initially thinking of a one way tour like so:

    Fly in - Christchurch - Tekapo - Wanaka - Queenstown - fly out

    Ski hire is proving a challenge though, particularly in terms of having flexibility to visit different fields within the Mackenzie area and, as I mentioned, not get caught with on-mountain hire on a closed day when we have to leave or whatever.

    Ideally would have liked to contain it to two hires, say Fairlie and Wanaka.

    I suppose we could instead fly into Queenstown both ways and drive up to Tekapo (via Wanaka to collect the hire), then finish back in Wanaka. That also makes the car hire a return instead of one way hire.

    However then we miss the part of the drive from Christchurch to Tekapo, not sure how much that matters. It would be partly in the dark anyway.

    According to Google the drive time Queenstown to Tekapo via Wanaka is about 30 minutes longer than Christchurch to Tekapo.
     
  24. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,147
    Likes Received:
    715
    Location:
    Vic surf coast
    Think I'd probably just do a return from Queenstown.
    Queenstown - Lake Tekapo 3hrs Christchurch- Lake Tekapo 2hrs45m
    Without the ski hire hassle and one way car hire fee
     
  25. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
    What about the idea of hiring in Methven? eg.
    http://www.bigals.co.nz/rentals
    http://www.alpinesports.co.nz/#rental

    So arrive Christchurch, drive to Methven, hire gear, stay overnight.
    Stay a day or two and ski Hutt, Porters or Dobson. Gives you a chance to check gear is in order.
    Ski Dobson and continue on to Tekapo.
    Ski Round Hill & Ohau
    Return to Methven, drop off gear, continue to Christchurch airport.
     
    #25 Heinz, Sep 30, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  26. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thankyou, however we rather fancied a return to Wanaka in the tour, as we haven't been since Cardrona and TC both added a new chair.

    The idea was a few days in somewhere new (Mackenzie) and a few days in our old fav Wanaka.
     
  27. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thankyou, that is probably making sense for what we are trying to achieve. :)
     
    dr80 likes this.
  28. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Well I'm hardly going to discourage you from going to Wanaka as it is my favourite place, but I was trying to keep to the context of the thread title. If you are doing it from Queenstown it is hardly a Canterbury trip any more.
    The new chair has been at TC for quite a few years, so it will be quite a bit different from when you were last there.
     
  29. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thanks Everyone. The idea is still evolving in my head, with your help! :)
     
  30. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    2,928
    Location:
    Tāmaki Makaurau - Auckland
    You won't be missing much if you skip the Christchurch to Tekapo drive (dark or otherwise). I think Tekapo is the halfway point on the inland route between Queenstown and Christchurch.
     
  31. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Hello and thankyou again for earlier feedback.

    Winter is back on the agenda so we are into serious planning for our trip which at this stage we think will be something like this:

    Day 1
    Fly Sydney to Queenstown
    Drive Queenstown to Wanaka
    pick up ski hire in Wanaka
    Drive Wanaka to Tekapo
    4 nights in Tekapo

    Day 2 / 3 / 4
    Ski Roundhill / Dobson

    Day 5
    Check out early and drive Tekapo to Ohau
    Ski Ohau for a day
    Drive Ohau to Wanaka
    4 nights in Wanaka

    Day 6 / 7 / 8
    Ski Cardrona / Treble Cone

    Day 9
    Drive Wanaka to Queebstown
    Fly Queenstown to Sydney


    I'd be interested in any feedback please.

    In particular we are unsure of things such as:

    - should we stay in Tekapo or Fairlie, which one would minimise driving distance to both Roundhill and Dobson, which one has better options for eating out?

    - whether a RAV4 would be a suitable hire car for these skifield roads?

    - whether we are at risk of difficult driving conditions if travelling in the dark from Wanaka to Tekapo (Day 1) and from Ohau to Wanaka (Day 5)?

    - where to stay in Wanaka, ideally walking distance for eating out, hot pool an advantage, doesn't need to be 5 star prices?


    geewhiz if you are still around, did you get to Roundhill last year? How was it?

    Thanks Everyone.
     
  32. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Wakatipu
    Rav4 with chains will be fine. Stay in tekapo for a greater range of accomdations and eating out options. Stay in fairlie for a cheaper but more down to earth small rural NZ town vibe.
    Tekapo is also a night sky reserve and has fantastic star gazing. there is also an observatory which is worth a visit if you are into that sort of thing. Depending on the winter there is also Snow tubing down at the Hot pools which are also worth a visit.
    Fairlie has an amazing bakery that has amazing donuts, cronuts and pies.

    If you can, for example if its bluebird and they have had good snow i wouldnt put a trip to ohau out of the picture. its quite possibly the best ski hill in NZ

    Roundhill and dobson didnt have a great year last year, but that isnt indicative of much towards this season. When it snows in the Mackenzie it really snows :)
     
    ScottGN likes this.
  33. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Day 1 looks a bit full on. Maybe better staying a night & day in Wanaka and ski Cardrona to make sure you rental gear is all ok, then head to Tekapo.

    You should also be able to day trip to Ohau from Tekapo if the others are not that great.

    Accommodation in Wanaka in a convenient location and with a pool - maybe look at the Lakeside apartlments.
     
  34. johnski

    johnski Hard Yards Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1970
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    86
    Location:
    Perth
    Would also suggest spending a night at lake oahu lodge, fantadtic spot by the lake, have always found the food great and makes it a much more relaxed day skiing oahu vs. driving too far before skiing.

    The lodge caters for a range of budgets. Best to avoid the really cheap section of the lodge which is a separate wing, as they host contiki tour stop offs a couple of days a week which makes the bar fun after skiing (particularly when they are all in toga) but wouldn't want to be staying near them.
     
    #34 johnski, Jan 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  35. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,730
    Likes Received:
    4,808
    In Tekapo there's a big Japanese restaurant overlooking the Lake that does decent food at a good price.

    For digs over there I take a twin or double room at a YHA - c. 70-80 a night - except Tekapo where I prefer Tailor Made Backpackers.

    The short route Qtn-Wanaka, via Crown R., may be closed if there's a heavy fall so be prepared for the longer way round.
     
  36. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    25,895
    Likes Received:
    11,971
    Location:
    Dunedin, NZ
    Stay in Twizel.
     
  37. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Wakatipu
    Best pub in the country right??
     
  38. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thankyou for your feedback.

    Do you suggest that because it is more central to the three Mackenzie fields?

    We had originally thought of staying in Tekapo or Fairlie to be closer to Dobson and Roundhill, then checking out Ohau for day on our drive back to Wanaka.
     
  39. Ziggy

    Ziggy A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Messages:
    9,730
    Likes Received:
    4,808
    Yeah, I'd stick with Plan A as a plan. There's not much distance between Twizel and Tekapo and more options around Tekapo. But conditions are going to vary, fields open or close acc to the weather so it wouldn't hurt to keep some flexibility in your plan. Eg. be prepared to go down to Ohau earlier if Dobson and Roundhill are crap.
     
  40. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Well we've got the plans made.

    Fly into Queenstown, drive via Wanaka (pick up ski hire) to Lake Tekapo for 3 nights (one day for each field, fingers crossed for good weather), then back to Wanaka for 4 nights.

    Now for the most important question.

    How do you pronounce Tekapo with an Australian accent?

    Are they all short vowels?

    I don't want to make a fool of myself on the first day.

    (After all, we got really good at pronouncing Whakapapa after 4 years staying at Ohakune).

    Thanks. :)
     
  41. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    26,536
    Likes Received:
    10,694
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Never considered that there were different ways of pronouncing Tekapo.
    You will be fine pronouncing it as you suggested as short vowels - Te-ka-po.
    Much like the correct pronunciation of Ni-se-ko (not Ni-say-ko) and Ha-ku-ba (not Ha-koo-ba).
     
  42. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us Ski Pass: Gold Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,869
    Likes Received:
    2,928
    Location:
    Tāmaki Makaurau - Auckland
    Stay in Tekapo. Do not stay in Twizel. Ignore Red_switch. He has an unnatural fondness for the place.
     
  43. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thanks again to everybody for their input.

    Last year (2015) we had a fabulous time discovering Roundhill, Mt Dobson and Ohau, then reconnecting with Cardrona and Treble Cone, as described in my report here:

    https://www.ski.com.au/xf/threads/our-2015-trip-to-the-mackenzie-country.72794/

    This year (2016) we’ve just returned from an extended version of the same trip, which I must write up soon.

    Now it’s on to planning next year. We particularly enjoyed the small field vibe at Roundhill, Mt Dobson and Ohau and thoroughly enjoyed our stays at Tekapo and Lake Ohau Lodge.

    This got us back to thinking about whether we can find an equivalent couple of small fields in the Canterbury region to try out.

    We are high intermediates, like groomed runs and would rather avoid nutcrackers.

    Would I be right in thinking that our best bets in Canterbury would therefore be Porters and Mt Cheeseman?

    Is Springfield the logical place to stay to access both of these fields, or any other fields you suggest, and what is Springfield like for accommodation and dining out?

    How do Porters and Mt Cheeseman compare to Roundhill, Mt Dobson and Ohau ?

    Thanks again for any advice.
     
    whether likes this.
  44. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 12, 2000
    Messages:
    80,266
    Likes Received:
    53,543
    Location:
    Les Hautes Montagnes
    Aside from Mt Hutt they're your only bets if you're not keen on the nutcrackers & want grooming.

    I had a great Canterbury ski trip renting a house in Castle Hill Village.

    There's not really anything there, but we were happy to cook a big dinner and have a few drinks and collapse at night.
     
  45. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,253
    Likes Received:
    5,131
    Location:
    Jindi
    Stay at Smylies in Springfield, Colin is a great character with heaps of local info and Keko his wife is a brilliant cook, well worth paying for breaky and dinner. Easy drive up to Porters etc as well as Hutt
     
  46. smackies

    smackies A Local Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Messages:
    7,905
    Likes Received:
    2,063
    Castle Hill Village is great.... could do with a pub though.
     
  47. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Hello and thanks Everyone for the helpful feedback.

    I’ve been monitoring the snow reports for Porters and Mt Cheeseman since I posted last month and noticed that just the other day Mt Cheeseman closed suddenly for the season due to snow loss from heavy rain, however Porters continues to kick on.

    Is it normal for Mt Cheeseman to close much earlier than Porters?

    Is there a particular difference between them that causes that?

    Thanks again.
     
  48. Myazma

    Myazma One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Messages:
    3,253
    Likes Received:
    5,131
    Location:
    Jindi
    Snowmaking + valleys that hold snow at Porters, Cheeseman = ridgelines
     
  49. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Location:
    Wakatipu
    Cheeseman usually has a very short season. Some places have only really had one decent snow fall so its no wonder a rain event will kill them. Shame as they had alright snow when i went through the other weekend, temple basin had alright snow too!
     
  50. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    645
    Thankyou everyone for all of the advice, I'll post my belated report shortly.
     
    Froff Life likes this.