If you are an adventurous snow lover, you won’t want to miss this winter season in the South Island. Take the opportunity to explore some of the unique sites and attractions of the Selwyn and West Coast regions.
Transform your skiing holiday into a longer road trip through the magical heart of the South Island and discover unique, uncrowded slopes, geological wonders and epic adventures amidst breathtaking scenery. From the sea to the slopes to the wilderness of the west coast, it will be the experience of a lifetime.
SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING IN SELWYN
With world-class off-piste skiing, uncrowded trails and impressive terrain, the Selwyn area is the perfect place for snow lovers to spend a winter vacation. It is home to six of New Zealand’s most unique ski areas, with slopes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
Craigieburn: Just over 90 minutes drive from Christchurch, the thrilling and challenging slopes of Craigieburn are suitable for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Broken River: A hidden gem consisting of two main bowls with wide, open, rolling slopes and steep drops for intermediate skiers / boarders and adventurous experts.
Carriers: Just 90 minutes from Christchurch, Porters is a great place for families. The specially designed snow park offers features for everyone from beginners to seasoned riders.
Mount Cheeseman: The closest club ground to Christchurch, and offers a cozy day lodge, licensed cafe, on-site ski and board instructors, full rental facilities and an ice rink at the base of the mountain. Kids 10 and under ski for free, making this a great family option.
Mount Olympus: This intermediate to advanced snowfield has a learning zone, but if you’re new to skiing you’ll need to have an adventurous heart to navigate the slopes! The Top Hut offers ski-in ski-out accommodation, a fully equipped bar and the famous Mt O hot tub.
Temple Basin: This ski area near Arthur’s Pass is perhaps the most unique. It is perfect for those who love the backcountry and immerse themselves in the solitude in the mountains. There is a ski-in lodge, night skiing and cable access to the peaks of the main divide.
THE GRANDE ROUTE DES ALPINES
- Come for the snow; stay for the amazing sites you will find nearby. The Great Alpine Highway from Christchurch to the West Coast is a breathtaking road trip that will turn your skiing holiday into a winter adventure in its own right.
- Pit stops along the way let you experience the hospitality, cuisine and scenery of Selwyn. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Stop at one of Selwyn’s best-known wineries – Melton Estate in West Melton
- Taste a famous Sheffield pie or snap a photo at Springfield Donut;
- Admire the rock formations of Kura Tāwhiti / Castle Hill, with the Torlesse and Craigieburn ranges providing a spectacular backdrop,
- Ride New Zealand’s only airboat and experience the beautiful Waimakariri River, one of New Zealand’s longest braided rivers – Alpine Air Boats in Springfield
- Walk to the Devils Punchbowl waterfall and you might come across a cheeky Kea – Arthur’s Pass.
ACCOMMODATION ALONG THE ROUTE
Stop your journey along the Great Alpine Highway by staying at one of these country lodges and resorts:
Lodge Grasmere: A high country retreat set amid imposing 7,000 foot peaks.
Nature Lodge: nature discovery & sheep farming in the heart of the Alps.
Flock Hill Station: A perfect alpine getaway to a remote sheep station in the highlands
Bealey Hotel: Stay among the high Alpine countries in all its wild and unspoiled splendor.
THE WILD WEST COAST
A whole new world awaits when you travel to the West Coast, with a plethora of activities for the adventurous traveler.
Heli-hike: Experience an exhilarating helicopter ride over breathtaking scenery, then approach spectacular west coast glacial landscapes on foot at the incredible new glacier landing site.
Hokitika Gorge: Walk through rimu and podocarp forest to the otherworldly turquoise waters of this spectacular gorge.
Kayak: Admire the flat, calm waters of the lake in winter with perfect reflections of the snow-capped Southern Alps.
Looking forward: Located in the heart of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area and surrounded by national parks, Haast is perfect for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, tramping, and jet boating.
Nature trail: Enjoy riding alongside beautiful plains, rugged coastlines, rushing rivers, ancient forests, and tidal lagoons.
In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.TAUTAHI CHRISTCHURCH: YOUR BASE CAMP
Christchurch is the perfect starting or ending point for your winter road trip to Selwyn and the West Coast, with plenty of attractions and activities for all types of travelers. From museums and shops, to scenic hiking trails and a plethora of dining options, you can prepare or relax after your winter road trip to this thriving city.
For more inspiration on planning your winter adventure in Selwyn and the West Coast, visit www.explorechc.com.