5-Day Snow Explorer

Escape the crowds of Queenstown and get a taste of New Zealand’s best club fields on this five-day snow tour of the South Island.

The Snow Explorer really is off-piste heaven – leave the beaten track behind and sample four epic mountains considered by locals as NZ’s best-kept-secrets: Porters, Broken River, Mt Olympus/Temple Basin and Craigieburn.

Whilst these names may not ring a bell now, we guarantee by the end of your trip they will be the only thing you’ll want to talk about.

Starting and ending in Christchurch, this tour best suits intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders as you’ll be using nutcrackers and rope tows to climb the slopes at most locations. But don’t let this put you off – our expert guides are on hand to help, and most people adjust to using these tools after just a couple of runs.

per adult from




5 days


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  • What's included :
    • 5x Breakfast
    • 2x Dinner
    • Accommodation included: 5 nights
    • Orientation Tour of Every Mountain - We give you the low-down on every location
    • All Transport and Mountain Transfers - Taking you to our favourite snow locations
    • High End Hostel Accommodation, dorm share - upgrades available
    • Small Groups of max. 8 people - because you are more than just a number
    • 5 Lift Passes to 4 Different Mountains
    • Tow Protection Gloves
    What's excluded :
    • Lessons and equipment hire - you can add this to your tour
    • Equipment hire - you can add this to your tour online
    • Extra activities such as heli-skiing
    • All meals are at own expenses - unless specified

  • Day 1: Christchurch to Springfield

    Stop At: Porters Ski Area, State Highway 73 Porters Pass, Springfield 7681 New Zealand
    We depart Christchurch at 6am and pick up our hire gear (for those that need it) en-route to Porters, best known for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

    Porter’s lifts run up two distinct valleys: Big Mama (which towers above the right of the base area) and Bluff Face (which towers above the left).

    At 620m, Big Mama boasts one of the largest vertical drops in one lift-accessed run in New Zealand. Easy back country riding is available from the top of the T3T-Bar.

    For the next two nights we stay at Springfield Lodge, a snow sports enthusiast’s haven, complete with unrivalled views and an outdoor spa pool to enjoy after a big day on the slopes.

    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Springfield Motels

    Day 2: Springfield

    Stop At: Broken River Ski Area, Off State Highway 73 Craigieburn Forest Park, 7580 New Zealand
    Get ready for a true adventure at Broken River. This ski field was born in the early 1950s when the founding members were only 20 and 28 years old. Now well-established, this ski field is a testament to their years of effort and dedication.

    You'll earn your turns at Broken River! After a 15 to 20-minute hike to the first rope tow, learn the techniques you'll need to get started on these slopes.

    The terrain here consists of a large open basin serviced by five electrically driven, high capacity rope tows. This mountain has the perfect platform to learn to ride nut crackers, making it a great spot for our second day of riding.

    Don’t worry if you have not ridden tows before – our Tour Manager will help you with your technique and most people take a few times to get it right; it’s all part of the experience! Tow protection gloves are provided.

    The highest point is 1820 metres and the total vertical is 420 metres, with lots of off-piste terrain available. A short trek offers access to the back basins, Craigieburn Valley and some incredible terrain.

    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Overnight at Springfield Motel

    Day 3: Springfield to Craigieburn

    Stop At: Mt. Olympus, New Zealand
    Today, depending on weather conditions, we’ll head to either Mt Olympus or Temple Basin.

    Mt Olympus ski area is also known as ‘the playground of the gods’. The area is a south-facing basin set high in the Craigieburn Range – perfect for trapping powder dumps. 450m of vertical drops over 60 hectares of varied terrain provide skiing and riding from beginner to extreme.

    From the top of the Main Tow and the Top Tow there are plenty of choices with terrain to suit intermediates or the most advanced skiers. A little walking from the Top Tow opens up even more terrain in this wide, open bowl. With the relatively low skier numbers and the choice of terrain, it can take up to a week to get tracks on some slopes!

    Duration: 12 hours

    Stop At: Temple Basin Ski Area, State Highway 73, Arthur's Pass National Park 8041 New Zealand
    Temple Basin, the club, was founded in 1929 and still has that pioneering feel and represents a true alpine environment at the heart of Arthur’s Pass National Park. We leave those who prefer groomed slopes, a chairlift and lattes at home.

    Renowned for its steep and big mountain terrain, you have the choice of three tows: Cassidy (sunny smooth runs), Temple (faster and steeper) and Downhill (ridgeline and advanced terrain).

    We can also check out the awesome chutes at Bills Basin and the popular back country area of Mingha Valley.

    And when you come off the hill at the end of a big day, we will grab a well-earned drink and dinner (included) at the ultra-cosy Craigieburn Lodge which is also our accommodation for the next two nights.

    Duration: 12 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at the ultra-cosy Craigieburn Lodge

    Day 4: Craigieburn

    Stop At: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, Off State Highway 73 Craigieburn Forest Park, 7580 New Zealand
    For big mountain skiing, Craigieburn has a well-deserved cult following among Kiwis.

    Steep and deep, with wide open powder bowls and lofty narrow chutes accessed by three high-capacity rope tows servicing a vertical rise of 503m, Craigieburn leaves little to be desired.

    Terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging, with the infamous 600m vertical descent of Middle Basin (which is often compared to a heli-skiing experience) accessible by a short traverse from the tow. Craigieburn Valley offers something for everyone – except beginners.

    Your dinner tonight at the Craigieburn Lodge is also included.

    Duration: 1 day

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight at the ultra-cosy Craigieburn Lodge

    Day 5: Craigieburn to Christchurch

    Stop At: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, Off State Highway 73 Craigieburn Forest Park, 7580 New Zealand
    One last snow day mastering the slopes of Craigieburn before blazing a trail back to Christchurch where your tour ends at around 8pm.

    You’re more than welcome to book an additional night of accommodation with us in Christchurch.

    Duration: 12 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    Accommodation included: Extend your stay with an extra post tour night
  • Departure Point :
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Departure Time :
    6:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travelers should have a strong physical fitness level
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 travelers
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by Haka Tours

Activity ID: V-108513P26

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