The Ski Resort
A club skifield in South Island, New Zealand, Broken River is run by the Broken River Ski Club. Located about 110km west of Christchuch, the skifield claims to have the longest ski season in Oceania. Connected to the Craigieburn Valley, Broken River also claims to be home to the largest skiable area in NZ. Maintained by Broken River Ski Club members, the ski resort with a vertical drop of 500m and a skiable terrain of 175 hectares is open to the public, which means that you do not have to be a member in order to be allowed to ski here.
Lodges and Accommodation
Five rope tows serve two large bowls; two other tows are to be found on the slopes near Palmer Lodge - Palmer Lodge is known as the central hub of the ski resort; boasting delicious hot food, snacks, hot and cold beverages as well as ski gloves and other things, its kitchen and dining facilities, a giant sun deck and BBQ are there for everyone to enjoy. Another thing to enjoy is night skiing: Speeding down through dry powder under the night sky really is addictive. You are too tired to ski under the stars? Three cosy on-mountain lodges are nestled just a 10 min walk from the first rope tow.
Best Suited for Experts
Referring to itself as a hidden gem, Broken River (or, as the locals call it, BR) boasts NZ's best off-piste skiing and snowboarding, making it an outstanding place for advanced and expert skiers and riders to enjoy themselves. Offering terrain for all levels of skiers and boarders, slope-side accommodation, uncrowded runs, basins, and chutes, BR 'is home' to a truly friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Known for its powder snow, you may be able to carve up fresh tracks even three days after the last snow fall.
Featuring two main open bowls with wide slopes that suit both intermediate and expert riders, BR is a great go-to for beginners who are into having the time of their lives - as long as they are on the adventurous side of skiers and riders, with the breakdown being 5%/50%/45% for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiing. The main ridge boasts a spectacular 360° view, which is quite unbeatable. Moreover, there are numerous hiking and ski-touring opportunities from BR, outside the patrolled area.
- The vertical drop from summit to base is 1663 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in New Zealand is 1545 ft. The ski resort takes you to an elevation of 5971 ft.
- Snow coverage is usually best during August, offering an average snow depth of 18 " at summit elevation and 56 " at the base.
- Broken River features 23 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in New Zealand is 19 sunny days. August is the sunniest month with an average of 11 sunny days.
Infrastructure & Rental
Number of Ski Rental
Only 90min and appr. 100km west of Christchurch, Broken River is located in the Craigieburn Range in the heart of New Zealand's Southern Alps. The ski resort is accessible by car - but please keep in mind to carry chains for your vehicle. Traveling from Christchurch, drive west on Highway 73 to Castle Hill Village. The sign-posted access road, Broken River Road, is appr. 7.5km beyond Castle Hill Village, about 6km long, and takes you up the mountain to the main car park.