As the temperatures plummet and early snow begins to fall, New Zealand’s Canterbury region in the spectacular South Island is gearing up for a cool 2015 ski season. From new terrain park features to additional trails and great family deals, the region’s 13 ski fields have every skier and boarder covered this ski season. Here is a wrap up of what’s new in Canterbury in 2015 all within an easy drive from Christchurch:
On the mountain
- Being one of the closest ski fields to Christchurch, Mt Hutt is always a popular choice for those on the fly. This year the resort has added two trails including a new intermediate-advanced trail and a new intermediate track providing skiers and riders a quick alternative route back to the base area – a win/win for both novice and advanced snow-users.
- Mt Hutt’s mini terrain park has expanded to include longer terraces that form the Quad jump line and new rail and box features to take the experience for boarders to the next level.
- Favoured by locals, Porters has unveiled its new chairlift ‘The Easyrider,’ replacing the previous T bar. The new chairlift now connects the base area to the upper mountain with the run back down to base significantly wider and gentler, hence it’s new moniker “Easy Street”.
- Those new to the slopes will be well looked after at Porters who have given their beginner slopes a total refresh ahead of the start of the 2015 season. The beginners’ area now sits where the carpark used to and connects directly to intermediate runs for when beginners pluck up the courage to progress to the next level.
- This year, Porters has introduced the interchangeable parents pass. Those purchasing a full-price adult day pass ($89) from the ticket office with their partner and their toddler (3 and under) will be issued with two adult day passes, so as they can both enjoy a few turns.
Methven/Mt Hutt are offering their fabulous Kids 4 Free deal again in 2015. When accompanied by a paying adult, children under 10 receive free lift access, free travel to and from Christchurch International Airport, free accommodation, free equipment hire, free meals and free activities at participating locations.
- At Selwyn, families can take advantage of a special offer being introduced for the shoulder seasons for selected dates in June and September/October. The “Shoulders on a Shoestring” package offers around 40% off peak season ski prices with kids skiing free for every paying adult
With just under a week until ski seasons gets into full swing, keen skiers and snowboarders won’t find a quicker “run” from home to the slopes 13 stunning ski fields – over half those under two hours’ easy drive from Christchurch – and numerous direct daily flights from Australia.
The offer ranges from world-class Mt Hutt, which has one of the largest vertical drops in the South Island (2086m) and the greatest variety of terrain, to unique club fields that cater to family adventures.
The Canterbury Region also offers great off-piste thrills, including some of the world’s best heli-ski experiences.
For those well-earned ‘rest’ days, Canterbury also offers a multitude of après ski experiences, from the natural thermal pools and spa treatments – including a therapeutic “dunk” in cocoa at Hanmer Springs to the amazing International Dark Sky Reserve and Tekapo Springs in Mackenzie Country.
The city of Christchurch is also one of the best places in the world to base a ski holiday, offering unique shopping experiences, a range of restaurants and bars and lots of activities all just a short distance to Canterbury’s ski fields.
For more information visit www.christchurchnz.com