Craigieburn Valley Ski Area

Craigieburn Valley Ski Area

Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, Located in the heart of New Zealand's Southern Alps, where the ups are good; the downs are even better. Steep narrow chutes, wide open powder bowls, un-crowded runs or just a place to take it easy in the awesome vista of the Craigieburn Range. Craigieburn Valley has all this and more for intermediate to advanced off-piste enthusiasts.

General-Base elevation1308m
General-Total area in bounds400 hectare
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Great steeps, good base for hiking, easy to get to

Cons: Gets extremely busy on powder days

Craigieburn is well known internationally for its steep and unforgiving terrain. There are certainly a lot of places to challenge yourself here and the trail map shows no beginner terrain which is a fair assessment, but this also means there are no easy runouts if you get into trouble and want to straightline out, you always have to be careful to keep your speed in check. At the end of the day a run down middle basin is a must and there is a (sometimes sketchy) traverse you can take through the  forest back to the lodges.


With the proliferation of fat and rockered skis and people wanting to challenge themselves off-piste the Canterbury club fields are going through a bit of a renaissance and none more so than Craigieburn. But this is a real double edged sword as Craigieburn has the easiest access of the club fields so lift queues of 10-20 minutes (times three lifts to get to the top) on a powder day are typical as all the good skiers from Christchurch head there for the day. As a result the aggravation levels of the staff and punters can get pretty high so I avoid Craigieburn on powder days.



Pros: Spectacular place to be

Cons: Nutcracker tows but I'm OK with that

Approx 600m of vertical via 3 rope tows using nutcracker rope grip and belt. Friendly fun place with stunning bush and craggy mountain scenery. Comes complete with parrots that try to eat your car.(The rubber attachments anyway...) Snow conditions variable as NZ is only approx 200km wide at this point so a marine climate rules the roost. Thats not to say you dont get pow though, just have to be right place right time


Pros: Sick steep lines, chutes and drops. Not to mention some of New Zealands best powder

Cons: tows(if you dont like them), hiking(if your lazy)

Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, located in the New Zealand's Southern Alps, where the ups are good, and the downs are even better. With its steep narrow chutes, wide open powder bowlsand un-crowded runs if you are an advanced or expert rider then Craigieburn is your holy grail.

While the mountain itself offers some of the easy access advanced off piste skiing, Craigieburn offers much more than a place to ski. The slopeside accommodation is the seasonal home to a community of snow addicts from all over the globe, who collectively share their stories at the apres ski lounge and over dinner after a day on the hill.

Craigieburn is a non-profit organisation run by enthusiastic club members and seasonal staff. It exists solely for the purpose of skiing and snowboarding, not for commercial gain. As such, you can expect to be included as part of the mountain experience at Craigieburn.