Mount Dobson

Mount Dobson

Mount Dobson has been family owned and run since the early 1980s. It's located just off the main highway between Christchurch and Queenstown so makes a nice stop on the drive for a ski. Dobson boosts the highest carpark in New Zealand at 1725m (5500ft) which really means it has a long access road that is not difficult to drive but can be rough as it is unsealed. The mountain has full facilities available, food, rentals ski school etc.

Snow making percent?
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet0
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar1
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person0
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person0
Lifts-Coggle train0
Lifts-Total number of lifts4
Lifts-Total lift capacity?
Trails-4-Expert only?
Trails-5-Terrain park?
Trails-6-Half pipe?
Runs-Steepest run?
Runs-Longest run?
General-Base elevation?
General-Vertical drop415m
General-Mountain range?
General-Annual skier visits?
General-Back country access?
General-Total area in bounds400acres
General-Snow making coverageYes
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Decent road, crowd free and a reasonable variety of runs

Cons: A bit run down

If other ski fields close by are considered a bit busy or too tame, most turn to Dobson.  It's never been crowded when we have been and I don't think I have ever queued long to get on a lift.  There is a decent number and variety of runs, although it can be a bit icy, especially on the learners slope and first thing in the morning.  It's a pretty high field so sometimes that is fantastic and means it sits above the clouds, alternatively it means it can get smacked by the wind and loose more snow than most. 


It's a basic field, with some friendly staff, although the lifties seemed rather apathetic, probably because there wasn't too much to do.  Also the last time we went while the T-bar was going shortly after 9:00, then lift didn't open till quite a bit after 10:00.  The bathroom facilities are relatively new and decent, but the workshop, hire and ticket office are containers on blocks, and there isn't a cafe as such just some benches in the ticket office (container) where you can buy the basics like drinks, pies, chocolate, etc.  There is some outdoor seating, but most people self cater and some bring their own seating that they perch on the edge of the car park.


If you are in the neighborhood and like the slopes to yourselves it's worth a visit, because the skiing can be decent, but I wouldn't put it on my must do list.


Pros: Compact ski area suitable for families

Cons: Terrain isn't that exciting with short runs

What I remembermost about Mt Dobson apart from the long road is the chair lift that felt like it took you across the mountain rather than up! Apart from this Dobson is a fun little area. It pretty short runs in general but you can get some quick laps in. It never really gets super busy. It is a good stop off point if you are driving from Queestown to Chch or vice versa but I wouldn't spend a week here. It has a good beginner slope so suited to families however.