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Round Hill

Round Hill

Round Hill has been in and out of business over the years but has survived and now boasts the biggest vertical in Australasia thanks to its 'express' rope tow to the top of the Richmond Range. It is one of the most family friendly ski areas in New Zealand with some gentle slopes for beginners and intermediates. The name Round Hill use to sum up the ski area as not being very inspiring to the advanced skier but the rope tow accesses some challenging runs and back country skiing. Round Hill also often plays host to International Race Teams. The Ski Area is pretty easy to get to following a gravel road from the small village of Tekapo, about a 35 minute drive.

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Fantastic views especially from the Schnapps Hut, generaly good snow and conditions

Cons: Main T-Bar & learner slope can get very crowded, limited options for more advanced skiiers if the rope tow isn't running

We have been going to Roundhill for years and it's been a fantastic field for the kids (and adults) to learn and improve on.  It's a very easy and picturesque drive from the Tekapo village alongside the lake and up to the ski field.  The regular visitors back their cars up against the slopes, put out deck chairs and even the odd BBQ, making for a very friendly and chilled atmosphere. Having a drink at the von Brown Scnapps Hut with it's view of the Southern Alps and lake Tekapo is pretty special too.


The snow is generally very good and the runs are usually well groomed with snow making on much of the central run (Speedway). Everywhere is accessed by a T-Bar at the base and this can get a bit crowded with significant wait times on peak days, especially if the rope tow isn't going.  The learners slope and platter lift can be even worse.  But I have noticed things have improved significantly with a second T-Bar and some new runs introduced a few years ago accessing another part of the field.  The blue runs are pretty wide and tame compared to most New Zealand fields and you need to brave the rope tow to access more challenging runs.  There is an FIS run and plenty of international ski teams spend time at this field in the Northern Hemisphere off-season, with Bode Miller and the US Mens team doing just that this year.  The lack of lifts does mean the field is not a favorite with some boarders, so there are noticeably more skiers than snowboarders. 


Another positive for learners is that the lessons both private and group are pretty reasonable, especially compared to other NZ ski fields, with good international instructors who tend return every year.  There is a pleasant small cafe where you can usually find a seat, and even though the selection of food is limited, it does the basics well and has a real espresso coffee machine worked by people who know how to use it.  Also mobile reception is good across the field, but it's not a place to get lost and it's size and the fact everything leads back to the same place means it's pretty standard for competent kids to be left to their own devices all day.


Pros: Relatively easy access road, family friendly.

Cons: A little out of the way.

It has been a while since I last skied at Round Hill and since then they have added a super long rope tow to access advanced terrain. When I was there I got a little bored but am guessing it is a lot more fun now with the extra terrain. It seemed like a perfect place for families provided the kids can ride a T-bar. It would be pretty hard to get lost here and parents can watch whilst enjoying a drink at the cafe. They have some grooming too so good for beginners and intermediates. It is kind of like a cross between a commercial and classic club field.