We are not quite at ski season just yet, but Winter is definitely heading our way. Make the most of the sunny days remaining, but bookmark this post for your winter snow holiday.
Hanmer Springs is one of the best locations in Canterbury to visit for a winter break - chill out playing in and on the snow during the day, relax and thaw out in the hot pools after a day of snowy fun, then enjoy a meal back in your motel unit or at one of the great restaurant options in the village.
There are two ski fields within reach of Hanmer Springs village, and we have curated the information you need to know below:
Hanmer Springs Ski Area, Amuri Ski Club
Only 40 minutes drive from the village, Hanmer Springs Ski Area (also known as Amuri Ski Club) is a small club field with a friendly atmosphere. It is well suited to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders who enjoy open spaces with groomed trails and a relaxed family atmosphere away from tow queues and hustle of commercial ski fields further south.
The access road goes all the way to the day lodge and is usually negotiable by 4WD vehicles but chains need to be carried. 2WD vehicles need chains, particularly early in the season. There is no road toll. Seasons usually last from early July to mid-September.
Camper vans are not permitted, but two wheel drive cars with chains fitted normally have no problem, and four wheel drives can often get up without chains, especially later in the season. Chains must be carried at all times and fitted if signposts advise.
A shuttle runs daily from Hanmer Springs township at 8:15am & 9:15am (11:15am by demand only). Departing mountain 4pm & 5pm (dependent on demand). Hanmer Adventure Centre provide a very good seven day service & comes highly recommended.
Hanmer Springs Ski Area is small enough to be friendly but big enough to make you feel you have plenty of space to ski. The 1 kilometre long poma takes you to the top of the mountain for fabulous all round views of the Alps and the Hanmer Basin.
A good choice of intermediate and advanced runs down giving good intermediate skiing on groomed trails, off-piste challenges for the more advanced and some great snowboarding with both natural and groomed pipe riding. The shirtfront rope tow goes up into a separate basin with good intermediate skiing.
There is a small learners area with its own fixed grip tow.
You can drive right up to the Ski Area and there's easy access from the carpark straight onto the lifts. A centrally heated Day Lodge complete with stoves, self catering toasted sandwich machines, tea and coffee is available when you need a break, and also provides a good view of the field for spectators. There are usually cups of hot soup, pies, soft drinks, chocolate bars etc. on sale, but bring your own supplies if you want something more robust.
Ski hire, waxing and repairs are also available on the mountain. Experienced Ski Instructors are on hand to help you get the most out of your skiing, and qualified ski patrollers are always on duty.
Check out prices for day tickets and multi-day tickets on the website. Rates are more expensive for non-members, but still very competitive with the larger ski areas. If you are planning to make skiing here a regular part of your winters, membership is very afforable.
Mt Lyford Ski Area, Commercial Field
Located just 27lm from Hanmer Springs Village, the Mt Lyford access road turns off Highway 70 about 20km after Waiau. It passes through the lower of the two areas at Mount Lyford, Lake Stella, where there is a car park, and finishes at Terako Basin, where there is another car park and the ski area.
Shuttles head up to the mountain daily from Hanmer Springs Adventure Centre, leaving at 8am and picking up passengers from Mt Lyford at 4pm when the lifts close for the day. The cost is $55 per adult and $45 per child, or family price of $180 for two adults and two children.
The sunny Mt Terako field, an ideal family field, offers a great learners area as well as challenging runs for intermediate and advanced skiers. The Day Lodge/restaurant and carpark is centrally located.
This sunny northwest facing basin receives its best snow from the south, south-east quarter and most years gets good snow cover, even at its lower altitude.
Mt Lyford facilities include the Terako Day Lodge, Chamois Cafe, Ticket Office, First Aid, Ski & Snowboard Hire. It offers a ski & snowboard school for all ages and abilities, operated 6 snow groomers and one half-pipe shredder.
Activities include skiing, snowboarding, tubing, racing, tobogganing and more. Tows include a T-bar, two platters, one 180m fixed grip and one advanced rope tow. Group lessons, private lessons and learners packages are all available, covering snowboarding or skiing.
Established in 2004, the Wild Ride Terrain Park has been a fantastic addition to Mt Lyford Alpine Resort. The man-made features of the terrain park add a more exciting and challenging aspect to the resort.