Mount Potts Backcountry Skiing
Dubbed 'the new spot X' by a visiting La Grave guide, Mt.Potts Backcountry is the highest snowfield in the South Island and provides snowcat accessed powder skiing and snowboarding. Heli lifted from the lodge each morning, in small guided groups, everyone is outfitted with an avalanche transceiver, cat rides all day, a picnic lunch, and transport back down the mountain is all in a days skiing at Mt. Potts. An extreme field for skiing and snowboarding you drop in at the highest point of 2254m and ski or board down to the top hut at 1750m – pure heaven! You can arrange to fly to Mt.Potts from Queenstown, Christchurch or Tekapo.
The South Island also boasts the largest number of club fields in the Southern Hemisphere which should not be overlooked by the demanding thrill-seeker. While not offering the same standards of facilities as the larger, commercial fields mentioned above, these fields do however offer some of the best skiing around although it may be a little harder to get to. This extra effort can be what makes skiing that much more rewarding.
Club Fields worth checking out are: Craigieburn Valley, Mt Cheeseman, Broken River, Mount Olympus, Temple Basin Ski Area and Fox Peak.
Skiing New Zealand's North Island
The North Island, without a major alpine range of its own, has two commercial fields, The Central North Island is home to New Zealand's only skiable volcano, Mt Ruapehu. A landscape of golden tussock, tumbling rivers and three awe-inspiring mountains, dual World Heritage-listed Tongariro National Park is an incredible place for winter snow sports. The action centres on Mt Ruapehu, the North Island’s highest mountain. Two of its three ski areas – Whakapapa and Tūroa – are the largest in New Zealand, and boast some of the country’s longest ski runs with volcanic features and vast views, accessed by state-of-the-art lifts.
Turoa Ski Area, Mt Ruapehu
Wild, playful and mighty. Turoa is home to Mt Ruapehu's south-west facing slopes, which are renowned for huge snow bases, unique volcanic terrain, wide trails & epic terrain parks. It has the longest vertical descent of any ski area in Australasia and also boasts New Zealand’s highest chairlift - the Highnoon Express.
Turoa Terrain Park: If getting quality park time is your thing, then Turoa Terrain Park is the place to go. Turoa has a dedicated freestyle terrain park located just below the top of the Giant Chairlift. There are medium terrain features for intermediate and advanced riders and an XL Park, offering big kickers for advanced riders.
Terrain Grading: Beginner 20% | Intermediate 55% | Advanced 25%