Broken River

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Resort Summary
Resort Name Broken River
Location {{{location}}}
Resort Altitude 1425-1820m
Winter Season Early July to Late Sept
Terrain Overall: approx 300 hectares
Beginner: approx 5%
Intermediate: approx 50%
Advanced: approx 45%
Lift System nutcracker rope tows
Highest Lift 1820m
Lowest Lift 1425m
Vertical 395m (or 700m down to carpark in a good year)
Longest Run 2km down to access lift, 2.5km to carpark
Avg Snowfall what the gods send down - no snowmaking!
Terrain Parks rails and natural terrain
Snow Sports skiing, boarding, and a good base for alpine touring
Facilities rope tows, snow
Nearest Town Springfield, 50km
Lift Pass
Adult 5 Day $
Adult 1 Day $NZ$55
Child 5 Day $
Child 1 Day $NZ$35


A club operated ski area which offers something different for the skiing and boarding experience. The terrain is a series of rolling bowls with runs to challenge all levels of snowboarders and skiers. The surrounding basins provide superb untracked 'back country' terrain for the more adventurous. Operated by a mix of volunteer club members and professional staff, the ski area is open to everyone, and members are very welcoming. The awesome terrain, fresh snow and irrepressible club spirit all combine to create a memorable ski experience. This is different to any "resort" you have ever been to. If you are a confident skier or rider, you will have a ball.


Off Highway 73 (the road between Chch and Arthur's Pass) in the Craigieburn Range.


  • On-snow accommodation in three lodges.
  • Usually open more days per year than any other South Island ski area.
  • Powder, powder, powder. Usually the best snow in the region.
  • Friendly club members, keen to help you have an awesome time.


  • Steep rope tow lifts, take a while to get the hang of. Beginners often struggle.
  • Rough road. 4WD/chains/skills required, or take a ride with a transport operator.


Phone: +64 3 318 8713

Fax: +64 3 318 7270

Postal: PO Box 2718, Christchurch



Getting There

  • Fly to Christchurch and get transport from there.
  • Cars can be hired at the airport, but that is an expensive option.
  • Black Diamond Safaris, Snowork Tours and Alpine Expeditions are three Christchurch transport companies that go up to the club ski areas like BR, in 4WD wagons.
  • The road is rough gravel, often requiring chains in winter, 4WD is very useful also.


On Mountain

Three club lodges, open to all comers. Differing grades (and hence prices) from fully serviced with chef, to BYO and self-cater. Fully catered is most popular, hence you will need to book ahead.

Off Mountain

Backpackers at Springfield or Castle Hill village, or tent camp at the bottom of the access road (brrrrr...)

Lift Tickets

2006, NZ $55 adult all day (9am- 5 or 5.30pm)

Ski School

Instructor resident. Really good value private lessons.

Equipment Hire

None on mountain. You need to sort this out in Christchurch before coming up.

McEwing's is at 200 Yaldhurst Road, Christchurch, the road heading out of town towards the ski areas. A few minutes drive beyond the city limits, at the small settlement of Yaldhurst itself, is Gnomes Ski Hire at a Shell service station.

Resort Facilities

Getting Around

It's all by nutcracker rope tow, or hiking. But the snow is worth it.


  • Carpark at 1120m (locally known as Hanomag carpark)
  • At carpark, load skis, packs and other equipment onto a goods lift, which will haul them up to the ski lodge for you.
  • Walk uphill from carpark to find ski area, approx 20-25 mins on a track through the bush. Bring sturdy boots. Track can be slippery, 4-point instep crampons are very useful, and sold at the ski area for about $25.


Skiing. Snowboarding. Socialising.


Great meals prepared by the chef in Lyndon lodge. Or assist cooking in BR Lodge. Or self-cater in White Star Lodge.

Bars & Entertainment

Entertainment is a few quiet ones with friendly club members after a hard day skiing the steep and deep. Alcohol available on mounatin.


Souvenir t-shirts, beanies, caps, and fleeces available. Limited lunch food on mountain, along with sunblock and a few other little extras.


Lots of kids ride at BR. But they are tough little buggers who grew up there. Your kids probably better be teenage if they are to enjoy (cope with) the rope tows.

Ride Guide

Beginner Areas

Small and obvious right outside the day lodge.

Groomed Runs

Small, and just outside the day lodge.

Off Piste

Everything else you see is all untracked and ungroomed. Bring yer fat skis.

Out of Bounds

Yep. Lots of that.

Bring your transceiver, probe and shovel, and ski with mates who know their snow safety skills. And speak to the friendly ski patrol before heading out back, you want to survive don't you?

Cross Country

People tour the backcountry on Alpine Touring or Telemark gear, and skins. Not much scope for fishscale bases. Skinny skis are no use.

Parks & Pipes

Rad natural terrain and a few rails too. Build a jump and have some fun, that's the spirit.


Not enough skiers to make many bumps, but a few form in limited areas for brief periods.

Powder Zones

The whole mountain is one big powder zone, day after day. Allan's Basin is recommended. Cornice Bowl pictured.

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Sheltered Runs

Happy Valley is sheltered from the wind, and usually great snow. No trees.


Nippers play in the snow outside Palmer Lodge, the lunch hut.



Usually sheltered from the wind that shuts Mt Hutt. Gets lots of snow from the North-West direction.


Sits in a hanging valley above the Castle Hill Basin, Craigieburn Range. Views look out over the Castle Hill Basin to the Torlesse Range beyond.


  • The ski area has been developed by members of the North Canterbury Ski Club (later changing its name to Broken River Ski Club) working on summer work parties since the mid 1950's.
  • Everything you see was built by, and is still maintained by, volunteers: mountain road, carpark, lodges and lifts. Stand back in awe.



Craigieburn & Broken River trail map

Trail Map