List of New Zealand Ski Lifts

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List of all New Zealand ski lifts to operate

This page is an attempt to document all ski lifts to operate in New Zealand. Most lifts have been confined to ski fields/mountains ("resorts" in other countries), of which around 26 have been established in New Zealand during the history of skiing in this country. The only ski fields with lifts to be established and then close down are Mt Robert near St Arnaud and Erewhon in the Rangitata Valley. All other mountains are still operational.

There were many single ski lifts outside of established areas operating in New Zealand. All have now closed. These were usually rope tows - New Zealand was (and still is) the centre of the universe for all things rope tow related.

This list is done by resort or mountain, heading from north to south.

Whakapapa(Mt Ruapehu)

Turoa(Mt Ruapehu)

Tukino(Mt Ruapehu)

Manganui(Mt Taranaki)

Currently - 2 nutcracker rope tows, 1 T-bar, 1 learners rope tow.

The original (lower rope tow) was installed in 1946, the first ski tow in New Zealand (predating Coronet Peak's tow by a few days). This was replaced by the current T Bar in 1974.

The top rope tow has a formidable reputation, rising some 300 metres. This was installed in 1952 and upgraded extensively in the 1980s (with a replacement electric drive instead of the old diesel engine). An extension to this tow (running off the top bullwheel) can be installed providing further vertical late in the season.

The lower T bar can also carry a few chairs if necessary, something that the Stratford Mountain Club have indicated that they may install, making for an interesting dual lift.

There is a small (single loop, no intermediate supports) rope tow between the T bar and the bottom station of the top tow, installed in the 1980s and electrically operated.

There is a small learners rope tow to the left of the T bar, this was installed in 1964 and upgraded in the 1970s.

A tow was installed in the Ngarara valley to the right of the field in 1983, and this operated til 1986.

Other North Island ski lifts

The Rangiwahia Ski Club installed a rope tow in the 1930s operating off a motorbike engine on the Whanahuia Range in the Ruahines in the Central North Island. The ski club built a hut as well, however this has been replaced by several facilities on the same site since then. Walking access only. Some relics are still there. Closing date???

Mt Robert (St Arnaud)

Now closed. 3 rope tows originally.

Rainbow (St Arnaud)

Amuri / Hanmer Springs (Hanmer Springs)

Currently 1 poma (the longest in New Zealand), and 1 rope tow. 1 learners tow too.

Mt Lyford (Kaikoura)

Temple Basin (Arthurs Pass)

3 rope tows.

Craigieburn Valley (Arthurs Pass)

3 rope tows currently. Formerly had a learners tow near the base of the middle tow, which resulted in three tows running from one tow shed / engine. This was removed in the 1990s.

In 1952 a T bar was installed (NZs first) running from the bottom of Craigieburn to Siberia Basin, except this never received much usage. A poma was installed on Hamilton Peak in 1994, but this did not receive much use either. The concrete base of this is still sitting in Siberia Basin.

Broken River (Arthurs Pass)

3 rope tows. 1 access tow, 1 learners tow

Mt Cheeseman (Arthurs Pass)

2 T bars.

Porters (Arthurs Pass)

3 T bars

Mt Olympus (Rakaia Valley)

4 rope tows

Mt Hutt (Methven)

Erewhon (Rangitata Valley)

Fox Peak (Farlie)

Mt Dobson (Farlie)

Round Hill (Tekapo)

Ohau (Ohau)

Awakino (Kurow)

Currently running 3 rope tows - 2 nutcracker and one learners tow.

The first lift was installed in the 1950s, running on a Wisconsin engine/ tractor unit transferred from the old Danseys Pass tow. This engine is now sitting below the top towshed.

The main tow direction was altered in the 1960s and then extended several times to its present location.

The top tow was installed in the late 1980s and currently runs on a petrol powered engine, the only such tow in New Zealand to still operate with petrol.

The learners tow is small, and sits adjacent to the top huts. There are the remains of various other tows on the field, most notably the access tow below the top buildings that operated in the early 1990s before snow became unreliable, and an old learners tow just below the top buildings.

A tow was installed in the 1960s in the remote Hut Creek catchment behind the St Marys range. This is still intact, but has not operated for many years.

Treble Cone (Wanaka)

Cardrona (Wanaka)

Snow Farm / Snow Park (Wanaka)

Coronet Peak (Queenstown)

The Remarkables (Queenstown)

Invincible (Glenorchy)

Other South Island lifts

  • Danseys Pass
  • Kelly Range
  • Kakanui Mountains, above the Pigroot
  • Rock and Pillars