Temple Basin is our King of Kiwi Club Ski Fields. Perched in a basin right beneath the main divide of the Southern Alps it’s location can’t be beaten. The heights get slammed with a ridiculous amount of snow too – Temple gets the brunt of the storms off the Tasman, with snowfall declining the further east you go as a rule.
Just as the South Island’s big commercial ski areas have confirmed they will be on for 2020 season – from June 12 at Mt Hutt – Temple Basin Ski Area Manager Harry Young confirmed to Snow Action yesterday that they are planning for a full season.
“We are taking the current Covid situation in hand and are committed to a season here at Temple Basin” says Harry. “As long as things keep improving it should almost be business as usual, so we are excited to be able to get some skiing this winter! At this stage we are taking fully catered bookings up to 50% capacity in our lodges, first in first served.”
“Season pass’s are now back on sale till the 31 of may for just $NZD 160, so get in quick and have a rip with us at Temple basin this winter.”
“We have a tight crew here up the hill already working tirelessly getting the field ready for when the snow falls. Full steam ahead!”
Temple Basin season passes are ridiculously cheap at $NZD 160 if you book before the end of May.
Sure, that’s for a selection of three of the infamous nutcrackers, but if you can handle the 40 minutes to an hour or so hike up from just past Arthur’s Pass on the West Coast highway then you will soon adapt to nutcrackers.
The hike in, and the lift network, sorts out the real snow people from the posers. So no need to lug your designer outfits. Do bring your avi gear, skins/snowshoes/splitboards etc because the rope tows are just the beginning here. Insane terrain options abound beyond the main bowls.
But you need your shit together to get into those. Or some locals to show you the way. Doing the 2 day or 4 day Avi Courses that the New Zealand Snow Safety Insitute run here each winter is a good idea. For Aussies with flights still TBC for 2020 season it’s too late/too hard to lock it in for this season, but you can check them out on the link – maybe next year.
Find a friendly local is our recommendation for anyone new to the area to get orientated and shown some sweet spots to suit your level and where the snow will be best. Friendly staff and club-members will also teach you the rope tows if needed, give you pointers and show you the stashes.
The whole area divides fairly neatly for levels, so everyone can find their zone.
Don’t worry about hauling too much gear up the track – there is a free goods lift for that (times in info box below).
Old school Kiwis are just great at doing stuff like this. Temple Basin attracts everyone from families with toddlers who carry them in to bands heading up for some big on snow nights. Presumably that won’t be happening much this season with the COVID capacity limitations, but the little bar/lounge with craft brews on tap will be busy with tales and recaps of the day’s events.
Sometimes they run night skiing too..
Healthy and hearty meals are included with packages, cooked by the resident chef. There is normally a self-catering kitchen option too, but thanks to COVID restrictions that won’t be running this year.
The gallery below gives you a quick idea of what to expect. The lodges are comfortable, bunk style (bring your own sleeping bag and towel) and hot showers.
How do you get to Temple Basin?
Temple Basin car park is around 90 minutes – 2 hours drive west on Hwy 73 from Christchurch, or a bit less from the airport. You can head on west after and down the West Coast to Haast Pass and back over to Wanaka for a great circuit – this takes you past Franz Jozef and Fox Glaciers, recommended to overnight at to break the journey and maybe do some heli.
The Goods Lift Terminal located approximately 800m west of the car park (west of the Dobson Memorial).
Monday – Thursday 9.00 – 11.30am
Friday 9.00 – 11.30 & 4.00 – 6.00pm
Saturday – Sunday 8.30 – 12.00 & 4.00 – 6.00pm
Other times by arrangement – Phone the Booking Office +64 3 377 7788 or email email@example.com
Temple Basin rates, packages and bookings
There are not many better bargains in the ski World than a ski Week Package here – $NZD 760 for 6 nights, 7 days skiing, lift passes, and all meals.
Plenty of other shorter options too, check the website for full price lists/inclusions.
Temple Basin bookings on their website here book early if you can – with capacity limited to 50% for 2020 due to COVID restrictions it will fill up.