Temple Basin Season Pass Only $160 Be Quick

The Temple Basin Season Pass is still only $NZD 160 if you’re quick. Or around $USD 115. Is that the World’s cheapest?

Has to be among the best value anywhere, you sure get a lot of mountain for your money.

Plus a few little features to make it stand out from the crowd. Oh, and a stiff hike in.

Powder skiing above Temple Basin, South  Island New Zealand
Sebastian Varlet goes the slash high above Temple Basin © Alex Bowater / Temple Basin

Nearly a year on from when Temple Basin got the OK to operate at near full capacity for 2020 we still have no Trans-Tasman flight bubble so Aussies can get back over there, despite there be virtually zero community COVID transmission in either Australia or NZ.

We said this in May last year, we’ll say it again, louder:

Come on Scotty and Jacinda get those bubble flights hapening NOW !!!

Temple Basin is the epitome of everything that’s great about the Kiwi Club Ski Fields.

Perched in a basin right beneath the main divide of the Southern Alps, its 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.

Temple Basin season passes are ridiculously cheap at $NZD 160 if you book by 30 April, 2021. That’s less than a day pass in a lot of places, including major Australian resorts.

OK, the lifts you get for your $160 are 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.

Sunset ridegeline view above Temple Basin
Craig Murray susses out his sunset line © Alex Bowater / Temple Basin

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.

Experts like Sebastian Varlet can get their fill, but there’s plenty for lesser mortals too © Alex Bowater / Temple Basin

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 2021 season it’s too hard to lock them in for this season, but you can check them out on the link – maybe next year if our leaders can’t get things open so we can get over.

Temple Basin Trail Map
Whoever said NZ doesn’t have ski in/ski out accommodation didn’t come here! © Temple Basin

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).

Riding rope tow Temple Basin
See, rope tows are no drama! © Temple Basin

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 some legendary 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, thanks to COVID restrictions it didn’t run last year but should be back for 2021.

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 info@templebasin.co.nz

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.

Night view of Milky Way from Temple Basin ski field
Get lucky with a clear night and the stars are amazing © Temple Basin

For more great Kiwi Club Ski Fields check these

Cheeseman is a cut above, first class club class we call it with luxuries like a t-bar and poma lifts and a groomer.

Mount Olympus where young FWT star Craig Murray has taken over as President recently – an indication that this is the breeding ground for some amazing talent. No frills, plenty of skills on show.

Broken River and neighbouring Craigieburn are also excellent fields, Broken River even boasting a home-made funicular for access.