Mount Olympus Ski Resort
For an authentic locals ski hill, Mount Olympus ticks all the boxes.
There’s only four proper lifts (all of which are draglifts) and most of the runs are fairly short, but there’s a fantastic atmosphere at this locally run hill. Beginners are well served by a dedicated learning area by the Top Hut, there’s some nice longer blues that cover the entire 450m of vertical and more advanced skiers will love this area after fresh snow – the inbounds terrain is great, but if you’re prepared to hike a little, the options really open up. As with most New Zealand club ski fields, the Windwhistle Winter Sports Club that run the area make it incredibly welcoming and a lot of the hard work is still put in by hard-working volunteers, especially in the summer months.
For a truly unique experience, book a night or two in the on-mountain Top Hut, which has accommodation for 52 people, New Zealand’s highest hot tub and one of the friendliest après ski bars anywhere in the world. Alternatively, you can stay down in the valley and Christchurch is only two and a half hours away. Nearby ski areas worth trying include Broken River, Craigieburn (known for its exceptional backcountry), Mount Cheeseman, Mt Hutt (the biggest in the area) and Porters.
Resort website: www.mtolympus.co.nz