Snow, Ski, Skate, Geraldine

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The picturesque village of Geraldine makes the perfect base for your winter snow holiday.  With four ski fields and two skating rinks within easy driving distance, plus a raft of non-snow activities, Geraldine really does have it all.  The add bonus is that there is plenty to do in the area on those non-ski days so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Roundhill (1.5 hour drive south from Geraldine) ski field is a great place for beginners and families.  Access to the field is by private vehicle only.  The road terrain is easy but chains are needed at times.

With parking located right next to the beginners slope, many families set up a BBQ or picnic and make a day of it watching the kids.  There is an excellent café at the base of the field and also one up on the hill.  Full ski and snowboard hire is available as well as lessons for various levels.

Seasoned skiers can head up the world’s longest and steepest rope tow and see what Australasia’s biggest vertical drop (783m) is all about. Offering super long natural half pipes, chutes this is skiing and riding at its best.

Mt Dobson (about a one hour drive south from Geraldine) is one of the friendliest ski fields around.  Run by the Foote family, Mt Dobson is a laidback, less crowded option with an excellent ski school, plenty of trails for all levels and a tasty cafe.  Snow hiking is another activity that can be enjoyed at Dobson.  A shuttle bus leaves from Fairlie each morning but the drive is an easy 15 km drive off the main road and suitable for campervans, cars and buses.

Fox Peak (a one hour drive south from Geraldine) is a non-profit club-run ski field renowned for its friendly and uncrowded atmosphere.  Fox Peak offers huge runs catering for skiers and boarders of all abilities.  The field is open weekends only and there is accommodation available on the access road to the mountain.  The road is accessible to all vehicles however chains must be carried.

Getting kitted out for these southern located ski fields is super easy at the Ski Shack in nearby Fairlie which has everything from ski and boarding equipment to clothing hire.  Helpful owners Richard and Karen will make sure you have everything you need.

To the north of Geraldine, Mt Hutt (about a 1.25 hour drive) is a very popular ski destination and has been voted ‘New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort’ for the past 5 years.  With plenty of equipment hire available in nearby Methven you’ll soon be on the powder enjoying the open terrain.  There is a ski bus from Methven or you can drive your own vehicle to the field.

Many Geraldine eateries open early during the ski season so you can grab a piping hot coffee and filling breakfast before heading to the slopes, or you can warm up by their toasty fires after returning from a great day’s skiing.

For those non-ski days, why not try your hand at ice skating, or curling, at one of the few remaining natural outdoor ice rinks in the country; at Staveley north of Geraldine, or at the ice rink at Tekapo Springs, which also boasts a snow tubing park.

Star gazing is spectacular on clear crisp Geraldine winter nights and don’t forget to bring your hiking boots and mountain bikes when you come.  The Geraldine area is blessed with great rides and walks and if the weather isn’t great, the historic Geraldine cinema boasts comfy sofas and love seats to curl up on while you catch the latest films.  Check out Things to See and Do for lots more ideas on holiday fun.

Geraldine – the place for winter fun.


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