This year (2022) has been a great snowfall season for Roundhill Ski Area, with excellent coverage on the field, and snow right down to lake level when we skied in late July. From Tekapo Village, it was a 34km drive along Lilybank Road beside Lake Tekapo and up the short ski field road. While on the slopes, we were treated to picturesque scenes and saturated colours created by the winter lighting.
Click any image to enlarge.
Lake Tekapo, Godley Valley and the Hall Range, from Lilybank Road
Lake Alta Track is an easy summer walk in an alpine environment, starting at The Remarkables Skifield base buildings (elevation 1600 metres) and climbing to Lake Alta (1800 metres). After walking up a section of the skifield road from the base buildings, the signposted track passes through alpine wetlands, then a rocky section before the scene opens out to the picturesque glacial lake. The track is 3.7km (return) and it took us around two hours which included considerable time admiring the view at the top. In summer there is a $10 charge at the bottom of the skifield road for road access. In the winter the lake is frozen and covered by snow.
Our GPS-tracked route (click to enlarge)
On 22nd September we spent a day enjoying spring skiing at The Remarkables. The field was within two weeks of closing for the season, however there was still a good coverage of snow. The day was sunny and calm, allowing some spectacular views from the access road. (Click on any image to enlarge.)
Morning view of Lake Hayes, with Kawarau River in the foreground, Arrowtown in the background
We flew out of Mt Cook airport about 10am on a winter’s day that was fine but threatening to deteriorate with an incoming norwester. Fortunately the expected deterioration did not occur and the weather improved to a sunny and relatively calm day. Having each been fitted out with a harness and avalanche locator beacon for safety requirements, we were looking forward to two ski runs on the Tasman Glacier, being relocated by the plane after the first run. Click on any image to enlarge.
Attaching our skis
In late September 2015, we spent a few days skiing and sight-seeing in Otago, the Mackenzie Country and South Canterbury. On our travels I photographed some of the scenery from Arrowtown to Geraldine.
Follow the red line north (click map once to enlarge)
Arrowtown from Tobin’s Track
Nestled by the Arrow River, Arrowtown was the scene of gold mining in the 1800’s.
Photos were taken through my windscreen on 11th September (spring) 2015 , after a top-up fall of snow down to 450 metres the previous day. This section is from the outskirts of Springfield to the Porters Ski Field turn off. The West Coast Road is sometimes referred to as the Great Alpine Highway, or the Inland Scenic Route.
West of Springfield
The township of Tekapo is situated at the southern end of the lake of the same name, in the Mackenzie Basin, about three hour drive from Christchurch. During the winter the small township swells with skiers, and it is popular with tourists all year round for the lake and mountain scenery. We made a mid-winter visit to Tekapo in order to ski at nearby Roundhill Ski Field.
Church of the Good Shepherd under an early morning frost
Built in 1935 as a place of worship for pioneering families, it is one of the most photographed churches in New Zealand. There is a continual stream of tourists, photographers and wedding parties visiting it on the shores of the lake.
Porter Heights is a commercial skifield 85 km northwest of Christchurch. It has three t-bar lifts, a platter and a magic carpet and 620 metre vertical run. Top elevation is 1995 metres. These photos were taken on a ski day in late August, in what has been a low snowfall year.
The eastern slopes of the Torlesse Range, from the Christchurch to West Coast Road near Springfield, on the way to a ski day at Porter Heights
Temple Basin is a club ski area in the heart of the Southern Alps, four kilometres west of Arthurs Pass Village. The field is accessed by a walk of about an hour from State Highway 73 up to the base huts and ski tows, with a service tow available for ski gear in winter. These photos were taken on a hike after the ski season had finished, on a misty day in late October 2012. There was still a lot of snow around the ski area after some unusually late snow falls.
Start of Temple Basin walk
Beside the stream there are alpine hebes (mostly green) and brown dracophyllum, also called turpentine wood.