New Zealand Ski Area Announces They’re Confident of Opening This Season

Kiwi Brains | | Industry NewsIndustry News
temple basin, New Zealand,
Temple Basin Ski Area. Credit: Facebook

A ski area in New Zealand announced on Facebook yesterday that as coronavirus restrictions are relaxed, they are increasingly confident that they will be able to operate this upcoming season. New Zealand ski resorts have been preparing for the ski season since the country entered Level 3 of their lockdown status, with the understanding that when the country enters Level 2, potentially mid-May, they will be able to open.

Temple Basin, 2-hours from Christchurch, is a small resort that offers ungroomed terrain accessed mostly by hiking, assisted by three rope tows.

As the Covid-19 situation continues to improve, we are increasingly hopeful that Temple may be able to operate to some extent this season. The team have been approved by DOC to be up preparing the field for the possibility of opening. We will resume season pass sales closer to opening day.

We will, however, take bookings from now on – first in first served – but only booking the huts to 50% capacity on any given night at this stage. If we are unable to offer all or parts of our services for your booking, full refunds will be available. If you’ve never experienced a full ski week at Temple Basin, 2020 is the year to give it a nudge.

All decisions going forward will be made with the Temple community in mind.


Temple Basin is a club skifield in Arthur’s Pass, in New Zealand’s South Island. Operated by two clubs, the Temple Basin Ski Club, and the Canterbury University Snow Sports Club, the ski area has 3 rope tows, two on-site lodges, two shelters and a ski school and ski shop. The tows cover an elevation range of 4350–5751 feet, for a skiable domain of 791 acres. Its natural terrain has been highly recommended by adventure skiers on several occasions.

temple basin, New Zealand
Temple Basin Ski Area trail map

Temple Basin is home to the New Zealand Snow Safety Institute. The New Zealand Snow Safety Institute runs a series of courses throughout the year on aspects of mountaineering and mountain safety. These courses are aimed for climbers, skiers, snowboarders and trampers. The lodges at Temple Basin allow for students to stay on field and watch the snowpack evolve over time aiding the learning of these skills.

Temple Basin is approximately 2 hours from Christchurch by car, followed by a 45-minute walk. Like many club fields, a good portion of the skiable area is accessible only by hiking, including some hiking between lifts.

The field consists of 4 main basins. Cassidy Tow accesses a smooth open basin with beginner and intermediate terrain. Temple Tow accesses an intermediate slope. Between Cassidy and Temple tows a stream gut offers rock faces and snow traps. A short walk from the top of Temple Tow brings users to Downhill Basin and the fields highest Tow. Downhill consists of a wide-open bowl with Blimit and Mt Temples peaks above. A traverse and/or hike from the top of Downhill Tow gives users access to Bills Basin, an intermediate basin with a collection of chutes at the bottom. From the top of Downhill tow one can also hike to the peak accessing the Mingha Valley over the ridge. The Mingha, whilst not patrolled, is commonly used by backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

This field is just on the Western side of the Southern Alps and so receives significantly more snowstorms than those areas further east.

temple basin, New Zealand,
Temple Basin Ski Area, New Zealand.

New Zealand has had 1,147 confirmed coronavirus cases and 21 deaths.

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