Fox Peak Ski Field NZ
Powderhounds can do a bit of a fox trot at Fox Peak because it’s uncrowded and you can have all the powder to yourself! Actually, describing Fox Peak as “uncrowded” would be an understatement. “Deserted” might be more apt! The lift accessed terrain is huge, which further adds to the low skier density and the feeling of delightful isolation.
Fox Peak ski field is run by an old ski club that was established in 1929 (formerly the old Tasman Ski Club at Mt Cook). As with other New Zealand club fields
, non-members are very welcome to visit and the amenities are no frills, although Fox Peak is even more basic than some of other club fields.
Fox Peak is very well suited to skint ski bums and advanced riders with a very adventurous spirit.
Fox Peak Ski Terrain
Fox Peak is a very large ski field by New Zealand standards. It has 580 vertical metres and 500 hectares of lift accessed terrain. The ski field is situated on a wide steep face that drops off into chutes and bowls on either side, so if you’re happy to traverse, the accessible terrain seems boundless.
Fox Peak ski field is serviced by three nutcracker ropetows
. There is also as a learners’ platter lift that provides access to a small slope for hardcore beginners. The first ropetow has terrain that is generally groomed and good for intermediates, whilst the rest of the terrain provides plenty of joy for advanced and expert riders.
Off to either side of the main face are the south and north basins, the highlights of Fox Peak where you’ll find a myriad of little gullies and chutes that open into huge bowls. You can also hike up to the peak (ie Fox Peak) or there are plenty of touring options.
Fox Peak Snow
Whilst there isn’t an official statistic for average annual snowfall, it’s generally accepted that Fox Peak isn’t blessed with an abundance of snowfall. And as is common to all New Zealand skiing
, the snow conditions can vary from delightful powder to corn, crud, champagne ice, or crunky slush. However the different aspects at Fox Peak are advantageous for sniffing out good snow. The south basin may have nice powder whilst the north basin may have some awesome spring corn that NZ is famous for.
Where is Fox Peak New Zealand?
Fox Peak is in the Two Thumb Range, with the ski field located 37km (a 50 minute drive) from the farming town of Fairlie. The drive up to the ski field is a bit of an adventure and is best undertaken in a 4WD vehicle.
Fairlie is located on the main highway between Christchurch and Queenstown
, 182km southwest of Christchurch and 41km east of Lake Tekapo
. Nearby ski fields include Mt Dobson
, so Fox Peak can be included on a ski safari of this region.
Fox Peak Accommodation
Foxy folks can stay at the Fox Lodge on Friday and Saturday nights. The lodge is located about 3.5km down the access road from the ski field, so it’s not ski-in ski-out accommodation. The accommodation is very simple and bunk style, and the tariffs are appropriately inexpensive.
Other accommodation options are to stay in one of the Fairlie hotels
or Lake Tekapo hotels
. Accommodation in both Fairlie and Lake Tekapo is generally very inexpensive.
Ski Field Facilities
The amenities at Fox Peak are about as primitive as they come. In addition to a storage shed, there is a little ticket office where you can get a nutcracker ropetow belt and glove protector. The ticket office also doubles as the “canteen” which sells a couple of cans of soft drink and a few chocolate bars, so you’ll need to BYO brown bag or chilly bin! A rundown yet sunny deck houses a couple of old picnic tables, and the ski field also has self-composting toilet facilities.
If you need to hire ski or snowboard equipment, check out the Ski Shack in Fairlie.
Why Ski or Snowboard at Fox Peak?
The views from the ski field are pretty special. On fine days you can see Timaru and the coast, and if you hike to the peak you’ll score views of the big “Cookie Monster”.
Fox Peak is good to check out for a day whilst in the Lake Tekapo
area. It’s certainly not a palace, but rather a paradise for powderhounds who want to ride at a “secret” ski field and revel amongst the freshies. Fox Peak has a pioneering spirit and is the essence of skiing without the unnecessary trimmings. And other than Awakino ski field, Fox Peak has the cheapest lift tickets in New Zealand.
Fox Peak Ski Season
The ski season is usually from mid July to late September. Other than for large groups, Fox Peak is only open on the weekends.