'BR' provides superb affordable alpine adventure - its a ski and snowboard lifestyle unique in the world and shouldn't be missed. The terrain is a series of rolling bowls with awesome runs to challenge all levels of snowboarders and skiers beginner to expert. The surrounding basins provide superb untracked 'back country' terrain for the more adventurous.
Broken River is administered by the Broken River Ski Club. It offers an alternative to skiers and snowboarders who are looking to experience back to basics fun in the snow. Everyone is welcome at Broken River, although some previous experience in the snow is an advantage. Membership has its advantages too, including lower lift rates for skiing/snowboarding as well as the fun and friendship being a part of the ski club brings.
Broken River is located within 1.5 hours drive of Christchurch. Transport to Broken River from Christchurch can also be provided. From the ski area car park, there is a 15-20 minute walk to the accommodation lodges. A goods lift is available to take all your gear while you walk the pleasantly graded track through the native forest.
The base of the lift facilities is located within a 5 minute walk of the lodges - this time with your ski/board gear and lunch. But don't worry the awesome day ahead of you is well worth the walk.
The terrain at broken river ski area consists of a large open basin serviced by 5 electrically driven, high capacity rope tows. The highest point is 1820 meters and the total vertical is 420 meters, grooming is carried out on the learner and intermediate slopes, while the more experienced have lots of off piste to choose from. Only a short walk offers access to the back basins and Craigieburn Valley, these areas offer some incredible terrain suited to more advanced skiers and snowboarders & lift passes are inter-changeable between Broken River & Craigieburn. The combined Broken River & Craigieburn ski area covers over 900 hectares, which makes it New Zealand's largest. 300 hectares can be accessed from the 'BR' rope tows without unclipping your bindings.
Other facilities available on the ski area include an expansive day lodge for all to enjoy the kitchen and dining facilities, canteen selling snack food, ski and snowboard instruction from qualified instructors and qualified ski patroller's to handle any first aid requirements. Ski and Snowboard hire is not available at Broken River.
The accommodation is provided in centrally heated lodges with bunk style sleeping lodges. These lodges are located 5 minutes walk from the lifts and are set in beautiful native forest with awesome view over the valley below.
Broken River operates daily from late June through to early October (and later when conditions permit). The ski area is open from 9:00 am until after 5.00 pm daily with occasional night skiing when conditions permit, usually scheduled weekly with some special night events.
Broken River is very fortunate in that as well as catching plenty of snow, the ski area is protected from the prevaling winds that can buffet the other ski areas. This allows it to be open more often (and you to get more days on the slopes during your holiday) - 'BR' had 9 closed days last season, 74% less than Canterbury's biggest name ski area. In 2003 & 2004 'BR' was open for more days than any other ski area in Australasia (116 days each season) and Broken River was the last (or equal last) South Island ski area open in 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2006.
Ski Areas are energy intensive operations, but at 'BR' we are making an effort to limit our carbon output. Our rope tows and lodges all run on grid supplied electricity; we chose to purchase our electricity from a supplier which only generates using renewable sources like hydro and wind.