The 5 Best places to ski and snowboard in the Southern Hemisphere
Cragieburn Valley, New Zealand
If you want your southern hemisphere ski vacation to be steep, deep, and cheap, head to Cragieburn Valley in New Zealand. Located an hour and a half from Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island, Cragieburn Valley doesn't do much advertising. According to its website, Cragieburn "exists solely for the purpose of skiing and snowboarding, not commercial gain."
A non-profit organization operated by a group of "enthusiastic club members and seasonal staff," there are no ski-rental shops, hotels, spas or shopping centers at Cragieburn Valley – just a couple of basic alpine lodges, deep snow and steep terrain. While the lodges are right at the base of the resort and very much ski-in ski-out, the lodging experience is hostel-esque and communal, with shared bunkrooms and dinning facilities where guests are expected to bring their own sleeping bag, towels, and lunches.
The resort, in the heart of New Zealand's Southern Alps, boasts some of the best terrain in New Zealand with the majority of it suited for experts. Tight, technical chutes, steep ridgelines, wide-open powder bowls, and easily accessible backcountry options are all serviced by three high capacity rope tows. With a vertical rise of just under 2,000 feet, Cragieburn packs a lot of punch for its relatively small size. That's not to mention the price: 5 nights of accommodation and skiing with two meals a day included costs under six hundred bucks.
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