Broken River Trail Guide

BR, as it’s known to the locals, has a friendly atmosphere, social & sunny day lodge and great terrain. Add to that the quirky access via an alpine railway and you’ve got something quite unique. The day lodge is a great place to relax and watch the action. There is some beginner terrain and plenty of variety for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders.


About Broken River

From the main road, the access road takes you up through picturesque Beech Forest to the main Hanomag car park. There you can choose to walk up the foot track or take the express route skyward. The Tyndall Tramway, NZ’s only alpine railway, quickly transports you and your gear up through the Beech Forest to the ticket office and accommodation. The 4-minute ride up not only saves you a 20-minute walk but provides fantastic views cross to the Torlesse Range.

You will need to bring your own ski or snowboard gear but you can rent a tow belt or ski harness at the Ticket Office. From there you’ve got a short hike up the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to the access tow. This tow is a little sporting for beginners but it’s worth a crack and it can be slowed down at the press of a button.

The main field is a feature-filled basin with plenty of great intermediate and advanced terrain. There are also two learner tows near the day lodge. The Access/Rugby Tow can be floodlit for night skiing. Strong skiers and snowboarders will find great terrain off the ridge and even more in the adjoining bowl. Allan’s Basin is accessed by a ridge tow and once you’ve enjoyed its thrills there is a track back to the main field via the saddle above the access tow.

When it’s time to refuel either pick up a snack from the canteen or join other amateur chefs on the communal hot plate located on the sunny Palmer Lodge deck. Even if you don’t have the gourmet burger, wild venison or some other mouth-watering morsel from the hot plate you can at least purchase BR’s own boutique lager and a hand-made pizza to create your gourmet lunch.

Trail Map

Broken River Trail Map

Terrain and Weather Tip

The sheltered ski area’s east facing position results in plenty of powder days during winter and great corn snow in spring. Adventurous beginners will have a blast outside the day lodge while the rest of the mountain is an off-piste paradise.

Chill Tip

If you’re safety equipped, follow Allan’s Basin below the ski area boundary to the summer road and after a good snowfall ride all the way down to your car. What an awesome finish to your day!

ACC Concussion - Recognise the signs

Check List

For the Chef: Cook a burger on the hot plate.
For the Stressed: Grab a BR Lager and bask in the sun on Palmer Lodge deck.
For the Romantic: Take your lunch to the main ridge and soak in the vista of endless mountain ranges to the west.

Snow Forecast

Broken River Stats

Beginner 5%
Intermediate 45%
Advanced 50%

Pistes Beginners area & some slopes groomed
Main Lifts 3x Rope Tows
Learner Lifts 2x Rope Tows

Top Elevation 1820m
Bottom Elevation 1425m
Skiable Terrain 175 hectares
Lessons Yes: Alpine, Telemark, Snowboard

Night Skiing Conditions permitting
Access 2WD with chains when required

Day Lift Pass Rates    

Adult: $75
65-69: $50
70+: Free
Affiliated*: $60
Student**: $50
Under 18: $35
Under 11: Free
Family#: $180

Night Lift Pass Rates    

Adult: $40
65-69: $25
70+: Free
Affiliated*: $40
Student**: $25
Under 18: $25
Under 11: Free
Family#: N/A

* Member of a Club affiliated with Broken River Ski Club. Photo ID and proof of membership required.
** Students must be New Zealand fulltime, or have ISIC membership, and supply their ID.
# Family = up to 2 adults and 3 children under 18 years in the same family.

Draw Cards:
Holds plenty of snow with two main basins to ski.
Friendly relaxing vibe.

Key Contacts

Mountain Phone: +64 3 318-8713 /  +64 3 318 7270

Useful Links

Where to stay
Where to shop
Transport & services
Last stop for fuel heading west from Christchurch.

The Chill Pass

Mountain Safety Council Avalanche Awareness Banner Chill Alpine


The Chill Mountains

In 2020 The Chill6 accesses the five following Ski Areas in the Selwyn District;  Porters, Cheeseman, Broken River, Temple Basin and Mt Olympus.

The Chill12 accesses the five ski areas above plus Rainbow, Hanmer Springs, Mt Lyford, Fox Peak, Mt Dobson and Awakino.

The Chill Travel Pass accesses the 11 mountains on the Chill12 Pass as well as Christchurch Adventure Park. Up to two clips on the Chill Travel Pass can be used at Porters and/or CAP.

The Chill Regions/Accommodation

Find out more about where to stay and play in the regions around the Chill Mountains. From Nelson Lakes & Marlborough in the North down to Queenstown & Wanaka in the South. In between there's Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs, Sensational Selwyn, the township of Methven, the Mackenzie District and Waitaki Valley and of course the home of Chill, Christchurch City. Here we share places to stay, eat, shop and explore to help plan your adventure in the Southern Alps.