Mt Cheeseman Trail Guide
Cheeseman has a distinctive family friendly atmosphere as well as offering diverse terrain for all abilities and loads of great facilities. The main runs are accessed by 2 T-bars lifts and there are easy trails down courtesy of extensive grooming.
Hands up if you like a getaway! Yes, now pack your woollies, grab your favourite people and make the most of your winter weeks and weekends by heading into the heart of the Southern Alps. Start a snowball fight, build a snowman, or race your mates downhill, Cheeseman is the place to be this winter – great value, uncrowded sunny slopes and old school camaraderie.
Open to the public Cheeseman has a distinctive fun, family friendly atmosphere. Only a 90 minute drive from Christchurch on the Great Alpine Highway just past Castle Hill Village, the safe, well-maintained access road is suitable for 2WD vehicles with chains. You can drive right to the ski area where you will find diverse terrain for all abilities and loads of great facilities including: a sunny day lodge with large wrap around decks; the licenced Cockayne Café; ticket office; gear hire; and plenty of storage for bags etc.
The sunny deck out front is perfect to watch the on-slope action from. The learners rope tow is located immediately in front of the day lodge, so the deck is also a great spot to watch the kids once they’ve found their feet while you enjoy a fresh espresso coffee.
The main runs are accessed by two T-bar lifts and there are easy trails down, courtesy of extensive grooming and a freshly built easy track linking the upper and lower mountain. The top of the Main T-bar lift has plenty of wide open groomed slopes ideal for building your confidence. The Ridge T-bar lift takes you to the top offering challenging off-piste skiing with spectacular views. For the adventurous, the Ridge T-Bar lift also offers access to Tarn Basin, a popular touring option outside the ski area boundary for backcountry enthusiasts.
Terrain and Weather Tip
Mt Cockayne provides plenty of powder during winter and you can keep scoring fresh tracks by sacrificing a little vertical and heading wide. Come Spring, Sunny Face softens early and provides a long run back to the Cockayne Café. For those that like natural features the mountain is scattered with heaps of hips that make for creative lines. Cheeseman’s east facing basin has north and south aspects that ski well after fronts from either direction.
For the Weary: Grab a quick fix with an espresso from the Cockayne Café.
For the Hungry: Overnight in Snowline Lodge for a delicious dinner and divine dessert!
For a Laugh: Strip down and enter the quirky Undie 500 where everyone who enters is guaranteed an awesome prize.
Make a weekend of it and stay overnight at Snowline Lodge for first tracks in the morning!
Mt Cheeseman Stats
Pistes Main Runs Groomed
Main Lifts 2x T-Bars Lifts
Learner Lifts 1x Rope Tow
Terrain Park Rails and jumps
Top Elevation 1860m
Bottom Elevation 1540m
Skiable Terrain 50 hectares
Ski/Board Hire Yes
Access 2WD with chains when required
Day Pass Rates
U10 & 75+ FREE!
Family friendly, excellent terrain for learning, uncrowded open slopes.
Phone: + 64 3 344 3247
The Chill Mountains
In 2019 The Chill6 accesses the 6 Ski Areas in the Selwyn District; Porters, Cheeseman, Broken River, Craigieburn Valley, Temple Basin and Mt Olympus.
The Chill12 accesses the six ski areas above plus Rainbow, Hanmer Springs, Mt Lyford, Fox Peak, Mt Dobson and Awakino.
The Chill Travel Pass accesses the 12 mountains on the Chill12 Pass. Up to two days on the Chill Travel Pass can be used at Porters.
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.