Mt Olympus is a 45km drive from Windwhistle, which in turn is an easy one hour ten minute drive from Christchurch, or just twenty minutes from Methven. Travelling west on Highway 72 from Christchurch, before reaching Methven, is a town called Windwhistle. From Windwistle continue west, following the signs to Mount Olympus. It is about 45km, the last 16km of which is unsealed.
Access to the field is by 4WD or vehicles that have chains that can be fitted. Please check the conditions on the morning snow report, and read and obey all signs. There is a radio in the Bottom Hut (3km from the ski field), which you can use to contact the Top Hut and enquire about onward road conditions. If you do not have a 4WD vehicle or one capable of wearing chains, catch a lift up to the ski field from the Bottom Hut car park. Ensure that you arrive at the Bottom Hut by 9.00 am at the latest if you require transport.
It is normally not possible to drive the whole way to the Top Hut. The main car park is located a short walk from the ticket office and Access Tow. From here, you can take the Access Tow up to the Top Hut and main ski field. Note that there is no baggage lift: ensure you use a backpack so you can carry your belongings up the tow yourself.
Click on the snowflake for more info or,
View the Mt Olympus Ski Field Location Map as a larger map
Mt Olympus, Contact
Phone: +64 3 318 5840
Fax: +64 3 318 5844
Mail: PO BOX 25055 Christchurch
Mid July to Mid October
- Four high capacity rope tows ( nutcrackers )
Restaurants & Cafes
One on-mountain canteen.
Average Snow Depth
About Mt Olympus
Mt Olympus ski area is a south facing basin set high in the Craigieburn Range - perfect for trapping powder dumps! 450m of vertical drop over 60 hectares of varied terrain provide skiing and riding from beginner to extreme. Olympus is also the ideal gateway to some of New Zealand's finest touring.
There is a beginners tow at the top of the access tow close to the lodge. From the top of the Main Tow and the Top Tow there are plenty of choices with terrain to suit intermediates or the most advanced skiers.
A little walking from the Top Tow opens up even more terrain in this wide open bowl. With the relatively low skier numbers and the choice of terrain, it can take up to a week to get tracks on some slopes.
The slopes of Mt Olympus are accessible by four high-capacity rope tows. To use the rope tows, nutcrackers must be worn. These are available for hire on the field. Attached to a tow belt, the nutcracker is strong and durable, and is designed to clamp around any rope tow.
Accessible from the car park (at 1430 metres) the field's access tow transports you to the timber alpine lodge, fondly known as "The Top Hut" which not only accommodates the day tripper but those on ski weeks and weekends.
Leave your gear and supplies in the lodge on arrival and plant your skis in the snow outside while you lunch or rest during the day. Free refreshments are available for day trippers - hot and cold drinks (tea, coffee, milo). If you have food that requires heating you can use the microwave and/or oven, OR purchase a lunch that has been prepared by the chef. A canteen sells other refreshments and snacks, as well as other miscellaneous items such as day passes, sun-screen and protective mittens (glove-protectors) for use on the rope tows.
Whether staying for a week or just a couple of days, the centrally heated lodge provides affordable comfortable accommodation for up to 40 people in a bunk style environment. The high pressure showers and hot tub will ensure your body makes a quick recovery from the day's adventures to enjoy a relaxing evening ahead while the drying room ensures your ski gear is dry and supple for the following day's adventures, OR weather permitting, the night skiing under lights!
A great atmosphere with fellow backcountry skiers and boarders sharing warming winter meals will make your stay one to remember. The club's chef puts the finishing touches on the communally prepared meals. The dining, living area, kitchen and sun deck are the perfect venue for the lucky few staying in the perfect après-ski environment.
Ski weeks run throughout the season July-September and the package includes daily ski lessons for all skiing abilities, use of tows, meals and accommodation. Bookings are necessary and are open from 1 April.
If there is not enough room in the lodge on the mountain, there is a more basic self-catering option available 3 km from the field at a little alpine hut fondly known as "The Bottom Hut". This hut accommodates 12 people. Heated by a log burner and bar heater, the open plan facility has shower and kitchen facilities. Oh, and a couple of outside toilets!