In the southern reaches of Canterbury, the Mackenzie region stands proudly. With Lake Tekapo at its heart, Aoraki Mount Cook towers majestically over the area. The town of Twizel is near to the lakes and rivers that criss-cross the region, while Omarama sits to the south and is the gateway to the Lindis Pass. Drive through this Pass and Central Otago reveals herself, featuring Queenstown and Wanaka.
The Mackenzie is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular places to ski and snowboard in New Zealand. Whether you are a learner, come back every season or explore the off-piste terrain, there is a slope to suit you in this region.
Great open spaces and a sparse population provide the backdrop for skiing and riding at the most picturesque, boutique ski areas. At the gateway to the region is Mt Dobson, famous for its all day sunshine and 400 plus acres of terrain. Families enjoy the laid back atmosphere at Roundhill, just out of Lake Tekapo. Close to Omarama, in the south, is mighty Ohau. Reach out to the west and this is where the Tasman Glacier awaits – which you can access via a spectacular, scenic flight.
The three ski areas in the Mackenzie Region allow you to base yourself to pick and choose where to ski and snowboard. As with most New Zealand resorts there isn’t on-mountain accommodation available. A range of accommodation choices can be found in nearby resort towns, allowing you to choose which ski area to select on any given day.
Experience rural New Zealand lifestyle on a farmstay, or spoil yourself in luxury at The Hermitage – the focal point of Aoraki / Mount Cook Alpine Village. If you are seeking privacy and seclusion, self-contained cottages are for you. Whatever your accommodation preference, the Mackenzie region has it and the reason to stay.
When you have finished skiing or snowboarding, there is a range of other attractions and things to do in the Mackenzie Region – view the spectacular night sky, try your hand at ice-skating, take in a breath-taking scenic flight or just sit back in a hot pool and absorb your majestic surroundings.
There is much family fun to be had in the Mackenzie region on a winter holiday also. The quieter pace of the region is perfect for children and combine this with friendliness on the slopes, plus fascinating attractions and you’ve a perfect family holiday for all.
The Mackenzie Region is a ‘touring’ region. Take time to explore it and recharge your batteries in what many describe as wilderness, largely untouched. Superbly located, the region is just 2.5 hours’ drive south of Christchurch and approximately 2.5 hours’ drive north of Queenstown.
The region can be accessed through a number of airport gateways, with Christchurch and Queenstown being the closest. Charter flights are then available to the 4 Mackenzie based airports located at Glentanner, Aoraki / Mount Cook, Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo.
The Cook Connection offers a shuttle service with informative commentary between Lake Tekapo, Twizel and Aoraki / Mount Cook between the months of September and May.