"It is important to tell you this: If I had to stay in one area, in one mountain, in one place to snowboard for the rest of my life, it would be Temple Basin. It's that good....Yes, you have to hike into the area, but it's one of the most beautiful places to hike in the entire world...and yes, the place is not like a normal ski area - that is exactly the reason to go." Brad Steward. Transworld Snowboarding. March 1996.
About Temple Basin
Located on the Main Divide of the Southern Alps, Temple Basin is a ski area like no other. Temple Basin provides total detachment from ‘life in the fast lane’ but with all the comforts of home. If you’re thinking of taking a backcountry or avalanche course there is no better place to immerse yourself in a learning environment. Temple Lodge has a fully equipped lecture room.
Temple Basin is a rewarding and exhilarating place to stay, ski and ride. Like any good reward with skiing there is usually a hike involved. A ‘gondola’ (goodslift) can be found at the base, on the main highway, but it only carries your gear. There’s no access road so the 40-60 minute hike up will get the blood pumping and legs ready for skiing and riding.
Three rope tows service the ski area. Cassidy Tow is a great option for beginners and those of intermediate ability. Temple Tow is right in front of the main accommodation lodge and has night skiing. A short traverse from the top of the Temple Tow leads you to Downhill Tow, which is nestled under Mt Temple and accesses a large sunny basin. The entire ski area is ungroomed so natural features and impressive rock formations make the skiing both challenging and rewarding.
Terrain and Weather Tip
Temple Basin can be particularly sunny so pack your sunglasses and sunblock along with your drink bottle and a day pack.
Head up on a Friday evening to get the most out of your weekend, but don’t leave valuables in your vehicle.
For the Ravenous: stay the night. The meal and dessert are worth it!
For First Timers: don't pack your ski poles on the goods lift, they're handy for the walk up. Also, when heading back down, keep your car keys in your pocket, not in the gear you send down on the lift!
For Everyone: take a strong head torch. Powerful lights illuminate Temple Tow when conditions are right for night skiing.
View detailed snow forecast for Temple Basin at:
Temple Basin Stats
Main Lifts 3x Rope Tows
Top Elevation 1923m
Bottom Elevation 1493m
Skiable Terrain 380 hectares
Ski/Board Hire Yes
Night Skiing Conditions Permitting
Access 45-60 minute hike
Day Pass Rates
Under 18: $85
Under 11: FREE
Remote alpine setting, amazing terrain & cold craft beers
Mountain Phone: +64 3 377 7788
Where to stay
Where to shop
Transport & services
Last stop for fuel heading west from Christchurch.
The Chill Pass
Heading backcountry? Make sure you’re ready:
- Find Backcountry Access Policies
- Kickstart your avalanche awareness skills with learning tools and videos