Club ski holiday packages New Zealand

When shopping around for ski holiday packages in NZ, you may have tried ski holidays in Wanaka, Queenstown and Methven – and probably paid as much as a trip to Fiji for them! What’s different about a club field ski holiday package? While commercial fields have wider scope, snow makers and groomers to ensure guaranteed snow and smooth riding, that is offset by the early start to get a car park, big queues, and each day you have to commute, as well as plan in advance to get a dinner booking.

The club field advantage

So you haven’t been to Cheeseman then? Cheeseman is a popular club field, just over an hour and a half from Christchurch, in a group of four club fields in the Craigieburn Range. Whilst the other club fields have rope tows that require nut crackers, at Cheeseman, the main lifts are two T-bars that make it a popular club field option close to Christchurch.

T-bar for two
Club field advantage

You can’t beat the atmosphere at club fields; most have on-snow accommodation, smaller numbers of skiers and a welcoming, supportive atmosphere.

Many people are put off because they think they all club fields have difficult roads, arm-wrenching rope tows, no groomed slopes, and worse – an energy sapping walk to get from the carpark to the field. Cheeseman has easy access with a drop off zone 15 metres from the lodge, just a short stroll from the carpark.

Cheeseman’s access road
Cheeseman’s groomed velvet ready for action

In addition to the T-bars, the Cheeseman ski area has groomers for plenty of cruisy intermediate skiing, and a good range of steeper advanced terrain. There’s a small learner’s area serviced by an easy rope tow with no need for nut crackers, plus a rental hire area.

Ski-in, ski-out accommodation

The Snowline Lodge is right on the field and offers fully-catered accommodation, so you can ski in and ski out, catch early freshies or pace your day with a coffee and a chat at the cafe in the Day Lodge. Unlike the other club fields in the Craigieburn Range, there’s no big hike to get there (there’s a drop-off zone to unload your gear).

Say goodbye to driving up each day to get a car park and hello to finishing your day with a drink at the bar. It’s a refreshing change having someone else cook dinner for you. The lodge set up means dinner, breakfast and lunch is cooked by our cook.

Think tasty, hearty home-cooked food rather than gourmet restaurant cuisine. Guests help with one light task a day which is a good way to meet people and teach kids about club spirit. The cook does their best to provide tasty options for those with food preferences and intolerances.

Save like a pro

Club field holidays are cheap. Commercial field day passes typically cost $165 day and club fields like Cheeseman offer a huge saving at around $105 day. Aussie resorts start at $135 AUD. Kids 10 and under ski free. Like to ski for a week or two every year? Membership is a great choice (a Member Pass saves 55% on accommodation; plus it’s the equivalent of paying for 5 days skiing/boarding and the rest of the holiday or season, ski for free. You can join during the season and save under “Newbie” – plus you get a work party holiday for the first season!).

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How long do you need for a ski trip?

In general, we suggest a minimum of three days of skiing for a first trip. Allowing for any adverse weather, to get three days, you want to book four or five days. To improve your skiing – as well as chances of powder – a “ski week” is popular: Four nights, five days with three lessons costs only $1120 or $885 for a student. Cheeseman also has 3 day 2 night packages (look under “Vouchers”, or a 2 day 1 night package under “Overnight”).

Friendly atmosphere

So what’s the catch?

Don’t go to club fields expecting facilities such as at the Queenstown Wanaka resorts or 4 star hotels with ensuites. Expect a friendly welcome and homely-style facilities with bunk rooms and separate mens’ and womens’ bathrooms. It’s more about the skiing and social scene than all the rah-rah of commercial fields.

You get to relax around a cosy pot belly fire, play cards, make new friends, and spend as much time on the slopes as your stamina and energy levels dictate.


There’s not as big an area as commercial fields. But Cheeseman offers a range of terrain for mixed abilities. Plenty of groomed intermediate slopes and if you like steeps, there is ungroomed and side country.

Experienced skiers love runs on A-basin, down Gun Barrel and on Cockayne.

Hitting the slopes
Fitting chains on the access road


You may need to fit chains so make sure you have them and know how to fit them, even for four wheel drives. The road up the mountain is a narrower road than the likes of Mt Hutt and Remarkables but with a pretty drive through the beech forest.

If you’re not a confident driver or are coming from the North Island or Australia, you can organise a third party shuttle bus that drops you off and picks you up. Save on car hire. How to get here

When to book a Club ski holiday package in NZ

The New Zealand ski season typically kicks off in the South Island from mid to late June for fields with snow-making facilities. and finishes in October. Cheeseman usually opens in mid-July and closes in September, depending on the natural snow fall.
For club fields, August is traditionally of good snow. Early through to mid Sep offers Spring conditions.

Who skis at Cheeseman?

For many families, students or groups of friends, booking a ski week is an annual tradition. Lots of our skiers make it a routine to book a holiday each year at Mt Cheeseman, creating lasting memories.

Adventurers & experienced skiers
The varied terrain offers easy access to steeper slopes. Skiers from Otago, Australia & North Island love the ski in, ski out lodge. Because it’s a supportive environment, there are always a few people who book as individuals, because their partner doesn’t ski or they are single.

Budget conscious
Ski holidays can be expensive. Mt Cheeseman makes ski holidays affordable – handy if you have other savings goals, plan other summer travel escapades, or if you love the value that the homely, friendly social atmosphere and genuine kiwi skiing experience delivers.

With Snowline accommodation and Day Lodge sunny deck being next to the learners’ area and T-bar, the field offers a degree of supervised independence – kids can go off to ski groomed & ungroomed slopes with people around. Being smaller than commercial fields, it’s easy to find each other. It’s a great place to build friendships and there are runs for all abilities.

Check out our ski week calendar dates for women, university students, fine-wine lovers and high school students.

2024 NZ Ski holiday package prices 

Ski week

5 days 4 nights

Includes: 5 days lift passes Mon-Fri; 4 nights accommodation in a shared bunkroom Mon-Thurs; 3 group lessons Tues-Thurs; 3 meals a day; 2 Cheeseman treats to enjoy.
$1,120 adults
$885 students

Short Stay

3 days 2 nights

Includes 2 nights’ accommodation; 2 breakfasts; 2 lunches; 2 dinners; a 3 day lift pass
$595 adult
$429 student

Road trip

2 days 1 night

Includes 1 nights’ accommodation; 1 breakfast; 1 lunch; 1 dinner; a 2 day lift pass
$359 adult
$259 student

To book or see full prices for kids etc, visit
For the 5D/4N ski week, book under “Snowline – Ski Week”.
For the 3D/2N book under “Vouchers”
For 2D/1N package, book under “Overnight”.

Reasons people love ski holidays at Cheeseman

Scenic splendour

Scenic splendour
Drive through Craigieburn beech forest to a snowy winter wonderland. Magic sunrises and sunsets.

Adventure and excitement

Adventure & excitement
Range of terrain to give experienced skiers challenges, and easier groomed terrain to help beginners and intermediates.

Social friendly vibe

Social friendly vibe
Friendly because it’s smaller, not like the large, impersonal commercial resorts. Enjoy time on the slopes, shared meals & après-ski fun.

Escape and relaxation

Escape & relaxation
Catered; don’t have to drive back or battle with car parking. Relaxed start of day without the drive. Don’t have to be skiing all day. Cosy ambiance.

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Run by a dedicated bunch of local skiers, rather than commercial enterprises, Cheeseman is focused on good times, not profits. If you genuinely seek a social and fun holiday at a South Island club field, Cheeseman is the way to go.

Australian? It’s the real genuine Kiwi skiing culture that few Australians actually experience.

North Islander? Expand your scope and try something different next year. (See ANZAC ski week).

South Canterbury or Otago resident? Escape the hordes and enjoy one of the few clubs that offer a ski-in, ski out lodge without the hassle of rope tows.

If you’ve only skied at large resorts all your life, then come and stay on-snow in a lodge on the mountain and experience a genuine club atmosphere.

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What is the accommodation like?

What is the accommodation like?

The left-hand building is the Day Lodge. The building on the right is the Snowline Lodge, Cheeseman’s ski-in, ski-out accommodation. Staying right on the field makes for a relaxing start and end to a day on the slopes.


Snowline lodge

There are two wings in Snowline Lodge; the Gibson (newer) Wing and Wills Wing (closer to separate male and female bathrooms).

Bring your own sleeping bag. There is some linen hire available if pre-arranged. Most bunk rooms have four to six single bunks with shelves for luggage and hangers for clothes.

Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the mountain under our DoC concession.