Awakino is a club-operated field that opens up for group bookings during the weekends. It's easterly aspect means that it is sheltered from most weather and picks up good dumps from southerlies.
Awakino is located high up the St Marys Range, near Kurow in the Waitaki Valley. When you arrive you get the impression that it’s a little different, some use the term ‘old-school’. In essence there’s a place to stay, a mountain to ski and two tows to gain easy vertical credits, what else does one need? The beauty of the ski area is its club charm, touring options and how remarkably unchanged it’s remained over the years.
For the mechanically minded you’ll get a kick out of the main tow, it’s a tractor in a container and has been shuttling people up the mountain since Adam was a cowboy. If you’re not equipped with a 4WD it’s best to phone in advance and one of the clubbies can come down and pick you up. The best part, it’s quiet. A busy day means that you’ll be sharing the mountain with no more than 20-30 people.
For those in the know, Awakino is renowned for deep wind-blown powder; fantastic terrain suiting intermediate to advanced riders; and its pioneering spirit. As it’s generally only open on weekends any snowfall during the week remains untracked, ready to be ripped when your working week is over.
Terrain and Weather Tip
The field has many aspects, meaning you can ride in all sorts of snow conditions on one day. Grooming is limited to an occasional firing up of the vintage 1980s Kassbohrer, so don’t expect corduroy runs. Club members are happy to show you the best places to go, but bring full avalanche gear because much of the good terrain is out of bounds.
Keep an eye on their website for updates on long weekend openings.
The lodge at Awakino is original, dating back to the earliest days of skiing in New Zealand. Bookings are essential and the lodge is typically open on Fridays and Saturdays when the field is operational. There are two bunk rooms with 34 bunks, self-catered with full kitchen facilities. Normally at the limit of the winter snowline the lodge is accessible on skis from the main field down two side gulleys (Arthurs run and the old access tow gulley). 4WD access is normally available to the lodge, otherwise it is a 30 minute walk to it from the top car park in the valley below. A true mountain hideaway!
Adult/Student $35 first night and $25 nights thereafter
Child (Up to Year 8) $20 first night and $15 nights thereafter
Ski and stay weekender packages available.
Book the accommodation, it’s essential to getting enough numbers for the field to open.
For the Early Season skiers: Pray for the big easterly dump.
For the Curious: Pack your touring gear and skin up Te Kohurau, the highest point on the St Marys Range at 2010m.
Main Lifts 2x Rope Tows
Learner Lifts 1x Rope Tow
Terrain Park Glacier Basin is one giant TP
Top Elevation 1880m
Bottom Elevation 1450m
Skiable Terrain 100 hectares
Lessons Occasionally by arrangement
Access 4WD (2WD to bottom car park)
Day Pass Rates
Child (up to Year 8): $30
Half day rates also available.
Draw Card: Stay in the lodge and ride all weekend.
Phone (David Campbell): +64 21 0243 9273
Heading backcountry? Make sure you’re ready:
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