Craigieburn Valley is not for the fainthearted, or even beginners for that matter. All of the terrain here is for experienced skiers and riders, split almost halfway between intermediate (55%) and experts (45%) trails. Highlights include easy access to advanced freeriding, steep narrow chutes, wide-open powder bowls and uncrowded runs. Terrain at Craigieburn Valley is varied, exciting and challenging with the infamous 600-meter (1,968-foot) vertical descent of Middle basin (which is often compared to a heliskiing experience) accessible by an easy traverse from the tow. The resort is a classic club field meaning that it is not for profit; rather it is run by dedicated club members. "Craiggie" is an awesome place to ski and remains largely undiscovered which means more freshies for you. It’s only a matter of time.

When to go: Mid July to Late September

Terrain: 988 acres: 0% beginner, 55% intermediate, 45% advanced/expert

Lifts: Three rope tows

Apres-ski: Head to the bar at Koroheke Lodge

Resorts facilities: The day lodge, located near the top of the mountain, serves hot food and fresh coffee. Craigieburn has two overnight lodges—Koroheke and Matuhi nestled away just below treeline. They offer a warm and friendly retreat right off the snow after a hard day on the hill. Note: there are no ski rental facilities in Craigieburn.

Ski pass prices: Lift tickets cost $72 (NZD) per day

Transportation: Craigieburn is located 68 miles/1.5 hours from Christchurch on highway 73. Independent operators, Smylies and Black Diamond Safaris offer transfers between Christchurch and Craigieburn.