Round Hill sits above the shores of Lake Tekapo on the Richmond Range. Known best for it’s straight forward name and having the biggest vertical drop in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s worth a look. Although a commercial field, Round Hill is family owned and has the laid back style of a club field.
Round Hill used to be a bit of a joke, to most good skiers as it seriously lacked challenging terrain. This all changed with the installation of their monster nutcracker. It gave access to an additional 785 vertical metres of the huge wall, adjacent to the field. The wall is nearly a perfect 35-45 degrees the whole way from top to bottom with long natural pipes and ridges. This terrain makes for fast fun skiing, yet it is all quite similar.
For beginner and intermediate skiers the ’round hill’ part of the field is very user friendly. The slopes are mellow and you are able to ski straight from your car to the lifts.
Round Hill, like Dobson, receives most of it’s snow from south easterly storms. Being in the arid Mackenzie Country the snow is lighter and drier than elsewhere. The lower part of the field also has snow making.
If you do find yourself seeking something different, you can drop to the other side of the ridge, into the abundant backcountry on offer. One ride tickets on the tow are also available for $20 NZD.
A pretty solid little park for the size of the mountain.
As well as the super long nutcracker, there are two T-bars, and a learners platter and rope tow. Round Hill is usually quiet, with the lift capacity more than enough to handle punters, so it is no surprise that lift queues are not really a thing.
Round Hill is a forty minute drive from Tekapo along the lake edge. The access road to the mountain or hill in this case is wide and very gentle.
Bottom Line overall stoke rating:❆❆❆½
Definitely worth a look, something for everyone and especially learners. This is a pretty special part of New Zealand.