About XC Skiing.
Cross country skiing is truly a sport for everybody. The Snow Farm has ample, flat beginner terrain to get you started and our excellent instructing team is sure to get you comfortable with more challenging terrain. Overseas the sport is enjoyed by people of all ages from 2 years old to 102!
While cross country skiing is often cited as one of the toughest aerobic sports available, the truth is you can take it at your own pace. You certainly do not need to be in great shape to enjoy our trail network. We have skiers at all fitness levels enjoying our trails on a daily basis. If you can walk you can certainly cross country ski!
Yes you can! Cross country skiing is a great introduction to the sport of skiing. It takes away the intimidation factor of having to ride lifts or descend mountains. You start moving on a flat and level surface and develop your skills to where you can cope with moderate hills.
Generally skiers have no trouble with skiing to Meadow Hut after only one day on skis. We do suggest that you take advantage of our beginners package as the skills taught during the lesson will certainly help you en route to the hut.
In general yes. Cross country skiing is a very low impact form of physical activity, perfect for people with doggy hips/knees etc. However if you are concerned you should always consult your Dr. before trying a new form of activity.
The short answer is no however we do recommend that you begin learning how to ski with the classic style as it’s more akin to walking and hence easier to pick up.
Not at all. Why downhills are a little more difficult than you may encounter with traditional alpine skis the Snow Farm terrain is selected to be cross country specific. You will rarely need to use any alpine techniques such as parallel or wedge turns to navigate your way around our trail system. You will only encounter short gentle slopes on our beginner and intermediate terrain. All of these slopes have good run outs so often you wont find yourself having to snowplow or slow down at all.
Our back country skis are not touring skis. They are heavy duty cross country skis. You must use cross country specific boots and there is no way to clamp your heels down like standard alpine touring skis. Our back country skis are perfect for exploring the gentle hill terrain of the Pisa range, they are much lighter and hereby you can travel faster than traditional alpine touring skis.
All of our Snowshoe packages include a quick guide on how to fit them and where to go. This is typically enough for most people to confidently make it around our two marked trails. If you can walk you’ll have no problems with getting out there with our lightweight snowshoes. Or why not choose a guided snowshoe tour? These last around 2 hours and must be booked 24 hours in advance.
We don’t have a stock of hiking boots for hire so you’ll need to hire or buy some from the outdoor stores in Queenstown or Wanaka. Alternatively you can hire a pair of cross country ski boots which are very lightweight and easy to walk around in.
Yes you can snowshoe on any of our trails however we ask that you avoid walking on the classic track as this takes away from the enjoyment of other skiers.
About the Snow Fun Zone
Children up to 15 years of age can have fun tubing or sledding in our Snow Fun Zone. The hill is unsupervised by Snow Farm staff but is nice and gentle – a perfect way to get kids used to the snow! Unfortunately adults are not allowed to slide either by themselves or with children but you’re welcome to be alongside them as they do.
Yes you may bring your own items (sled/toboggan/plastic bag etc) as long as you stick to the rules posted at the top of the slope (rules are rules after all!). However we do have plenty of tubes and sleds available for use in the Snow Fun Zone at no additional cost.
No – you should bring all your own warm clothing including thermal base layers, gloves/mitts, hats and sturdy footwear. If you don’t have all your own clothing we recommend hiring some from one of the many excellent outdoor stores in Queenstown or Wanaka.
No – you have to take your own pics! We don’t have any photographers onsite but our lovely team are more than happy to help you take that perfect family portrait.
About the Snow Farm
You can access the Snow Farm via road or air. See getting here for more information.
The name is a link into our rich history. The Snow Farm facility was originally part of a high country sheep station supporting a healthy number of the iconic South Island Merino sheep. This sheep station is still active today with the Cardrona side of the mountain being used to graze Merino sheep.
The Snow Farm has been serving the needs of New Zealand’s cross country skiers since it was developed and opened by the Lee family in 1988. In 2012 it was purchased by the Pisa Alpine Charitable Trust, who continue to operate the facility as a non for profit charity to this day.
The fences are part of the magic of the Snow Farm. They help to keep snow on our trails year round as they enable us to harness the wind and create snow drifts right where we want the snow. We are reliant on these fences as we don’t have any form of artificial snow making.