Rob Davies from United Kingdom writes:
The small ski area is accessed by a dirt road from Hanmer Springs. It's really just a tiny club field with a drag and a rope-tow. You can stay up here in a bunkhouse, or else stay in Hanmer, about 30 minutes drive away and enjoy the hot springs and a range of accommodation for all budgets, shops and restaurants. The pleasant small town has plainly developed primarily because of the hot springs and dry continental climate, so don't expect a ski town. The road up to the ski area is as narrow and twisty as any club field access road and is generally only suitable for 4WD vehicles. You will generally need to fit chains but if that's not for you, hitch or take a shuttle.
The ski area is really quite small, even by NZ standards, but it is very quiet and steep enough to be good fun and the views are great. A vast wilderness, albeit of better looking back-country terrain, stretches away in every direction.
Snow reliability can be an issue. This area is very dry because of the surrounding high country and only SE storms deliver really big dumps and in some years, like 2011, they hardly happen. El Nino years are best. Nearby Mount Lyford sees more of the active weather and generally gets deeper cover and it's a rare dump that drops more snow at Hanmer than Lyford. Wind can also be a problem here, whipping the snow off the wide stony ridges and packing it down elsewhere. That said the main valley runs hold deep soft snow pretty well.
The best option for skiing this place is to get here on the night before a big dump and enjoy crowd-free skiing before the access road is cleared. If that takes 3 days, so much the better as the clubbies will run the lifts regardless. Just make sure you take enough food and grog and don't have a flight to catch. Like Lyford, it's on the unrestricted Chill Pass so visit it as part of a bigger tour.