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Visitor reviews for Mount Lyford Ski Resort
April 17, 2009
jamie heemskerk from New Zealand
For those of us whom relish club atmosphere fields - Mount Lyford is one of the best that New Zealand has to offer. The snow gods were with us on our visit of 2008 with base of 400cm and 200cm of that being powder, only a dozen local 4wds and a blue bird day. Being a young student and not owning a flash ride, the ski field owner even towed us to the carpark as Billy the Civic could not handle the ride up - gotta love Kiwis.
As our last ride on our return drive home to Nelson from the crowds at nearby Mt Hutt, I had the best day in over 15 years riding with the Mount Lyford experience: great team, great snow and no showponys - just a hill covered with lovely white stuff and fantastic people enjoying it together; Bliss. Only gripe was no halfpipe, maybe it was buried that day aye? =)
Mount Lyford Ratings
Overall: 3.4. Based on 1 vote and 3 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Mount Lyford.
Public Transport: 2.0
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Mount Lyford, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Mount Lyford, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 1.0
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Mount Lyford.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.0
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Mount Lyford, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Mount Lyford is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Mount Lyford relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Mount Lyford, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Mount Lyford are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Mount Lyford is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 2.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Mount Lyford, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 5.0
(1) Mount Lyford usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 5.0
(1) The staff at Mount Lyford are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Mount Lyford are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.0
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 3.0
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 3.0
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Mount Lyford has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Mount Lyford, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.0
(1) Not even a kicker at Mount Lyford, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Mount Lyford, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Mount Lyford has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.0
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.0
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.0
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.0
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.0
(1) Overall, Mount Lyford is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 5.0
(1) Overall, Mount Lyford is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
August 06, 2008
Rob from United Kingdom
Mt Lyford is a very worthwhile little resort. It is located on the edge of the Kaikouras about 40 minutes drive from the famous surf breaks. The location gives it a rather different climate to any other New Zealand reports and so it can have good seasons when other places are poor and vice versa. It is not terribly far from either Hanmer or Rainbow yet the weather at Mount Lyford is often very different. Easterly winds favour snowfall here but there is some exposure to southerly fronts too. Depending on the season, snow bases can range from 50cm to almost 5m.
Mount Lyford is also unusual because there are many wooden chalets located above the winter snowline in the beech forest giving it a tranquil and Alpine feel. You can either hire a chalet here or stay in the ski-lodge down by the main road where there are rooms for all budgets. Alternatively, stay at popular Hanmer Springs or even at Kaikoura.
The actual ski area is located several kms away and chains and/or 4WD are usually needed for access. Skiing is all above the trees which can cause problems if it is windy or if visibility is poor.
Skiing facilities comprise of various drag lifts and a rope. They cover a modest area but as long as the lower lifts are running some longish runs are possible. It is nice terrain - not as challenging as say Broken River or Craigieburn, but good enough for most. Mid week tends to be very quiet here.
The top rope tow gives access to a very nice off-piste area and ski touring options abound as long as it is safe to do so. The staff are friendly and there is a small Day Lodge for food and drinks or just a break. The views are incredible.
May 23, 2005
Rossi from New Zealand
Mt Lyford's got a friendly "club" feel to it though it's a family owned commercial field. If it's got good snow coverage then the terrain's great for advanced skiers; if not then it can be a bit limiting but will still suit intermediate and family skiers. The field rarely gets crowded even on weekends so first tracks can still be had on a Saturday afternoon after a dumping; off-piste terrain is pretty huge. All tows are poma or T-bar, exceept the top rope tow.