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Visitor reviews for Roundhill Ski Resort
October 19, 2010
James from New Zealand
Have made the annual pilgrimage down south for many years now and have always given Roundhill a miss having ski raced there as a teenager. My memories from those earlier years were of a small, not very exciting but well run ski area with good facilities for it's size that relied on natural snow fall. Upon visiting Roundhill with the wife this August past I see that four things have happened that will go a long way to ensuring Roundhill's future. Firstly, snow making has made a huge difference - helping make Roundhill's season more predictable and ensuring good coverage on the main trails. Secondly, the excellent training facilities and stable weather conditions that greet the visiting national ski racing teams (think USA and Austria). Thirdly is the investment of time and resources into creating a top quality terrain park to keep both ski and board jibbers happy. Last but not least and most important for me is the construction of the Heritage tow. After riding it for the first time I thought to myself - only in New Zealand and well done you freeking crazy Kiwis...!! I love the fact that it is pactically goober proof and in this day and age, flys in the face of the high speed detachable, sanitised Mac Donalds style development that is going on at most of the other resorts in New Zealand. The skiing was off the hook, 60cms of new snow and fresh tracks all day until mine and the wife's legs cried "no more" - I'll be going back next year for sure....P.S Tekapo is a great little town as well.
Overall: 3.6. Based on 2 votes and 7 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 Roundhill.
Public Transport: 1.5
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Roundhill, (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 Roundhill, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.0
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.5
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Roundhill.
Ski in/Ski out: 1.5
(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 Roundhill, (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) Roundhill is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Roundhill relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 5.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Roundhill, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Roundhill 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) Roundhill is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.5
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Roundhill, 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: 4.5
(1) Roundhill 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: 4.5
(1) The staff at Roundhill are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Roundhill 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: 4.5
(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: 4.0
(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: 4.5
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Roundhill 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 Roundhill, (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: 3.5
(1) Not even a kicker at Roundhill, (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 Roundhill, (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) Roundhill has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.5
(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: 4.0
(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: 3.5
(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): 4.5
(1) Overall, Roundhill 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): 4.5
(1) Overall, Roundhill 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.
September 16, 2010
Anton from Australia
Went to Roundhill not knowing what to expect. I'm advanced snowboarder and I was with my wife, low intermediate, friend, beginner snowboarder and two kids new to skiing.
Everyone loved the place, the terrain is very good for beginner to intermediate with all blues being gentle yet challenging. Good beginner park, some nice jumps. Snow is drier than Queenstown. Facilities are basic but you can park at the base so take your lunch and a couple of chairs for 5 star views at lunchtime.
The nutcracker delivers you to amazing terrain! I lived in Colorado and it reminded me of some of the big Vail bowls. On a powder day it would be fantastic!
Staff wanted to be somewhere else but having worked in resorts I know the feeling. Still they could learn to smile and suck it up.
All in all, Roundhill is great and so good that next year we'll stay at Tekapo for a week rather than go to Queenstown. Keen to check Dobson out too.
August 17, 2010
Jonathan from New Zealand
Have skied for many years, including plenty of heli days and I have never skied a run like the new face at Roundhill that is open this year, it has to be the best run in the country. Skied it last Monday on 70 cm powder day and then on Sunday when it turned to spring corn. Roundhill rocks big time.
August 16, 2010
Henry from New Zealand
Skied Roundhill last week - first time in many years.
Picture postcard weather.
The new rope tow is sensational on a great day. Cannot comment on bad day..
Snow was right down to lake.
Be warned it is a very long tow but the view-WOW
In my opinion Roundhill is no longer just a beginners spot.
If weather is right it is better than any field close by.
July 19, 2010
Alan from New Zealand
I visited Roundhill for the first time in mid-July, 2010.
There was snow at lake level, clear weather, the drive there was very scenic. The view of New Zealand's highest mountains and of Lake Tekapo from the T-bar slopes is one of the nicest ski-resort views (reminded me of Heavenly, Lake Tahoe). The snow on the T-bar slopes was very good, the terrain park well-made for learning to do jumps. The slopes were easy but the view made the difference.
I went up the over 600 vertical meter nut-cracker rope tow. This lift, the views it opens up, and the slopes it accesses, is sensational! New Zealand's version of Kicking Horse, Canada?
The snow was o.k. by this lift, but ice-crusted on the wide steep faces - on a powder day these slopes look like they are world-class. Could be a bit expensive - maybe lifts are 15% over priced? Though this mountain is special.
December 22, 2009
Dan from Australia
Access road: Adequately maintained and easy to negotiate.
Prices: Normal/on par with near-by ski fields.
Snow quality: Can be quite icy at times. Ski field closes often due to poor weather.
Terrain size: Small but has great views.
Trails: Mostly intermediate. Limited but very gentle beginners. Arguably no advanced. Queues are generally short in all areas. Virtually no waking required between car park and trails.
Other facilities: A small café with a limited selection of food.
Staff: A few were impatient and not friendly, if not rude. This ruined my experience.
Family friendly: Yes. Plenty of space for setting up picnics next to the Learner Area, too. The Learner Area is full of kids on weekends.
[Editors note: I agree with much of the above. It is important to mention that Roundhill has always had excellent advanced skiing for those prepared to hike up the high slopes of the Two Thumb Range. For the 2010 season, a new nutcracker rope-tow will allow easier access to the big mountain above the existing ski area. Although the sunny and exposed face is prone to being icy, when conditions are right and there is fresh snow, this slope offers excellent open faces and wide gullies at about 30 degrees and with only a few rocks. This exciting development will propel Roundhill from being New Zealand's most modest ski area to a place that offers something for everyone, including the advanced skiers and snowboarders who have previously ignored Roundhill as the headed to the challenging slopes of nearby Ohau. By our calculations Roundhill will soon have the longest and steepest rope-tow in all of New Zealand (in the World?) and the most vertical of any South Island resort, offering Ohau some serious competition and potentially allowing Roundhill to stay open longer each season. Last, I have to say that in 2008 and 2009 seasons, I found the lifties pretty helpful and friendly]
August 15, 2008
Michael Gibson from New Zealand
Had my doubts about the size and altitude of this ski field before I went, but was pleasantly surprised. It is a easy and beautiful drive to the ski field along Lake Tekapo. The views from the ski field are spectacular. The snow quality is superb and kept in pristine condition with regular groomers and snow making (though plenty of the natural stuff). There are 2 lifts, a Pomma for beginners and a long T-bar accessing the rest of the terrain. They have also put in a great snow park this year too. Although not steep, it is kept in great condition for going hard out. For the advanced there is access to vast back country terrain beyond the ski field boundary. Finally the cafe has a great sun deck, that is sheltered and captures all day sun. Great place for getting back into skiing/boarding again or to take the family.