Visitor reviews for Broken River Ski Resort
August 07, 2012
Joe from New Zealand
There is now a lift which you ride from the carpark to lift ticket office so you don't have to walk as outlined in the last review.
"carpark there is a 30 minute walk up to the lodges and rope tows. There is a goods lift to carry your luggage and skis, so the forest walk is a pleasant one".
BR is awesome, come and enjoy it.
Broken River Ratings
Overall: 3.7. Based on 3 votes and 2 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 Broken River.
Public Transport: 2.3
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Broken River, (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 Broken River, (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: 2.7
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Broken River.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.7
(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 Broken River, (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) Broken River is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Broken River relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 2.7
(1) There are no snow groomers at Broken River, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Broken River 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) Broken River is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.3
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Broken River, 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) Broken River 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 Broken River are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Broken River 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: 4.7
(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: 1.3
(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: 4.7
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Broken River 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 Broken River, (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: 3.3
(1) Not even a kicker at Broken River, (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 Broken River, (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) Broken River 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: 2.3
(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: 3.7
(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: 4.3
(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): 5.0
(1) Overall, Broken River 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, Broken River 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.
July 13, 2005
James Broadbent from New Zealand
Broken River (or BR to those who know it) ranks highly for snow, terrain and all round good times. Its main basin consistently gets the best snow on the whole Craigieburn Range. Two high speed nutcracker rope tows take skiers and boarders up to access this basin, which is big enough to give fresh lines all day after a snowfall. The Ridge Tow goes higher up to Nervous Knob to access steeper lines, and leads over into Allanâs Basin, another vast area of snow. There is access to the backcountry further south along the range, and it is also possible to ski over to Craigieburn and back for a day. Craigieburn honours Broken River lift tickets (and vice versa) so you can have a few runs there before returning.
Palmer Lodge is the day lodge in the main ski basin, open to the public. Hanging out on the north-facing deck in the sunshine is the place to be for lunch, or a cup of tea or even a beer between runs. Bring your own sandwiches or buy a pie. Jumps and rails nearby provide entertainment as you eat. Chat with the local club members and pick up tips on where the snow is good today.
Broken Riverâs terrain mainly suits intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders, but there is a small beginner area near Palmer Lodge where the next generations of BR members learn to ride. The Palmer Lodge area is also popular with New Zealandâs native mountain parrot, the Kea. All Kea are named âHarryâ and they are notorious kleptomaniacs â watch your gear closely or Harry might fly off with it!
The skifield is accessed from Highway 73 via a gravel road through beech forest. Carry tyre chains at all times. Beyond the carpark there is a 30 minute walk up to the lodges and rope tows. There is a goods lift to carry your luggage and skis, so the forest walk is a pleasant one. The ski area overlooks the fantastic scenery of the Castle Hill Basin, and from the top of the main tow the views include Mount Rolleston, the Arrowsmith mountains and the Harper and Wilberforce Rivers.
The staff are keen riders themselves, so they are on the same wavelength you are on, and very approachable. Professional and volunteer ski patrollers keep the place running safely. Club members are always friendly and helpful to those who are new to the nutcracker tows; donât let those lifts put you off. If you have never ridden a nutcracker tow before, it will be a challenge initially, but persevere with it. Once you have the knack the tows are simple and efficient to ride. The tows operate from 9am to 5pm, and twice a week depending on weather there is floodlit night skiing also.
When you have finally had enough, itâs only a short walk back down to the accommodation lodges. The evenings are social and relaxed. The accommodation is on three levels of service. There is self-catering bunkrooms, club-style bunkrooms (with communal duties and meals included) and fully catered and serviced accommodation. All are good value. BR club members get 50% discount on everything. If you love what you see, ask about joining the club; new members are always welcome.
Often the other ski areas are shut due to high winds or excess snow (or not enough snow) and Broken River just keeps on skiing. Even at the end of the season through late October and even into November, when other ski areas have shut, BR keeps on operating for as long as there is snow. Broken River is a real snow riderâs mountain. Everybody is there for the skiing and boarding. Egos are discouraged and the only attitude is a positive one. The BR experience is addictive: try it, youâll like it.