The majestic St Mary Range receives big dumps of wind-packed powder snow in southerly storms.

The Waitaki Ski Club have capitalised on this by setting up the Awakino ski field on these hallowed slopes, high above the Waitaki River hydro lakes in North Otago. The field is normally open for the enjoyment of members and visitors between July and October. The terrain, which extends to a height of 1,737 metres, is ideal for intermediate skiers and boarders. Accordingly the snow ratings are 10% beginner, 70% intermediate and 20% advanced. There are cross-country touring opportunities along the St Mary Range for advanced skiers, with wide open basins of untracked snow just waiting to be tamed.

Awakino is virtually unknown outside the North Otago region, but the club is steadily improving the facilities and raising its profile within the snow sport fraternity. There are 3 rope tows and 1 access tow operating. The daily lift passes are reasonably priced.

Bus Pass New Zealand

Accommodation is provided in a 30 bed lodge some 500 metres below the main rope tow. Overnight stays can also be made in nearby Kurow, just 11 km down the 4WD access road. Oamaru, 45 km away on the coast, has a wide choice of places to stay, and boasts the best-preserved historic commercial buildings in New Zealand, plus a penguin colony and glorious public gardens. Omarama, 66 km inland, has good motel, backpackers and motor camp accommodation.

The club runs special ski weeks and weekends periodically at all-inclusive rates for skiing, dinner, bunk and breakfast. These represent great value and can be arranged with members of the Waitaki Ski Club.

Although it is one of the smallest club fields in Otago and Canterbury, Awakino has great intermediate and advanced skiing and boarding in the right snow conditions.

It is well worth a trip up the Waitaki Valley to check it out.

By | 2014-08-10T23:05:31+00:00 October 3rd, 2013|Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites|1 Comment

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

One Comment

  1. Kaye Dennison
    Kaye Dennison 17 October 2014 at 12:18 am

    If you are travelling to Kurow Area a good tip is that Coastline Tours travels weekdays to and from Oamaru to Dunedin and will bring passengers to and from Glenmac on demand. Leaves Dunedin approximately 3 p.m Monday to Friday. Contact Glenmac for further information.

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