The New Zealand Snow Safety Institute offers professional courses for those wishing to up-skill in mountaineering, back-country skiing and riding, or general alpine and rope-work skills. All courses are conducted at Temple Basin Ski Area in the middle of the Southern Alp’s Main Divide. All course fees include on mountain accommodation and meals. For full course details please visit our courses page.


Temple Basin is unique in that there is no access road to the top. Instead you leave your car at the bottom and make your way up on foot.

Approximately 800 metres west of the car park you’ll find the Goods Lift which will send your gear skyward and lighten your load. It’s a good tip to hang onto your ski poles as they make the hike a little easier. If there’s snow to low levels it’s best to phone the office for an update as crampons may be an advantage. Generally hiking boots or running shoes with an aggressive sole are suitable footwear for the track.

Fit and athletic folk pride themselves on completing the track in under 30 minutes. Most people take between 45 minutes and an hour to reach the lodges and lower lifts, not a bad thing as the views and flora are worth savouring.


Come stay up the hill!! It’s great to stay in a true alpine environment even if only for a small part of the year. Don’t worry though as you’re not too far out of touch – the WiFi means you can still take that laptop (if you really feel that you must). Don’t bother packing the cell phone though, there is no reception, your phone will just be excess baggage.

The accommodation is a variety of modern bunkrooms sleeping from 4 to 10 people. All you need to bring is your own sleeping bag and a towel, Temple Basin can look after the rest including dinner, bed and breakfast for one great price.

Oh and did we mention that Temple Basin has a liquor license and fully stocked canteen with snacks, craft beers and locally produced wines?