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About the Snow Farm

The Snow Farm NZ is owned and operated by the Pisa Alpine Charitable Trust (PACT) and is operated on Queenstown Lakes District Council land. It is the only non-profit ski area in the Southern Lakes region.

Founded in 1986 by Mary and John Lee, the Snow Farm was the first Cross Country area in New Zealand. Originally called the Waiorau Nordic Ski Area, the name was later changed to reflect the farming heritage of the property. Waiorau was the name that Ngai Tahu gave to the area, translated it means the place of over one hundred waters.

Terrain and Trails

  • 55km of trails groomed for both skating and classic.
  • 24km of Snow Shoe trail.
  • Snow Fun Zone including 150m tubing/sledding hill.
  • 40% Beginner trail
  • 20% Intermediate trail
  • 40% Advanced trail

Mountain Facts

  • Base Elevation: 1520m (4990ft) above sea level.
  • Highest point: Mt Pisa 1965m (6445ft) above sea level.
  • Season: late June – late September
  • Opening Hours: 9:00am – 4:00pm daily


  • Ski School
  • Snow rental and repair workshop
  • Snow Fun Zone
  • Snow Shop
  • 2 backcountry huts
  • 8 lane biathlon range

Pisa Alpine Charitable Trust

The Pisa Alpine Charitable Trust (PACT) is a charitable trust that was formed to secure the ownership of the Snow Farm to ensure that the area remains available for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, summer recreational activities, along with winter and summer educational programmes.

During the period between 2009 and 2012 PACT sourced funding to purchase the Snow Farm land with the help of the following charities and organisations:

On securing the 298 hectares of land on which the Snow Farm sits, the land title was transferred to the Queenstown Lakes District Council on the 30th of November 2012.  It has now been established as a new recreation reserve protected in perpetuity for cross-country skiing sports and summer recreational uses.

PACT took over the Snow Farm business and now manages the day to day operations of the Snow Farm under the subsidiary Snow Farm NZ Ltd.  This charitable company acts on a not for profit basis with any surplus generated being reinvested into assets essential for the Snow Farm e.g., a groomer, trail maintenance, hut maintenance, etc.

If you wish to help with the upkeep of this amazing community resource either financially or via our working bee programme, please contact us today.

The Trustees
Tom Pryde (Chairman):

  • Lawyer, former President of Southland District Law Society
  • President of the New Zealand Triathlon Association
  • Company Director of several Southland companies.
  • Trustee of many local and national trusts including: Halberg Trust, Hump Ridge Track Trust and Paradise Trust

Mary Lee:

  • Hands-on management experience at the Snow Farm for over 20 years.
  • Founding Member of executive holder of NZCCSA, NZNSDA & Biathlon NZ
  • Member of the FIS ladies committee (cross country skiing).

John Hogg:

  • Accountant, Chief Financial Officer, Company Director
  • Considerable corporate finance, lending and listing experience
  • Committee member New Zealand Nordic Sports Development Association.

John Burridge:

  • Retired business manager
  • Long serving ex President New Zealand Cross Country Ski Association.
  • Race Director Winter Games Cross Country Skiing
  • FIS member of the Popular Cross-Country Committee

Peter Soundy:

  • Engineer and Project Manager.
  • 30 years project development and construction experience including 15 years in Europe and Asia

Brent O’callahan:

  • Specialist solicitor and director
  • Conducts litigation in many aspects of the law including commercial law, insurance, public law, professional negligence,  and fiduciary duties.
  • Spends as much time as possible in Cardrona and at the Snow Farm.