Swannies and gummies prevail here, so leave the labels at home and enjoy rugging up for a winter escape from city life, as generations of Kiwis have before you. Staying on the slopes has many benefits – who needs flash accommodation with such killer views, hearty cheap brekkies and being right on the mountain means more time for more runs.
Nothing beats the feeling of skiing down to the start of the chair in the morning, bypassing the traffic jam heading up the mountain.
This level of accommodation is a few stars short of five, and you may be sharing a bunkroom with several others. But this is where great memories are made and new friendships forged.
One thing lodges have in common is the hard graft of past and present members. A quick read of the club history books reveals the stories behind these often humble lodgings, many of which are visited every season by the same families.
If you’re serious about maximising your snow time and minimising the spend, lodges tick all the boxes. From your perch on the mountainside you’ll also enjoy expansive night skies and brilliant sunrises – and if you’re a parent, not having to pack tired and hungry kids back into the car at the end of the day is worth gold.
So try something new this season and book in for a (budget) alpine experience you might just get hooked on. Many clubs allow visitors, just remember you’ll have to pitch in with the general duties, which may include cooking the odd meal and doing some dishes…and yes, perhaps even cleaning the toilet block.
A parting word of advice – volunteer for any night-time duties as there’s nothing worse than getting locked in to breakfast clean up on a powder day!