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Location

Rainbow Ski Area is situated at the top of the South Island of New Zealand just off highway 63. It is about 1 hour 30 minutes drive from Nelson airport, 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Blenhiem, 1 hour 40 minutes from Picton and 1 hour 20 minutes drive from Murchison.

The ski area is serviced by St Arnaud Village which is on the edge of the Nelson Lakes National Park. The ski area is a 40 minute drive from St Arnaud along State Highway 63 (SH63), past the Top House corner.

Turn right onto Rainbow Valley Road (left if coming from Blenheim) and drive along the 12km sealed road. The road passes through five fords before reaching the mountain road car park at Six Mile Creek. The mountain road winds up alongside Six Mile Creek through native beech forest up towards the ski area above the tree line. Chains must be either fitted or carried by ALL vehicles on the mountain road.


Rainbow Access Road

If you intend driving up the Rainbow Access Road it is MANDATORY  that you have a set of chains, from the bottom car-park onwards. Even on days where chains do not need to be fitted,  you MUST still carry a set of chains that will fit your vehicle. Conditions in this Alpine environment can and do change rapidly requiring that you fit chains to leave the mountain. For this reason chains must always be either carried or fitted to your vehicle. You will be turned away at the base of the mountain or at the top car park if it is discovered that you are not carrying chains. The shuttle service is a good regular service for customers who do not have chains for their vehicle.

No chains, No access, No exceptions!

Chain Hire Services

Chain Hire is available from the following locations:

  • St Arnaud -  Alpine Lodge- 03 5211869
  • Nelson/Stoke - Adventure gear hire - 269 Seaview Road Stoke -5474817 or 021 1111177.
  • Brightwater - Brightwater Motors - 32-34 Ellis St - 5423756.
  • Blenheim - Snow Chainz Ltd - 213 Weld St, Witherlea - 03-5780220.
  • Motueka - Sportsworld -  201 High Street - 5289845.
  • Motueka - Abel Tasman Outdoors - 241 High St - 5288646.

Purchasing Chains

Chains can be purchased from the following retailers:

  • Repco Nelson, 49 Gloucester Street, Nelson ph.03 546 9992
  • Repco Blenheim, 32 Main Street, Blenheim ph.03 577 8141
  • Repco Richmond, 8 Gladstone Road, Richmond ph.03 543 9301
  • Repco Motueka, 400 High Street, Motueka ph.03 528 1101

Don't want to drive up with chains? - Check out the other transport options available to you.

THE SHUTTLES HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY AT ALL TIMES, PLEASE GIVE WAY.