Rainbow is 32 km's from St. Arnaud. The road consists of about 10 km's of main highway before the access road turnoff. The valley road is sealed and meanders for about 14 km's through beech forest, farm land and five fords up the Wairau River Valley. An access gate signals the start to the unsealed mountain road.
Click on the snowflake for more info or,
View the Rainbow Ski Area Location Map as a larger map
June to October
- Novice Rope Tow
- Intermediate PLatter Lift
- Terrain Par fixed grip tow
- West Bowl access rope tow
Two Kassabourer PistenBully snow-groomers
Snow-making facilities (7 SMI Snow-guns & 2 Techno Alpine Snow-guns) in the base area, learners, intermediate slopes and to the top of the T-Bar.
Lift accessed terrain features near the top of the T-bar
Restaurants & Cafes
Rainbow has one cafe serving food, cold and hot drinks, espresso coffee.
Rainbow has an extensive rental department.
4WD Mountain Road Shuttle
Place: Leaving from bottom carpark
Time: 7 days a week (if mountain is open).
Leaves bottom carpark at: 9:00am, 10:00am & 12:00pm.
Returns to the bottom carpark: 3:00pm & 4:00pm or by arrangement with driver.
Fares: Adults: $20.00 (return)
School parties: (All people, adult or child) $15.00 (return)
Children: (17 yrs & under) $15.00 (return)
Family of 4: (Max 2 adults & 2 children) $60.00 (return)
Bookings are not necessary but are advised.
Shuttles leave SHARP at times indicated above.
SHUTTLE HAS THE RIGHT OF WAY AT ALL TIMES, PLEASE GIVE WAY.
Chains must be carried at all times during winter on the moutain road.
NO CHAINS, NO ACCESS, NO EXCEPTIONS!
Chain Hire is available from the following locations
- Richmond - Gardiner Motors
- 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
Average Snow Depth
Rainbow Ski Area is situated adjacent to the Nelson Lakes National Park and only 2 hours drive from Nelson or Blenheim.
The Ski Area is accessed from State Highway 63 between Blenheim and St Arnaud. In the Alpine village of St Arnaud, 40 minutes from the skiing, there is a range of accommodation from backpackers through to luxury lodges.
Overlooking Nelson Lakes National Park with its extensive beech forest and beautiful Lake Rotoiti, the views from the top of the T-bar are spectacular.
The wide, uncrowded slopes and well groomed trails provide superb terrain for beginners and intermediates while advanced skiers can challenge themselves in the high powder runs and chutes.
Rainbow's season usually extends from late June to mid October and the south to south easterly aspect ensures excellent snow quality throughout the season."