Soho Basin – A New Zealand Backcountry Adventure With A Difference

August 3rd, 2022
Let them run in Soho Basin’s wide open bowls

Mountainwatch | Travel

Aptly described as New Zealand’s best kept secret, Soho Basin is an unspoilt playground of 1000+ acres offering a unique backcountry cat-skiing experience in a relaxed and social atmosphere.

It also includes an unparalleled alpine food and wine experience while taking in the awe-inspiring views from Fiordland to the West Coast and Wanaka to Queenstown

Located high above the Cardona valley, Soho’s untouched landscape is a 60-minute drive from Queenstown, 40-miutes from Wanaka or a 10-minute trip via helicopter. Soho Basin’s operations are carried out in the Soho and Big Willow basins on the southerly aspects of Mt Cardrona. Soho Basin is adjacent to Cardrona Alpine Resort and overlooks the spectacular scenery of the Wakatipu Basin and beyond to the peaks of the Main Divide.


Comfort in the state of the art snowcats

The terrain drops 500 vertical metres and is suited for strong intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders and ranges from open rolling bowls to steep chutes.  No lines, no chairlifts – just you and your mates and run after run of untracked snow.

This is backcountry skiing and the number one consideration is safely ensuring guests have an incredible day. The operations team and guides are qualified and experienced in the backcountry with a deep knowledge of the terrain, the snow pack and safety. Soho Basin is managed as a ski area and a safety management plan is implemented to minimise hazards and operate to industry best practice.

Each day begins with a standing breakfast and comprehensive safety briefing and provision of safety equipment including transceivers. The staff run over the safety around the snow cats, loading and unloading procedures as well as the terrain and guest safety management and how the day will run.


Numbers are limited, and you can expect 10-12 runs, relaxing in the heated state-of the art snow cat as you make your way to the top for your next run. The guides will take the more advanced and adventurous skiers and snowboarders into the more challenging terrain, finding the best lines and snow.

Lunch is an equally memorable experience, a three-course meal prepared by the chefs with a menu of local ingredients that showcases the best of Central Otago produce. This is paired with Amisfield wines and a range of beers and non-alcoholic beverages. After your last runs, après drinks and snacks are served to close out the day.


Lunch is way beyond overpriced pies and cold chips

Soho Basin offers an experience you will always remember and this comment from a guest says it all: “Honestly the best all-around day I’ve had on a mountain! From start to finish… coffee and pastries on arrival was epic, they organised 30cm of powder just for us. Guides were great, lunch time recharge with local beers and wines down the valley was on another level (I’m an ex-chef, trust me). And the runs – fresh lines all day…”

To book and for further information head to the  Soho Basin website