There’s something about Soho Basin, the wide rolling basins of premium untouched snow behind Cardrona on New Zealand’s South Island. With spectacular mountain views and a plethora of lines begging for the ski or snowboard taking, this hidden gem of terrain is now served with a side of cat skiing and ‘3 hat’ cuisine.

Once known simply as Soho Basin, the cat skiing operation has upgraded to Soho by Amisfield, for good reason.

When the founder also owns the highly lauded South Island Amisfield vineyard and cellar door, with the only 3 hat restaurant on the Island and New Zealand Chef of the year Vaughan Mabee at the helm, you’d be a fool not to combine the two.

Now cat skiers and snowboarders can start their day at Amisfield’s cellar door at Lake Hayes for a gourmand breakfast before being taken to Soho Basin where 500 metres of vertical and 264 hectares of fresh first track terrain is waiting.


A Kassbohrer Pisten Bully snow cat loads 12 skiers and boarders in a heated cabin to be taken to the top of each run, where Soho guides point out the best runs and features to score the powder turns and away you go. Ski or snowboard down to the waiting cat, be taken back up for more and do it all again.

Guests need to be intermediate to advanced with enough terrain for both to keep those thighs burning. Soho by Amisfield offers a series of basins to explore, topped off with a ridge line traverse out to some steeper wide chutes for those looking for more challenge.

Soho by Amisfield cat.

When your legs get tired, wait out a run in the cat or, when lunch is served in the lower hut on a glorious weather days, you can simply sit on the outside deck by the fire with a glass of wine in hand and cheer everyone on.

After a morning of skiing and boarding, guests either ski to the lower hut for an al fresco dining experience or are transported to the swanky upper hut when the weather dictates. Either way you’ll have a dining experience like no other cat ski operation in the world.

Expect a three course extravaganza of locally sourced, seasonal produce prepared by Amisfield’s best and paired with wines from New Zealand’s Organic Winery of the Year. This is fine dining at altitude.

Guests can then choose to keep wining or hit the slopes and mingle runs with chillaxing or simply go hard on the skis and snowboards until the end of the day when an après ski BBQ is served before the return to town.

I know, right?

Everything is included in the price, the breakfast, the dining, the wines, the beers, the après and of course the skiing and snowboarding. Choose to go per person for NZ$1150 or get a group of 10 for a private cat for NZ$10,000.

All the info here. 

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