The Remarkables is only about 45 minutes from Queenstown by car, so hiring a 4WD in the city and heading out to the mountains is a popular activity in the winter months.
With more than 220 skiable hectares of terrain, those who want to feel the thrills and chills of skiing one of New Zealand’s most famous ski fields will have little to desire when approaching The Remarkables. The mountain swells up ahead of you as you drive, and as you drive nearer to the ski area, you will easily feel the excitement building. There are beginner, intermediate and advanced ski areas at The Remarkables, and each are unique:
Approximately 30 percent of The Remarkables ski field is well-suited for beginners. There are three trails specifically designed for beginners: Casterway, Alta Green and Turquoise, all of which are accessible by the ski area’s chair lifts. There is also a learner’s area that is accessible by surface conveyor lifts. For children, The Remakables has a licensed minding and lesson service, the Skiwiland Early Learning Centre, which can not only keep an eye on the children whilst their parents hit the slopes, but also teach kids up to 15 years old how to ski in a safe manner.
A further 40 percent of The Remarkables ski field is made up of intermediate trails. These trails, such as Sunrise Face, Calypso, Gotham City and Crossfall, are all accessible by chair lift, and when skiing on some of these trails, you will gain access to the man-made terrain parks, another important offering from The Remarkables.
The remaining 30 percent of the trails at The Remarkables are the expert trails. These are some of the most challenging in New Zealand, and they include Elevator, Homeward Runs, Front Face and Alta Chutes. Some of these trails are only accessible after hiking from the chair lifts, however. The Elevator, for instance, is an approximate 20-minute hike from the Curvy Basin Express Lift. If you want something even more extreme, keep hiking past the Elevator and Escalator runs to reach some of the most thrilling and punishing chutes in the area.
Whether you are new to the world of downhill skiing or simply require a refresher, The Remarkables offers ski lessons for both kids and adults.
Group lessons are available from The Remarkables, and each lesson lasts for an hour and 50 minutes. When taking group lessons, you will be grouped up with skiers of similar skill levels. Each lesson begins with a 10-minute skier assessment, and you have the option of doubling up your lessons for a full day experience.
If you are seeking out a very personal lesson experience, private lessons may be the option for you. You can choose from 1, 2, 3 or 6-hour private lessons with an instructor, and if you have some skiing experience, you may be able to go with your instructor and explore areas off of the beaten path.
For highly advanced skiers, The Remarkables also offers their Black Diamond Divas or Dudes. These classes are for men and women who can ski most of the black diamond trails with ease. With these lessons, you will prepare for the Winter Classic or Masters racing by working on drills, technical development, video analysis and gates.
Kids lessons are also available the The Remarkables, and come in the form of group, private or full-day lessons. The full-day lessons include lunch.
In addition to the ski trails at The Remarkables, there are also four different terrain parks where skiers can let loose, try out new tricks and experience freestyle skiing in a whole new way.
The Stash is a run that begins at the top of the Sugar Bowl Chair and runs for about a kilometre. This is a freestyle area that is organic and follows the natural shape of the mountain. Similar runs are available at Northstar-at-Tahoe in the United States and in Avoriaz, France.
Near The Stash, you will also find the Dirty Dog Terrain Park. Here, you will find a range of boxes, rails and jumps that can suit varying skill levels.
For those who are beginners at freestyle skiing, the Tararua Iced Coffee Beginner Park is a perfect place to start. This is a terrain park that has been specifically designed to suit the skills of a beginner.
Snowboarders love the Parklife Halfpipe, and though it is only five years old, The Remarkables and avid snowboarders are shaping this area each year, and it only gets better as time goes on.
After a day out in the snow, you might want to settle down and rejuvenate. The Remarkables has three different restaurant and café options.
The Rastusburn CoffeeBar will warm you up whether you are seeking out a beer, wine, coffee or tea. They also offer snacks to go with your beverage, such as cakes, muffins, snacks and slices. The CoffeeBar is open early, so it is also a great option for breakfast before hitting the slopes.
The Remarkables Café is another dining option to explore, and it is well known for quick bites, healthy options and hot snacks. On the menu, you will find a variety of bakery items, packaged salads, fish & chips and soft drinks.
For those seeking out a sit-down dining experience, The Remarkable Restaurant and Grill offers gourmet steak sandwiches, fresh burgers, soup bowls, a salad bar and curries. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, and will give you an excellent break from the snow and cold.
When you visit The Remarkables on holiday, you do not have to bring all of your equipment with you. Instead, you can hire skis, snowboards and even some clothing.
The Remarkables has both recreational and performance ski equipment hire, and this includes skis, poles, boots, and snowboards. This ensures that you always have access to equipment that is always well conditioned, and available brands include Salomon, Head and Burton.
Due to health reasons, gloves, goggles and hats are not available for hire, but these items are available for purchase from the on-site retail store. The Remarkables does have helmets, poles, jackets and pants available for hire, however.
If you have your own equipment, there is a ski shop on-site that offers tune-ups, waxing and equipment checks. Free storage is also available when hiring equipment, so you do not have to worry about carrying your skis off site or to your accommodation.
When you are visiting the Queenstown area in the winter, there is a true alpine wonderland just a short drive away. Since rental cars are readily available, there is no excuse for not hiring a car and heading up into the mountain. The Remarkables ski area has something for everyone whether you are a new skier or one who is training for competition. This is an experience that is perfect for the entire family, and one that will make your memories of Queenstown last for many years to come.
Need transportation to make the most of the area? View our full range of affordable Queenstown rental cars and explore the best of Queenstown at your own pace.
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