Queenstown is a favourite winter playground of both locals and visitors, and though there are numerous winter activities available throughout the area, the most popular activities are skiing and snowboarding.
From Queenstown to Te Waikoropupu Springs and everywhere in between, you will have access to some of the most exceptional and stunning ski and snowboarding locations in the world. Whether you are taking a rental car from Nelson to Te Waikoropupu Springs or making the jaunt from Dunedin to Queenstown, you will come across several ski fields to suit the needs of the entire family.
Queenstown is a lovely starting point for exploring the ski fields of the South Island, and all of the island is accessible by hiring a car. Some of the finest fields are located quite near Queenstown, so if you want to stay close to the city, that option is certainly available. Ready to learn more about skiing and snowboarding in Queenstown? Read on.
There are four main ski fields in the Queenstown area, all easily accessible via hire car.
Located just about 18 km from Queenstown, Coronet Peak is one of the most popular ski areas on the South Island for a multitude of reasons. This ski area features lovely views, diverse terrain, and due to its proximity to the city, there is a sophisticated sense of ambiance that is always flowing through the air.
Over the past few years, Coronet Peak has seen a number of improvements to the area, which has boosted it into competition with some of the most well known ski fields in the world. Some of the features of this ski area include night skiing, sustainable slopes, learner conveyer lifts, a six-seater express lift and two four-seater high-speed lifts. Coronet Peak features two terrain parks, and it has the highest point you can ski from is 1649 m. If you dare to travel that high, you will experience a 481 m vertical drop. There is also a tubing area on site, which brings fun, laughs and excitement to the entire family.
Coronet Peak also features mouth-watering dining options including a café where you can get a quick bite for breakfast or lunch before hitting the slopes. Some of the other options include burgers, pizza slices, wraps and salads. The Coronet Peak Restaurant is also an option, and this establishment is a full-service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and twilight meals, which are perfect for night skiing. There is also a full bar and coffee drinks to warm your blood after a day of skiing and snowboarding. Heidi’s Hut, another dining option, offers delicious Italian food, and the Substation, which is located on the deck of the ski field, offers hot sandwiches and soup in addition to a selection of beers and soft drinks.
Lessons for all skill levels are available, including special lessons for children. There is also equipment hire available, and you will have an option of standard or performance skis. Jackets, helmets, poles and pants are also available for hire at Coronet Peak.
Located just about 26 km from Queenstown is the Remarkables mountain range, which features a gorgeous ski area of the same name. The Remarkables is well known for it’s alpine environment, and is popular with the young and hip, families and those who enjoy the challenge of freeskiing. There are tended mountain trails throughout the ski area, as well as chutes that are only accessible after hiking from the main ski area. The Remarkables boasts more than 700 hectares of reserve land, of which 220 hectares are skiable.
One of the most well-known features of The Remarkables ski area is the selection of terrain parks. There are terrain parks for beginners, who are just learning the technical aspects of this type of skiing, as well as a park that is like those used in international competition. In addition, there is a concept terrain park, The Stash, which is an exciting playground for the daring.
The Remarkables is also perfect for families, and there are a number of features that cater to children including fun activity trails, tunnels and jumps. There is also a ski school for children that can help to improve your child’s skills. Lessons are also available for adults from beginners to competition skiers.
Like Coronet Peak, The Remarkables has several dining options including a café, full-service restaurant, coffee bar, and an ice bar, which offers stunning views of the mountains.
There are also controlled areas at The Remarkables such as The Chutes, Curvey Basin and Lookout. These areas are only accessible by trekking from the chairlifts, and though they are not patrolled by Ski Patrol, skiers and snowboarders are still able to reach the area, which is well known for extreme skiing.
Equipment hire is also available at The Remarkables, and visitors can choose from a selection of recreational or performance skis, along with coats, pants and poles.
Known for its four terrain parks and 320 hectares of skiable land, Cardrona Alpine Resort is a favourite of families and causal skiers. This ski area has been around for more than 35 years, and over those decades, the ski field has grown to include five cafes, ski and snowboarding lessons, child care, on-mountain photography and ski equipment hire.
Cardrona Alpine Resort is about 58 km from Queenstown, an hour drive. This ski area has extremely reliable snow conditions thanks to its high elevation. The mountain also faces south, so the snow is plentiful and dry. It is also perfect for beginners, as there are several trails that are specifically designed to meet their skill levels.
Since this is such a family friendly ski area, you will also find four kids’ centres and there are slope-side accommodations available. You will also find an extensive terrain park at Cardrona Alpine Resort, and it is home to the New Zealand Olympic Park.
Treble Cone is another option for skiers and snowboarders in the Queenstown area. It is approximately 91 km from the heart of the city, and it has more skiable terrain at 550 hectares than any other area for skiing and snowboarding on the South Island.
Treble Cone has the longest vertical rise in the area, and this offers eye-catching views of both Mount Aspiring and Lake Wanaka. What sets this ski field apart from others is the dry powder slopes, reliable snow condition and the outstanding weather. Though there are runs for all skill levels, Treble Cone is best for intermediate and advance skiers and snowboarders. However, the ski area boasts one of the best learner slopes on the South Island. This slope is groomed each night, located near the entrance of Treble Cone, and it has an easy gradient, which caters to the requirements of a beginner.
Advanced skiers and snowboarders love Treble Cone thanks to the off-piste skiing areas that offer thrills that you can’t easily find elsewhere. There is also access to some of the highest quality free riding terrain, which brings snowboarders to the ski area in flocks. There is also a terrain park for both skiers and snowboarders that is built new each year.
Accommodations are available at Treble Cone, which means it is ideal for long weekends or holidays, and since rental equipment is available, including boots, skis, poles, snowboards, helmets and clothing, it is not required that you bring your own equipment.
The ski resorts of New Zealand are famous throughout the world for their quality, size and the experiences that visitors have when visiting. The snow is some of the best on Earth, the season is the longest in the Australasia region, and you will find a variety of terrain options to suit the skills of everyone in your family. Queenstown is perfectly situated to provide access to the finest ski areas on the South Island, and since you can easily hire a car in Queenstown, accessing these ski fields is extremely easy.
Ski and snowboarding are equally popular ways to zoom down a mountain, and if you’re new to either you can enlist in lessons from a trained instructor. What better souvenir to take away than a new skill you can use in travels all over the world? Full gear is available to hire, as well as Queenstown rental cars to get you up on the slopes.
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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