It’s the special time of winter when the days start to get longer, we are blessed with a few more blue-sky days, and we couldn’t be happier. For those of us that enjoy some time on the mountains skiing or snowboarding, the ski areas have a good snow base, and a day on the ski fields can be a great source of some Vitamin D (Thank you sunshine!). For those of you visiting Queenstown for the first time, or are if you are new to the world of Alpine sports, let us give you our local recommendations for the best ski area in Queenstown:
Cardrona is full of fun. Big wide open trails will make you feel confident in your skiing abilities, and allows plenty of space for all users. There are great on-mountain restaurant and café options, and the staff create a great atmosphere – we have even experienced Cardrona staff clearing goggle lenses in the lift lines. Now that is a service!
Kōhatu is just a short drive from the Cardrona Valley, and with beautiful open fire places, this home gives you a fabulous cosy place to retreat to after a day on the slopes.
One for the real snow bunnies amongst us, Treble Cone’s terrain is best suited to intermediate to advanced skiers/boarders. Currently the largest ski area in the South Island, the terrain is packed with beautiful steep runs, and a leg-burning trail that is 4km long. Of course, there are trails to suit all ability levels, but we feel this mountain is enjoyed most by those with a little more experience.
Mahu Whenua Lodge – treat yourself to exclusive luxury, just down the road. After a day tackling tough terrain, you can relax and enjoy dinner prepared by the fabulous in house chef without lifting a finger!
The closest mountain to Queenstown, lovely Coronet Peak is a convenient option just 25 minutes’ drive from central Queenstown. The rollercoaster terrain is lovely to ski on, with rolling hills and a wide terrain layout. Locals tip – once you’ve dropped the kids to ski school, head over to the T-bar lift, where the trails tend to be nice and quiet, and Heidi’s Hut offers a quaint spot to relax for a mid-morning coffee.
Make the most of the mountains being so close to town, and stay in the town centre – Queenstown Heights is a warm and cosy home based in the Commonage Villas complex, and has a distinct “chalet” feel to it.
Booming in recent years since the addition of the speedy 6-seater Curvey Basin chair lift, The Remarkables offers good varied terrain. Teenagers will love the terrain park features, intermediates will love the good variety of trails across the hill, serious experts will love the challenging chutes (if you can face the hike up), and little ones or beginners can enjoy learning without facing the elements for too long, with the covered magic carpet lift.
Shimmerlake is perfectly positioned in Kelvin Heights – think all day sunshine, and just a short drive to the base of The Remarkables. Since the 2-way bridge over the Kawarau River has opened up, giving even easier access to town, this location has become absolute prime.