So, you’re thinking about heading to Queenstown for a ski holiday. You’ve made the right decision – with a ski season from June to early October, four world-class ski fields and some of the best ski fields for beginners it's the perfect place to start. Queenstown's four ski areas are all within a short drive of downtown Queenstown (Coronet Peak is just 20 minutes away), and there are loads of epic activities to fill your days off, from adrenaline thrills, relaxing spas and a world-renowned food and wine scene. Here’s what you can expect.
Ski & snowboard rental
Getting here is easy no matter if you're embarking on a roadtrip with your mates or you're flying in. Our airport is located just 15 minutes from downtown Queenstown and it’s a hop, skip and a jump whether you’re taking the bus, catching a taxi or driving.
Getting to the ski fields is just as easy. You can drive yourself up or if you've flown in, there are a host of car rental options available, as well as ski shuttles and mountain transport options to take you from your hotel to the slopes, so consider yourself covered.
As for equipment, you can leave yours at home and hire skis or snowboards when you get to town. Most ski rental shops will deliver your gear to your accommodation, or you can just rent at the ski field and pick up when you arrive and drop off when you’re done for the day. If you left your goggles or gloves in the garage at home, don’t despair – the town is also full of big-name sports equipment stores for those last-minute purchases.
The ski areas
Now, back to the slopes. Coronet Peak is closest to Queenstown so you can do First Tracks on its spectacular roller coaster terrain from 8am-9am and be back downtown by mid-morning. Then you can spend the afternoon exploring the wineries or tackling some more adventure activities. Coronet Peak is also open for night skiing on Wednesdays and Fridays, giving you plenty of options to ensure you make the most of both ski-time and town-time.
The Remarkables Ski Area
The Remarkables base lodge is the best in New Zealand, with soaring glass walls, relaxation dens and fresh food, and it’s ski-in, ski-out so you can rest your weary legs. If you drove yourself, shuttles give you a ride from the car park to the base lodge, where you can pick up your lift pass and then ski out the door. The views on the drive up are impressive and the expansive learner’s area makes it a great mountain for first-timers on a ski lesson.
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Got little ones in tow? Take the kids to Cardrona and hand them over to the fully licensed childcare centre (perfect for children from three months to five years old). Toddlers will love the snow play at Ski Kindy. The older ones will totally dig the four-day Adventure Programmes where they’ll make plenty of friends. Cardrona is great for beginners with its wide open slopes and brand new chondola, a ‘combined’ lift of gondola cabins and chairs, making it easy for first time skiers and snowboarders to ride to the top of the mountain on their first day.
Treble Cone Ski Area
Treble Cone near Wanaka is worth the drive for the vistas from the chairlift alone. There is simply no other ski field in the world with a view as spectacular as this one. Even if you spend your day on the deck sipping flat whites while drinking in the view, then you’ve had a day well spent. But you’ll want to click into skis or a snowboard, take a lesson, and discover the open bowls, off-piste powder and super groomers the mountain is known for.
The next level
If you’ve always dreamed of heliskiing, then Queenstown is a great place to try it, from taster four-run days in virgin-snow terrain to full-day private charters. The heliski company will pick you up from your accommodation and deliver you back, buzzing from a bucket-list experience of a life time.