If you've dreamed about visiting Queenstown for a family ski holiday, this is the year to do it. Here’s your guide to planning a fun family ski holiday in Queenstown.

Choose your Queenstown family-friendly ski resort

Basing your family in Queenstown for your ski holiday means you can conveniently access your choice of four ski fields. All ski fields offer fantastic family-orientated facilities and services, from hiring all the gear you need, to ski school, crèche, snow sports academies and kids clubs.

Coronet Peak

Children five and under ski for free at Coronet Peak. They offer lessons and coaching from age four for skiers and age seven for snowboarders, as well as a range of programmes to help your kids progress their skills on the snow. There's also Skiwiland, a fully licensed Early Learning and Childcare Centre that caters for children aged from two to five years.

The Remarkables

Children five and under ski for free at The Remarkables, too. There's a range of group lesson options for children from four years as well as performance and private coaching. Winter equipment is available to hire for kids starting from two years and up, including skis, boots, poles, helmets and clothing. Advanced bookings are recommended. 

Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona has a designated beginners' area, a fully licensed childcare centre and a kids' ski and snowboard school. On-mountain eateries, Mezz and Noodle Bar both have kid-specific menus.

Treble Cone

For the seasoned ski family Treble Cone offers more advanced terrain and unrivalled views over Lake Wānaka and the Southern Alps. Their learner facilities are designed to ensure progression to more challenging terrain. The base lodge has a café and a fully kitted ski and snowboard rental shop.

Ski Lessons at The RemarkablesSki Lessons at The Remarkables 

Book your accommodation

Queenstown has accommodation to suit all groups, needs and budgets and there are plenty of family-friendly options available in central Queenstown and surrounding suburbs.

Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona Alpine Resort all have mountain transport up to their respective ski fields so you can leave the car at home and escape the need to fit chains by catching a ski bus from the centre of town (pre-bookings required).

If you plan on skiing at Coronet Peak, you can get to the base building within a 20-minute drive or Ski Bus ride from downtown Queenstown. The quaint historic town of Arrowtown is another great option to stay, just 20-minutes from the ski area, or base yourself in the suburb of Arthur's Point which offers hotels, holiday parks, serviced rentals and is just 5 minutes from the bottom of the access road.

For those who are looking to stay close to The Remarkables Ski Area, consider accommodation in Frankton, Kelvin Heights, or Jacks Point. If you prefer to stay in central Queenstown, The Remarkables is easily accessed by Ski Bus, and is a 45 minute scenic drive.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is just over an hour’s drive from downtown Queenstown and Treble Cone is around 90 minutes. For those who want the full winter experience, Cardrona has on-mountain accommodation, but advanced bookings are essential.

Exterior of the SuitesPounamu Apartments, Queenstown

Get your gear sorted

The first rule of fun family skiing is ensuring everyone, especially the kids, is dressed warmly enough. Layers are important and make sure you have merino wool or polyprop thermals as a base layer and something to cover their ears and necks. Good waterproof, warm outer layers and gloves are essential. Tip: fill your kids' jacket pockets with energy-boosting morning and afternoon snacks!

Helmets are an absolute necessity for all members of the family and if you don’t have your own they can be hired, along with other ski gear, either in town or on the mountain. Local ski hire stores have expert fitters who will make sure you have the right gear. Pre-bookings are recommended. 

Check out our Queenstown Ski Holiday Gear Guide for a detailed guide to packing for the slopes, along with Queenstown’s ski shops where you can rent and buy gear. 

Family at The Remarkables Ski AreaFamily at The Remarkables Ski Area

Organise transport in advance  

The last thing you want to worry about when you're busy getting the family dressed and fed, and packing the gear for a day on the mountain, is how you’re going to get up the mountain. Make sure you have transport to the ski fields organised in advance, whether you book on to the ski bus, organise a shuttle, taxi or hire a car for your holiday.

There are scheduled daily bus services to all four ski fields that stop at popular hotels throughout town. Catching the bus will save you hassle and fuel (and let you take in the spectacular views while someone else drives!). Book in advance to secure your spot.

Queenstown also has plenty of car hire companies. If you're driving, allow plenty of time to get up the mountain, carry chains, check the weather and individual mountain snow reports before you go, and drive to the conditions.

Ski bus parked outside of Coronet PeakCoronet Peak ski bus

Pack your lunch or enjoy on-mountain cafes

Skiing burns a lot of energy so having plenty of snacks on hand and stopping for meals is important. Stop in at one of Queenstown’s local supermarkets or bakeries and pack your lunch to enjoy on the mountain, or visit one of the on-mountain cafes. All four ski fields have a great selection of restaurants, bars, and cafes on the mountain, with a range of tasty kid-friendly food options available.

Cardrona and Treble Cone mountains are landfill-free, so you'll notice all outlets either use compostable or recyclable packaging, or food comes package-free. You'll need to pack out any waste you bring with you.

Family enjoying warm drinks at The Remarkables ski fieldCoronet Peak

Plan your off-mountain activities

Skiing can be tiring, especially for beginners and littlies, and breaking up the days on the mountain with other activities around town is a good idea. Plus, there are so many activities to enjoy together in between days up the hill.

Take in the beauty of Queenstown from Lake Whakatipu on a scenic cruise, or take the gondola up to Bob's Peak and enjoy the panoramic views over Queenstown at the top. While you’re up there kids over 6 years old can race the rest of the family down the hill on the luge or even go ziplining. At the bottom of the gondola, you can visit the Kiwi Park, learn about endangered native wildlife and even see kiwi in real life.

Discover more family winter holiday activity ideas.

Family viewing a kiwi from behind glassKiwi Park

More ways to get more from your family ski trip to Queenstown

Discover what Queenstown's four ski resorts are doing to protect our alpine environment, or get inspiration for a more immersive stay with our 6-day winter slow travel itinerary.

As you explore Queenstown together this winter, share your experiences with us on Instagram by tagging #QueenstownLive.