Get the ski field low down
There are four ski fields in Queenstown, each within 20-90 minutes of Queenstown’s town centre and each with its own different features.
Coronet Peak is Queenstown’s closest ski area, with fantastic on-mountain facilities, state-of-the-art snowmaking as well as night skiing on Wednesday and Friday nights from early July until late August. Across the valley sits The Remarkables Ski Area which is perfect for the whole family, from beginners and novices to advanced skiers and boarders in the sunny north-facing bowls
Cardrona Alpine Resort is in the Cardrona Valley, just over an hour’s drive from Queenstown. A great mountain for beginners and intermediate skiers and boarders with easy-to-use surface lifts and wide-open trails. Cardrona has extensive terrain park facilities, 8 different cafes and on-mountain accommodation, which make the resort feel like a small village. Further down the road, you can reach Treble Cone Ski Area from Queenstown in just under an hour and a half. Treble Cone has the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes which makes it a favourite with intermediate skiers and boarders alike.
Find out more about Queenstown’s ski fields here.
Skiing Coronet Peak
Get your gear
Before you take to the slopes, it’s important to have the right gear. This means not just having your thermals, waterproof layers, beanies and gloves on, but also having the correct size skis, boards and snow boots and ensuring they are set correctly for your experience level.
Downtown Queenstown and Frankton have a range of snow gear and sporting goods shops and hire stores, and for added convenience, you can also hire or purchase gear when you’re on the mountain. The ski and store staff are experts when it comes to recommending the right gear for your ski style and experience level and will tweak the settings on your gear to suit, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Half of the fun when you’re starting out skiing or boarding is getting geared up. You may have ‘all the gear and no idea’ but at least you’ll be comfortable when you’re learning to ski and you’ll look great doing it.
Find out more about Queenstown ski and board hire here.
Cardrona Alpine Resort
Plan your après-ski
Strolling through Queenstown’s town centre on a winter evening is unlike any other experience you will have in New Zealand, with the smell of wood fire smoke and busy restaurant kitchens wafting through the air, and people traipsing around town with their ski gear on.
If a fancy feast is what you’re craving after working up an appetite on the ski field, Queenstown’s fine dining restaurants should do the trick. For something cheap and cheerful try one of Queenstown’s pubs, or why not grab some takeaway and enjoy it on the lakefront?
After dinner, the excitement in the air is palpable as people start to fill up the local bars. Cocktails are crafted and pints are poured as ski bums gather to reflect on a great day up the mountain.
Find out more about Queenstown’s restaurants and bars here.
Sort your wheels
There is so much to see and do in Queenstown, having the freedom of your own transport does provide you with a lot of flexibility. There are a range of different car hire companies based at the airport and downtown. However, if you’d prefer not to self-drive, there is the Orbus $2 bus service which runs regular trips throughout the main suburbs and into town making it very easy.
Make sure you have an easy way to get to the ski fields organised in advance. Each of the four ski fields can be accessed via daily scheduled shuttle and bus services that stop at popular hotels throughout town. You'll need to book these in advance to secure your spot.
If you are hiring a car remember to include snow chains with your car hire and practice fitting them. The weather can change quickly up the mountain so it's important for safety to carry chains in your car at all times.
Find out more about getting around in Queenstown here.
The road to The Remarkables
Find your home away from home
There are so many great places to stay in Queenstown, whether you want to splash out on a luxury abode for a few days, or you’re happy with the comfortable basics, Queenstown has plenty of accommodation available for all styles of holidaymaker.
Downtown Queenstown is an ideal location if you want to be a stones-throw away from all the local activities, with great restaurants, galleries, and shopping on your doorstep. For a change in pace, check out historic Arrowtown with beautifully restored buildings dating back to the gold-mining era, a range of cafes and restaurants, boutique clothing and gift stores, and great walks on your doorstep.
The ski fields are easily accessed regardless of where you locate yourself in the region, find out more about Queenstown accommodation here.
The Cottages at Lake Hayes, Accommodation
Plan your days off
There are so many different activities to try in Queenstown and doing your research first certainly helps to ensure that you make the most of your time here.
Tick that thing off your bucket list like a bungy jump, or canyon swing. For more of a relaxed pace, you could spend the afternoon touring the local vineyards and wine tasting, or relaxing at a local day spa or yoga class.
All four ski fields also offer half-day afternoon lift passes which allow you to do something in the morning and ski in the afternoon from 12:30-4pm, leaving all the more time for activities.
Find out more about Queenstown activities here.
Unwind at Onsen Hot Pools