Surrounded by snowy mountain peaks, and with four ski fields within an easy drive of downtown, Queenstown is the ultimate winter holiday destination. Award-winning restaurants, bars and craft breweries are dotted around the region and there is a huge range of activities to do on and off the ski fields.

Here's everything you need to know to plan your 2024 Queenstown ski holiday.

Get the ski field low down

There are four ski fields in Queenstown, each within 20-90 minutes of Queenstown’s town centre and with its own unique 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 the start of September.
  • 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, eight 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.

Three Friends Skiing Coronet PeakSkiing Coronet Peak

Get your gear sorted

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.

Learn more in our Queenstown Ski Holiday Gear Guide.

Lessons at CardronaCardrona Alpine Resort

Plan your après-ski

The fun doesn’t stop when the mountain closes in Queenstown, with so many fantastic restaurants, bars and craft breweries to visit, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

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.

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.   

Discover the best places to eat and drink in Queenstown here.

A group of friends at Barduma BarBarmuda Bar

Organise your transport

It's important to make sure you have transport 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'd prefer to self-drive, there are a range of different car hire companies based at the airport and downtown. 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.

Getting around Queenstown via our $2 public bus service is an easy and affordable way to explore surrounding the surrounding area, like Frankton or Arrowtown.

Find out more about getting around in Queenstown here.

Sunset at The RemarkablesThe road to The Remarkables

Book your accommodation

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 ski trip styles.

Downtown Queenstown is an ideal location if you want close to ski field transport, local activities and great nightlife, galleries, and shopping. 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.

Fire pit overlooking snow-capped mountains at The Cottages at Lake Hayes, AccommodationThe Cottages at Lake Hayes, Accommodation

Plan your days off the slopes

There are so many different activities to try in Queenstown off-the-slopes. Doing your research first helps ensure you make the most of your time here.

Take in the winter landscapes with a stroll around the Queenstown Gardens Trail. Spend a day touring the local vineyards and wine tasting, or relax 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. 

Get more inspiration in our guide to the best things to do in Queenstown when you’re not skiing.

Group of people on a wine tour in an underground wine cave with wine barrels aroundGibbston Valley Wine Cave Tour

Plan your Queenstown local experience

Our local profile stories are packed with more ideas to inspire you to experience Queenstown and the surrounding region like a local this winter. See Queenstown through the eyes of photographer, Krista May, or discover mountaineer, Hamish Fleming's favourite winter adventures.

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