The 4 Best Queenstown Ski Resorts

The 4 Best Queenstown Ski Resorts - UPDATED 2020/21
Jack Lee
Written by Jack Lee / Photos by Jack Lee
Last updated June 4, 2020
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Queenstown is known for being an adventure capital, ranging from adrenaline activities to leisurely experiences. With the help of local insiders, we’ve put together a list of the 4 best ski resorts worth skiing.

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Known for

Best atmosphere for families in a convenient location

Highlights

  • All-rounder resort with a good mix of terrain
  • Modern infrastructure
  • Easy access to Queenstown
  • Sometimes crowded and potentially tricky drive

Closest airports

Queenstown Airport - 33 mi (1 hour drive)
cardrona ski resort cable car chairlift
A favorite of locals, Cardrona!

Cardrona is well known for its epic panoramic views and decent amount of acreage spread across three bowls. With wide open beginner trails, Cardrona is the only resort in New Zealand with green runs along the top of the mountain. While it doesn’t get as much snow as other places, what does fall is protected by a south-facing aspect which keeps the snow last for longer. Being located halfway between Queenstown and Wanaka, crowds are unavoidable, however, even if you’re there on a busy day you’ll find the atmosphere is generally friendly and relaxed – something “skiwi” culture has definitely perfected!

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Known for

Natural free-ride terrain, with plentiful snow, and inspiring views

Highlights

  • Largest ski area on the South Island
  • Fantastic runs for intermediates and experts
  • New Zealand’s highest annual snowfall
  • Very limited beginner terrain and relatively expensive lift tickets

Closest airports

Queenstown Airport - 53 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Wanaka Airport - 21 mi (30 minute drive)
cardrona ski resort cable car chairlift
Treble Cone's incredible landscape

Treble Cone generally sees the most snow of any resort in New Zealand. With 45% of its trails rated for intermediates and another 45% for advanced skiers, there's plenty of choice for everyone. While beginners terrain is somewhat limited, the good news is that Treble Cone provides free access to the Magic Carpet and discounted passes to the Platter Lift. While you can stay at Queenstown, Treble Cone is conveniently located near Wanaka which has a great selection of lodging, restaurants, shopping, and services and would make a great addition to any South Island ski itinerary. 

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Known for

A family-friendly experience among some of New Zealand’s most photographed mountains

Highlights

  • Great place to learn to ski
  • Closest ski resort to Queenstown
  • Some of the best terrain parks in the country
  • Expensive lift tickets and small ski area

Closest airports

Queenstown Airport - 11 mi (30 minute drive)
cardrona ski resort cable car chairlift
Slopes at The Remarkables

At just under 550 ac, The Remarkables might have a limited range of terrain but the views are certainly big. With three magic carpets at the base and great progressive trails, The Remarkables is an excellent choice for families with beginners who need to get their skis under them. At the same time, there are plenty of expert runs for skiers who are willing to hike. So, there ought to be enough to keep just about all the skiers in your crew happy. The only downside is that there is no ski-in/ ski-out accomodation so you’ll have to stay in Queenstown which is just 30 minutes away.

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Known for

Panoramic views and the most popular on South Island

Highlights

  • Easy to get to from Queenstown
  • Particularly great for intermediate skiers and riders
  • Efficient lift system
  • Inconsistent natural snowfall

Closest airports

Queenstown Airport - 15 mi (30 minute drive)
cardrona ski resort cable car chairlift
Plenty of blue runs here

The views from Coronet Peak across Lake Wakatipu are incredible, and intermediates will have a blast from all the terrain to choose from. Natural snowfall here is somewhat inconsistent, but it’s augmented by the most extensive snowmaking system in the country. And as a nice bonus, on Friday and Saturday, there’s night skiing under the lights! What's so special about Coronet Peak is that there are on-mountain accomodation options which is rare for New Zealand. Otherwise, Queenstown is a prime leisure destination itself, and offers plenty of other choices for sleeping, eating, and shopping!

The 4 Best Queenstown Ski Resorts
Cardrona
Treble Cone
Remarkables
Coronet Peak
Cardrona