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.
Due to COVID-19, safety measures were put in place by New Zealand which impacted the 20/21 ski season for resorts in Queenstown. These included a mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travellers, physical distancing on and off the mountain during Level 2 restrictions and contact tracing. Treble Cone implemented indoor capacity limits and physical distancing in lift lines. Such restrictions are not anticipated to continue into the 21/22 winter season.
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!
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.
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.
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!