Located just 45 minutes drive from Queenstown Airport, Wanaka is the perfect destination to enjoy the best skiing in New Zealand.
Boasting two of New Zealand’s top ski fields, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone, Wanaka ski fields offer a true winter town atmosphere with a unique buzz about town, while still offering a nice sense of relaxation.
Read on to learn more about Wanaka skiing.
Cardrona Ski Resort is New Zealand’s most popular ski area, attracting all kinds of snow enthusiasts – from beginners & families, to Olympic & X Games athletes. What sets it apart from other areas is its world class facilities. They really are carving their way to the top. Each year there is a new development to get excited about!
Cardrona has the most varied terrain than any other area in New Zealand, from beginner to expert runs. It also has olympic grade half pipes and an extensive freestyle park – great entertainment on your ride up the chairlift! It is notably the most family friendly ski area in NZ, offering fantastic childcare and kids club options. In addition, Cardrona boasts a 150m long SunKid Conveyor with a ‘Gallery’ see-through tunnel (a closed in learner conveyor), plus their new Chondola ‘chairlift – gondola’ – the first of it’s kind in New Zealand!
Treble Cone offers a whole different experience. This is what makes the Wanaka resort a ski destination gem to suit any skier or rider. Treble Cone, Wanaka NZ is the largest ski area in the Queenstown Southern Lakes District, accessing 550ha of rideable terrain. Covering a leg burning 700m of vertical, it is recognised for its long runs and uncrowded piste and off-piste trails. The views are unbeatable with all runs overlooking Lake Wanaka!
For beginner skiers and snowboarders, Treble Cone provides lift access to the ‘Nice n’ Easy’ surface lifts located alongside the comforts of the Base lodge and café. For intermediate skiers and snowboarders, the 4km High Street / Easy Rider leg burner is fantastic. If it is advanced terrain you are after, the Saddle Basin and Summit Slopes are a playground of open powder faces, natural half pipes and fun drops. Or for the Expert skier and snowboarder, the Motatapu Chutes are a unique way of exploring the backcountry within the boundaries of patrolled and protected area.
Wanaka is full of activities to keep you busy off the slopes. With a thriving cafe culture, an impressive line-up of restaurants, and countless boutique shops to explore, the compact downtown is a great place to relax and soak in the views. Take a look at the Top 10 Wanaka Activities here, featuring Puzzling World, the famous Wanaka Tree and Cinema Paradiso to name a few!
Due to the town’s central and stunning location, nestled below the Southern Alps, it is a great place to base yourself while taking a few must do scenic drives around the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago area. See the 5 Most Scenic Drives here, featuring Haast Pass, Blue Pools; Mount Aspiring National Park and Gibston Valley of Vines!
Everybody likes to eat good food right?! Well this place really is a treat in terms of its many delicious dining options. Check out the Top Restaurants for a fantastic range of the best dining options, also a great après ski guide.
With the days getting longer and temperatures warmer, we think that one of the best times to ski Wanaka is spring. The chair lifts are open longer, meaning you can hit the slopes later and spend the whole afternoon on the hill. Not only that – the slopes are generally much less crowded and the shop sales offer a touch of retail therapy!
That said, skiing in Wanaka in spring is one of the best kept secrets of the New Zealand ski season. But there is so much more to it. To give you a better idea, these are some of our favourite things to do in Wanaka in spring.
Before you head off on your New Zealand ski trip check out our handy resource. What to Pack for Travel in 2019: The Ultimate Checklist
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