Cardrona Ski Resort
For world-class terrain parks, stunning scenery and South Island’s joint-largest resort, look no further than Cardrona.
The 40km of slopes are served by five main lifts, including a recently installed chondola and a pair of fast quads. This makes quick laps of the resort’s 600m of vertical possible with minimal effort. The variety is good, with some gentle greens in the McDougalls sector, to longer blues and reds to the base of the Valley View Quad and even some good steeps in the Arcadia and Secret Chute areas. Cardrona is also home to one of the world’s best terrain parks, with a competition-standard superpipe, a huge jump line used in yearly World Cups as well as progression features for those learning – it’s no wonder therefore that most top freestylers will visit every winter.
Cardrona’s location – almost exactly halfway between Queenstown and Wanaka – makes it exceptionally convenient, despite the obligatory drive up to the base area from the valley. This gives you the chance to base yourselves in either, sample their vibrant night life, enjoy the great foodie scene and marvel at the spectacular scenery. Accommodation is plentiful, with lots of budget options available, including numerous backpacker hostels and campsites. Away from the slopes, both are renowned as extreme sports centres, allowing you to give bungee jumping, sky diving or jet-boating a go on a morning away from the slopes.
Flying to Queenstown via either Christchurch or Auckland gives you the quickest access to the mountains. We’d recommend having a car however, as this will give you an option to visit a number of different resorts nearby (such as Coronet Peak, Treble Cone and The Remarkables).
Resort website: www.cardrona.com/