Having the right ski wear and equipment is just as important in New Zealand as it is in Europe or North America... With the NZ ski season now well underway, here is our spotlight on one of the country's most well known ski areas: Cardrona.
Recognized as a great all round ski resort, Cardrona is a good option for groups of skiers of varying ability and family groups; boasting a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced level slopes.
Cardrona's ski season typically runs from the middle of June to the middle of October, and the resort has an average snowfall of 2.9m, which is supplemented by good snow-making facilities. Its 38 runs are equipped with 7 ski lifts (2 quad fixed chairlifts, 2 quad express chairlifts, 2 surface conveyor lifts, 1 platter tow lift), which are capable of transporting up to 11,000 people per hour!
Cardrona sits above the tree line, with a ski area that is spread across three bowls, and much of its terrain consists of groomed slopes suitable for beginners (25%) and intermediates (50%). Though Cardrona does have a reputation of being a mountain for beginners and intermediates there are some steeper slopes in the Arcardia Chutes and the Tulips areas.
Located in New Zealand's South Island, approximately 35km from the town of Wanaka, and 60km from Queenstown, Cardrona's nearest airport is Queenstown, with Christchurch airport being the second closest, located approximately 5 hours away. Many visitors to Cardrona ski field choose to stay in either Wanaka or Queenstown, though it is also possible to stay in Cardrona Valley close to the ski area. Cardrona does have a small amount of on-mountain accommodation in around 20 apartments of 2-4 bedroom apartments.
Cardrona has plenty of restaurants and bars as well as ski rental available at the base of the mountain. Though the activities in Cardrona Alpine Resort pretty much consist of skiing and snowboarding, the proximity of the resort to Queenstown, Wanaka and Snowfarm means that there are plenty of activities available for families and adventure seekers, and those seeking to explore more of New Zealand's South Island.