As part of my current trip to New Zealand we’ve been enjoying a few days skiing at the Cardrona Alpine Resort. I’m not a big skier, but have done around 6 or 7 times over the years and always enjoy it. The fun part about this trip was getting the kids out on skis for the first time.
I can still remember the first time I skied with my family at Perisher in New South Wales, Australia – I must have been around 7 or 8 years old. I recall that trip started with a complete breakdown in fear on the beginner slope and then crashing my mum into a pole off the t-bar, so I was somewhat nervous about getting the kids started.
Fortunately Cardrona had an array of beginner options and “magic carpet” treadmills to get the kids started and ease their way up to more challenging slopes. By the end of 3.5 days they were both up the chairlift and had taken to it like ducks to water.
Cardrona is one of the most popular ski resorts in New Zealand with a mix of runs and the largest terrain park in the Southern Hemisphere. Four chair lifts service the resort with about half the runs suitable for beginner and intermediate. Freestyle snowboarders and skiers can make use of 2 half pipes and 4 terrain parks.
Snowmaking is used to supplement the resort meaning that it is often open when other resorts in the area are not – essential for us at this time of year.
An abundance of ski coaches offer group and private lessons for all levels.
The resort itself is situated on the stunning Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka and offers brilliant views of the surrounding area. The township of Cardrona is small and provides accomodation and a local historic pub, but very few other amenities. The drive up from Cardrona itself is about 14km long and takes around 25 -30 mins on the windy road.
The nearest town centre is Wanaka about 20 mins drive away which offers full amenities.
In summer Cardrona Alpine Resort doubles as a mountain biking venue.
For more information check out Lake Wanaka Tourism.