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NZ Resort Report


“Wow! Cardrona really blew us away with its amazing ski school set up. Loved the various areas, loved the private lessons and the kids really got into the terrain parks. We highly recommend it.” The Kermode family, Bega.

Alex learning to snowboard Cardrona

Elevation: 1860m
Location: 35 minutes from Wanaka, an hour from Queenstown
Terrain mix: 20% beginner; 55% intermediate; 25% advanced
Number of lifts: 7
Terrain Park: 3 plus 2 half pipes, a superpipe and Gravity X course
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: From 3 months
Accommodation: 15 apartments on-snow, or stay in Wanaka
Highlight: The Snow Sports School and the terrain parks. And check out OnePass.

Coronet Peak

“We had never skied before and found the Coronet Peak experience really easy. The MyPass e-ticket system meant we could organise everything from lessons and lift tickets before we even left home. And the lessons were so good, the kids learned very quickly.” The Brown family, Sydney

Coronet Peak

Elevation: 1649m
Location: 20 minutes from Queenstown
Terrain mix: 25% beginner; 45% intermediate; 30% advanced
Number of lifts: 8
Terrain Park: Yes
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: From 3 months
Accommodation: Queenstown
Highlight: So close to Queenstown and has night skiing Friday and Saturday

Mt Hutt

“It was a very pretty drive and Mt Hutt delivered some amazing runs that were almost as good as the views. Great food, lovely people and loved Methven. We will definitely go back.” The Harris family, Wee Waa

Mt Hutt

Elevation: 2086m
Location: 35 minutes from Methven, an hour from Christchurch
Terrain mix: 25% beginner; 50% intermediate; 25% advanced
Number of lifts: 4
Terrain Park: 2
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: From 3 months
Accommodation: In Methven
Highlight: The Kidz4free offer. Check it out at

Mt Ruapehu

“Skiing on an active volcano added excitement to our holiday and the skiing at both Turoa and Whakapapa was incredible. The lessons were fun and we really enjoyed staying in Ohakune. If you’ve already ‘done’ the South Island, we recommend trying Ruapehu.” The Paul family, Colac

Elevation: Whakapapa – 2300m, Turoa – 2322m
Location: Whakapapa is 10 minutes from Whakapapa Village. Turoa is 20 minutes from Ohakune
Terrain mix: Whakapapa – 25% beginner; 50% intermediate; 25% advanced. Turoa – 20% beginners, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced
Number of lifts: Whakapapa – 15, Turoa – 9
Terrain Park: Yes, at Turoa
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: Tura has child care from 2 years
Accommodation: Whakapapa Village or Ohakune
Highlight: One lift pass gives access to both fields. Incredible skiing.


“We’d never heard of Ohau but decided to try it out on a recent ski/drive trip from Christchurch to Queenstown. The Lodge is absolutely perfect for families and the skiing was surprisingly good. Even the ski hire gear was top rate. Big thumbs up!” The Bull family, Brisbane

Ohau - Father and son checking out the Snow Mat

Elevation: 1825m
Location: 3 hours from Dunedin, 15 mins from Ohau Lodge
Terrain mix: 20% beginner; 50% intermediate; 30% advanced
Number of lifts: 3, with another chairlift coming in 2013
Terrain Park: 2
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: No
Accommodation: Off snow at Ohau Lodge
Highlight: The Lodge and ski field experience combined

The Remarkables

“Everything about The Remarkables is exciting, from the drive up to the incredible runs and fun terrain parks that allow the kids to progress. The best thing is that kids under 10 ski free.” The Hayes family, Sydney.

The Remarkables

Elevation: 1943m
Location: 45 minutes from Queenstown
Terrain mix: 30% beginner; 40% intermediate; 30% advanced
Number of lifts: 7
Terrain Park: 3 plus half pipe
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: From 3 months
Accommodation: Queenstown
Highlight: The terrain parks, Ozone Tubing Park and the view from the Lookout

Treble Cone

“Some of the world’s best ski teams train at Treble Cone so we were a bit worried it would be too hard for us. We sent the kids off for lessons so they would be in good hands and they came back talking about all the black runs they did. We loved everything about Treble Cone and we are going back this year.” The Brooks family, Adelaide

Up in the clouds at Treble Cone

Elevation: 2088m
Location: 35 minutes from Wanaka
Terrain mix: 10% beginner; 45% intermediate; 45% advanced
Number of lifts: 4
Terrain Park: Yes
Snow Sports School: Yes
Child care: From 3 yrs
Accommodation: In Wanaka
Highlight: The runs, the vibe, the views

Ski towns


Methven is a very pretty town and is an hour’s drive from Christchurch. Apart from Mt Hutt, there are other ski and snowboard areas within two hours, or experts can take to the skies and go heli-skiing.

There is plenty of accommodation in Methven and I can recommend two places for families. Ski Time Villas has modern villas and apartments or lodge accommodation, while the Brinkley Resort offers top quality studio hotel rooms and serviced apartments, with two-bedroom apartments offering beautiful views out to Mt Hutt. It also has a heliport for heli-skiing operators to pick up from and its piece de resistance is Shackleton’s Bar and Grill.


This idyllic lakeside town is the place to stay if you intend to mostly ski in Treble Cone or Cardrona. It’s beautiful, and has a huge range of accommodation available. I can recommend Edgewater Lake Wanaka or the Archway Motels, which is walking distance from shops and restaurants and the owners are lovely people.

Wanaka is also home to some fabulous off-snow activities including Puzzling World – with a very puzzling maze and plenty of brainteasers – and Wanaka River Journeys – a jetboat tour that is so much more than just an adrenaline rush.


The queen of the south, Queenstown is truly magnificent. With snow-capped mountains on both sides, a pristine mirror-like lake, restaurants and cafes with crackling fires and a plethora of fantastic places to stay, it doesn’t get any better.

We recommend Peppers Beacon, which is walking distance from town and with brilliant views over the lake. Peppers Beacon has 83 hotel rooms, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and a five-bedroom penthouse on offer. The Rees is another standout, with its architectural apartments simply stunning. Push-button blinds and gas fire are big hits, as is the massive balcony, from which we watch planes flying in over the lake and the daily light show, when the sun rises and falls over the Remarkables.

Must-dos in Queenstown include visiting the Skyline Gondola for panoramic views, bungy jumping and the luge tracks, as well as the ZipTrek – zipline tours that you will never forget. And after a day’s skiing, book in for a soak at the Onsen Hot Pools, which is an excellent set up with glass screens that open up so you can enjoy the view while you soak.


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