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Ski and Snowboard Resorts
Cardrona - excellent beginner through to intermediate level skiing and boarding.
Treble Cone - superb intermediate to advanced skiing and boarding
If you are wanting to extend your experience and ability and are an intermediate level skier or boarder choose a pass or passes that will allow you to try both fields. OnepassNZ covers both resorts.
Other Snowy Pursuits
Ski Touring - Aspiring Guides run guided day excursions out the back of both Cardrona and Treble Cone. This is how to experience untracked powder without the need for a helicopter. It is a good way to improve your snow skills with the safety net of a guide and not far from a good coffee or late lunch. Your outfitter also offers overnight trips out on the Pisa Range. Your can use your own boots and poles but will probably need to hire touring skis.
Racers Edge - of course, who doesn't know Racers Edge. Specialist ski shop, run by staff who are occasional mountain bikers and passionate skiers all. Also remarkably close to Harris Mountain Heliski should mountain fever grip you and the need to have a day of pure snow and adrenaline charged fun.
Base - your base in town for snowboarding equipment and service.
Off the Snow
There are a range of Wanaka activities that are still available and enjoyable over winter, here are a few:
Experienced and patient guides, quite used to working with beginners. Most of the climbing is up the Matukituki Valley. You can choose from a half day or full day and it is possible to go skiing at Treble Cone in the morning and climbing in the afternoon.
Wanaka is in the grip of biking-fever, mainly a passion for mountain biking. With a myriad of new local trails, 5-6 bike stores and many accommodations offering complementary mountain bikes to guests, it has never been easier to head out on the trail.
If you see a spectacularly clear day coming up ring up Southern Alps Air and ask to go on one of their Milford Sound Scenic Flights with the cruise on the Sound included. The flight across the Southern Alps and down the World Heritage West Coast to Milford is worth a day away from the slopes. Also available by helicopter, complete with glacier and beach landings.
Perfect for a still winter morning, followed by breakfast at the Federal Diner. Incredible views, once you open your eyes, over the whole upper Clutha Valley. One of NZ's best operators. See Skydive Wanaka for details.
Take your own map around the vines or book a tour with Ridgeline Adventures who will escort you and advise on on local vintages, the best places for lunch along the way, arrange a talk with a local wine-maker and tell you all about the history of the area as well.
Where to Eat
Three current favourites -
The Landing - for fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere, overlooking the lake. Should be booked in advance.
Federal Diner - a hidden gem, tucked away behind 47 Frocks in Helwick Street. Great for an early avant-ski breakfast, lunch, or they may be opening for evening dining. Very popular with local Wanaka folk.
The Creek - newish, spacious, not luxurious but full of character and good service, a great lunch selection and nice location off Dunmore Street beside the creek.
Where to Stay
Riverrun is a luxury lodge on 500 acres bordering two rivers but only 5kms from Wanaka township. Riverrun offers rustic luxury, a private retreat from the busyness of the skifields and township. Relax in the evening on the lodge verandahs with huge views of the Southern Alps and both snow resorts, sample complimentary evening appetisers and perhaps a glass of local pinot noir from the wine list, or take your wine down to the hot tub to sooth tired muscles. Dine at the lodge or in town and start the day with a sumptuous lodge breakfast.
And if you really must be in town, try Wanaka Homestead; another good option for families is Wanaka Luxury Apartments.
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