Cardrona Valley

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The road along Cardrona Valley can take you to all kinds of active adventures or a great meal at the historic hotel.

The beautiful scenic drive from Wanaka along the Cardrona Valley leads over the Crown Range which, at 1121 metres, is the highest main road in New Zealand.

During the late 1800’s Cardrona was at the centre of the Otago gold rush which saw the township grow quickly to accommodate the influx of miners. Cardrona is quieter today, but you can still experience the history of the gold rush with a visit to the iconic Cardrona Hotel for lunch or dinner. A new addition to the valley is the Cardrona Distillery where you can learn about how they’re creating award winning spirits, including whisky and gin.

The Cardrona Valley is famous for winter sports with world class skiing and snowboarding at Cardrona Alpine Resort and cross country (Nordic) skiing at the Snow Farm. Cardrona is also home to the Audi Quattro Winter Games where you can see some of the world’s top snow sports athletes in action, and the Merino Muster – a cross country ski race which also attracts some of the world’s best.

In the summer, Cardrona Alpine Resort is open for lift-accessed mountain biking and the golden hills of the valley are popular for horse trekking and hiking. Over New Year the Cardrona Valley plays host to the Rhythm & Alps music festival which sees thousands of people camping out to enjoy the two-day event.

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