Going Extreme - Cardrona Alpine Resort

Rearing to go for the winter season? Want the down-low on what pow or pistes for your Queenstown/Wanaka ski holiday?

Let’s start with Cardrona Alpine Resort. Whether you’re just starting out, or on an intermediate to professional level, there’s a very good reason why Cardrona is world-renowned as a great all-rounder ski resort.

Where: Approximately one hours drive from Queenstown, or just a short 30 minutes from Wanaka.

Terrain: 25% Beginner, 25% Intermediate, 30% Advanced, 20% Pro

Altitude: 1,670m – 1,860m

Average Annual Snowfall: 2.9m

With stunning views, renowned terrain park and plenty of space for beginners, it’s the perfect place to get your ski or snowboard game into shape.

Cardrona offers the perfect settings to get your game in shape, whether skiing of snowboarding. With stunning views on offer and plenty of space for those just starting out, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

The ski area itself is located above the tree line covering a total of three basins. Its southerly aspect ensures the snow retains light and powdery conditions for longer, while a varied natural terrain, including steep chutes and cliff-jumps, keeps the adrenaline pumping and offers plenty to explore.


If you’re just starting out in the wonderful world of skiing, then Cardrona is the ideal place to start boasting one of the best areas around. Enjoy a dedicated area of wide open spaces, gentle slopes and magic carpets designed to get you back to the top with ease.

As you explore more of the mountain, you’ll discover at least one beginner level piste easily accessible from each chairlift.


For those already at an intermediate level, you’re in for a treat. The wide, open slopes will have you carving it up nicely. You’ll also enjoy some awesome longer runs as well as several pistes that are ideal for intermediate level skiers and boarders alike.

Terrain park and pipes

One of the southern-hemisphere’s best park terrains, it’s where the New Zealand Park Team call home and host to numerous international freestyle events each season.

For those who are ready to rock will want to check out the Big Bucks Park, XL size complete with jumps of 50-70ft. If you’re keen on playing around in the park minus the XL size, then check out the other three parks which all include fun rails, jibs and boxes, as well as smaller jumps.

Advanced - Expert

Although Cardrona may not be as well known for its advanced level terrain, or deep powder, you’ll still find a whole lot of fun off-piste to explore.

Top picks for expert level riders looking for some decent off-piste:

  • Arcadia Chutes: You’ll find steep lines and terrain littered with large rocks.
  • Tulip Chutes and the off-piste from the Captain’s Express chairlift are awesome if you’re looking for varied slopes. You can have some nice pockets of powder if you hit them at the right time.

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