Activities & Tours

If skiing isn't enough for you, there is plenty to keep everyone entertained around the area. In fact, Cardrona probably has access to more activities and tours within an hour than any other location on this planet!

Cardrona Alpine Resort itself is limited in its activity offerings beyond skiing and snowboarding, but it is in close proximity to the action adventure capital of the world, Queenstown. And nearby Wanaka is fast catching up to Queenstown in the variety and number of activities available.

Alternatively Snowfarm is only 20 minutes from the Cardrona access road turn-off.

Snow Farm Activities Snow Farm is a dedicated cross-country skiing resort with 50km of groomed tracks that cater for all ability levels. They provide lessons and have all the rental gear you’d need. In case you want to stay warm inside whilst other family members rip up the course, the large base building has various bars and cafes.

However Snowfarm is so much more than just cross-country skiing – it’s activity central!

Firstly you can go snowshoeing and explore the trails with a guide or DIY. Alternatively rent a tube and go tubing.

The Pisa Range plateaus near Snowfarm are also perfect for snowkiting. With a kite you can ski or snowboard up the hills as well as down! Snowkiting is also the perfect activity for slightly windy days where heli ski operators are not flying, or sitting on a chairlift at Cardrona is not super pleasant. Boarder Patrol offer 2 hour beginner lessons that include the use of the kiting equipment. They also offer 4 hour progression lessons in a small group format. Alternatively you can just rent the equipment. 

Under Dog operates dog sledding on the cross country trails. This is a completely unique experience as this is the only commercial dog sledding company in New Zealand. Enjoy watching the craziness of the dogs being harnessed and enjoy the peace of sitting in the sled whilst the dogs sprint around the scenic tracks. They run short day time trips as well as overnight trips. You're guaranteed to have a howling good time!

Snowfarm is also used as a conference centre so there are other activities that are particularly targeted to corporates with a need for speed. The relatively flat slopes of the Pisa Range are ideal for hooning around on snowmobiles, and Snowfarm is home to the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds. Car companies from around the world come here to test cars on the skid pans, but advanced driving courses are also held at SPPG where corporates have fun whizzing around witches hats on the ice.

Other Skiing Activities In addition to the cross-country skiing at Snowfarm, the region is renowned for heli skiing. Harris Mountains Heli Ski and Southern Lakes Heliski are based in Wanaka and Queenstown, and Alpine Heliski is based in Queenstown. See our respective reviews for more information.

Adventure Activities
When it comes to crazy and adventurous activities, the kiwis know how to do it best. There are just too many activities to speak of and you can be assured that if it has been invented, it probably exists in Queenstown. Favourites include the Shotover Jet Boat, Tandem Ski Diving or Paraponting, white water rafting (yes they do run during winter) and AJ Hackett's famous bungy jumping.

Wanaka also offers plenty of outdoor adventure activities. Some of this is centred round the lake including kayaking, windsurfing and sailing (depending upon your cold tolerance), and other opportunities include guided canyon adventures, scenic flights, hot-air ballooning, rock climbing, aerobatic (scare your pants off) flights and skydiving.

In Cardrona, if you like a bit of petrol powered adrenaline, you could visit Ian Soanes Adventure Park and take on some quad bike action and/or a monster truck ride.

Non-Adventure Activities For a more relaxed option, cruises are available on Lake Wanaka and Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown).

Puzzling World is located on the outskirts of Wanaka. This is not just for children but also for others seeking a brain tease. In addition to lots of small puzzles and optical illusions, there is a big 1.5km long maze.

The Warbird museum just outside Wanaka displays various fighter aircraft from yesteryear.

There are many wineries around Wanaka in the Otago area that you can visit independently, or partake in a tour like Wanaka Wine Tours.

For complete relaxation there are a few day spas in Wanaka and plenty of day spas in Queenstown, or you can visit the rock pools at Oakridge Resort (only about 15 mins away) which are open to the public for a small fee. They include two large pools and many small hot tubs that are situated in a relaxed setting amongst rocks with the views of the mountains in the background.


For more ideas on things to do in the area, see our Queenstown activities and Wanaka activities pages.

Cardrona Activities & Tours Listings

Harris Mountains Heliski Wanaka New Zealand Harris Mountains Heliski
New Zealand's premier heli skiing operation with locations in Wanaka, Queenstown & Mt Cook. Spoil yourself to an experience of a lifetime.
Wanaka Wine Tours, Wanaka New Zealand Wanaka Wine Tours
Experience Central Otago's finest wines in a half or full day tour. We will pick you up and drop you off from your accommodation so you can taste as many wines as you like!
Aspect Beauty & Health Aspects Beauty & Health
Relax and unwind after a day on the slopes with a professional massage or spa treatment. Men & women welcome. Open 7-days pending demand.

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