Cardrona Ski Resort

Cardrona New Zealand
Cardrona, a Very Family Friendly NZ Ski Resort
Cardrona Ski Field Beginner Area & Terrain Park
Cardrona With the Family
Heaven for Terrain Park Junkies
Cardrona Ski Terrain - Advanced
The Infamous Cardrona Hotel
Wide Open Groomed Terrain
Mega Pipe
Cardona Novice Area
More Hits
Cardrona NZ is Fantastic for the Kids
Groomed Runs Galore
Cardrona Ski Field Views
Chutes to Challenge Advanced Riders
Cardrona Ski Terrain - Intermediates
Cardrona Ski Resort NZ
Various Snowsports Programs for the Kids
Cardrona Captain's Cafe
Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona Ski Resort

Readers Ratings


Cardrona3.5 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
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Cardrona Ski Field New Zealand

Cardrona ski field is a favourite amongst many visitors staying in Queenstown or Wanaka. Cardrona NZ is not particularly ideal for powderhounds or experts, but the friendly atmosphere and wide open groomers make it very popular amongst families, beginners, intermediates and freestylers.

Views across the mountains and down into the South Lake Valley are beautiful, and the on-mountain accommodation, albeit limited, is also a major drawcard.

NB Info re new lifts/terrain coming soon.

Cardrona Ski and Snowboard Terrain

As is typical for New Zealand skiing, the terrain at Cardrona is above the tree line. The ski area is spread across three bowls, and much of the 345 hectares of terrain consists of groomed slopes suitable for beginners (25%) and intermediates (50%).

Cardrona undeservedly has a reputation for being a mountain just for beginners and intermediates because it’s compared to its neighbour, the gnarly TC. Whilst there are very few areas for experts at Cardrona relative to Treble Cone, Cardrona has lots on offer for advanced riders. There are some steeps in the Arcardia Chutes, some excitement in the Tulips area, and much of the Captain’s area is an off-piste playground.

What sets Cardrona NZ apart from its neighbours is that it has the best of all worlds – it’s a reasonably good all-rounder.

The Cardrona lift system is pretty good by New Zealand standards, with four quad chairlifts, two of which are express chairs.

Cardrona Snow

Powderhounds have to be really lucky to ski or board in knee deep powder at Cardrona considering that the mountain only receives an average of 2.7 metres of snowfall annually. However the powder that does fall is generally quite dry (by NZ standards) and the south facing aspect assists with snow retention. Snowmaking is used in main traffic areas to supplement the natural snow cover.

Where is Cardrona NZ?

Cardrona Alpine Resort is nestled amongst the spectacular mountains between Wanaka (34km – 35 minutes away) and Queenstown (58km – 60 minutes away) on the South Island of New Zealand. Major gateway airports are either Queenstown (50 minute drive) or Christchurch (5 hour drive). The Cardrona ski resort is approximately 12km from the village of Cardrona which is down in the Cardrona Valley.

Shuttles to Cardrona ski field are available from the towns of Queenstown and Wanaka, although hiring a car will provide more flexibility to get around. The 10km access road from the valley up to the ski area is unsealed and it’s a fraction friendlier than the goat-track access roads evident at some other NZ ski fields (but still a bit scary for the uninitiated!).

Cardrona Accommodation

Many visitors to the Cardrona ski field stay in either Queenstown accommodation or Wanaka accommodation, but it’s also possible to stay in Cardrona Valley near the turn off to the ski area. There is also on-mountain accommodation within 15 apartments (2-4 bedrooms), only a one minute walk away from the lifts. Those staying on-mountain will need to BYO supplies and nightlife.

See our Cardrona accommodation page for more information and for bookings.

Ski Resort Facilities

The on-mountain facilities at the Cardrona ski resort are of a high standard and include eateries, fabulous child care services, ski school, equipment rental and a retail shop. As is typical in NZ, the facilities are limited for choice, but there are five cafes on the mountain so knock yourself out!

Cardrona Activities

Whilst the activities at Cardrona Alpine Resort are pretty much limited to the skiing and snowboarding, the proximity of Cardrona to Queenstown, Wanaka and Snowfarm means that there are a plethora of activities on offer for families, adventure seekers, or those just wanting a break from the slopes. See our Cardrona activities page for more information.

Why Ski or Snowboard at Cardrona?

Cardrona New Zealand is loved by many beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders. It is also recognised as a great family ski area considering the terrain, the family friendly services and on-mountain accommodation.

The Powderhounds have provided Cardrona with the following "best skiing in New Zealand" awards for:
  • overall ski resort
  • best beginner terrain
  • best family resort
Tours That May Include Cardrona

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

South Island Snow Odyssey
11 Nights | 11 Days Riding at 10 Areas
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Take an odyssey of the South Island to the best New Zealand ski fields ranging from big commercial ski resorts to club field gems with barely any crowds. No need to worry about driving or organising anything as your host looks after all the logistics.
Price p/p From price based on quad share option.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,111
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South Island Snow Safari
7 Days | 6 Nights | 6 Skiing | 6 Resorts
Ability: Beginner to Advanced
This 7 day adventure is ideal for the young at heart who want to pack in as much skiing or snowboarding and fun as possible into a single week. You will visit up to 6 of NZ's great ski areas with professional hosts who will get you to the best skiing/snowboarding in each of the locations.
Price p/p From price based on multi-share "lift only" package.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,151
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Cardrona here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Wanaka Explorer
Fully Hosted & Guided | All Ground Transport Included
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
Take all of the organising out of your next NZ ski or snowboarding trip by joining an Explore Wanaka package tour. Packages include accommodation of various levels/budget, daily on-mountain hosting, transport to/from Queenstown airport to your accommodation plus daily 4x4 transport with your host to/from the mountains.
Price p/p "From" price is based on 3-night, twin-share, 3-star accommodation package.
Base/invoice currency is NZD
Displayed prices may vary slightly to fluctuations in exchange rates
USD 832
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Wanaka Heli & Resort Combo
2 Days Heli | 3 Days Resort
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Head to Wanaka this winter and experience some of the best value heli skiing on the planet plus Wanaka's best resorts. This package can be customised from 3+ nights however the sample is based on 7-nights deluxe lodging, 2 days heli + 3 days resort.
Price p/p "From" price is based on 7-night, twin-share, package.
Base/invoice currency is NZD
Displayed prices may vary slightly to fluctuations in exchange rates
USD 3,840
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Cardrona here

Heli Skiing Tours

Harris Mountains Queenstown Wanaka
Packages from 4 to 10 runs
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Don't miss the opportunity to experience New Zealand's best heli skiing with Harris Mountains Heliski. Heli ski Queenstown and Wanaka heli ski packages are either 3, 4, 7 or 10 runs with the option to purchase additional runs on the day. Includes Queenstown or Wanaka accommodation pick-up/drop-off.
Price p/p From price based on Intro 3-run package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 637
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Private Charters
Fully customisable
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Private heli skiing charters offer the ultimate in flexibility and freedom to explore the vast heli skiing terrain, set your own pace, and ski or snowboard as much as you want, and wherever conditions permit. Get together your own group of up to 4 (single load) or 5-10 (double load).
Price p/p Per person price based on a group of 8 with 2 hours of helicopter flight time.
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inclusive of tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 861
View Details
See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Cardrona here