Wagner Custome Skis

Where is Cardrona the Village?

The “village” of Cardrona consists of a collection of accommodations and the Cardrona Pub. It is located on the road that links Queenstown and Wanaka where the road changes name from Cardrona Valley Rd to Crown Range Rd.

Where is Cardrona Alpine Resort?

Cardrona Ski Field is situated in the Southern Lakes District of the South Island of New Zealand. Cardrona is 34km from Wanaka (35 minutes drive), 58km from Queenstown (1 hour), and 27km from Arrowtown (45 minutes). Nearest airports are in Wanaka (Air NZ only), Queenstown, Dunedin (280km – 3 hours), and Christchurch (420km – 5 hours).

The Cardrona ski field access road is located off the road between Queenstown and Wanaka about 2.5km north (the Wanaka side) of the Cardrona pub. Unfortunately the infamous Cardrona bra fence doesn’t exist anymore!

The 10km drive up to the ski resort takes about 18 minutes.

See our travel to Wanaka and getting to Queenstown pages for information on flights and how to get to these towns.

Ski Areas Nearby

Treble Cone is only 26km from Wanaka (60km from Cardrona) and is well suited to advanced and expert skiers and boarders. The turn-off to Snowfarm is a few hundred metres away from the turn-off to the Cardrona Alpine Resort, which is a ski area dedicated to cross-country skiing and other activities such as dog sledding. See our Cardrona activities for more information.

Powderhounds delight - the Wanaka and Queenstown areas are home to three heli skiing operations: Harris Mountains Heli-skiAlpine Heliski; and Southern Lakes Heliski.

Driving to Cardrona Alpine Resort

The drive from Wanaka to the Cardrona ski resort is very easy via the meandering Cardrona Valley Road. Driving from Queenstown via the Crown Range Road is a little more challenging as the road crosses a mountain ridge and is fairly windy.

The 10km access road from Cardrona Valley up to Cardrona Alpine Resort is unpaved, and even though it’s a little better than some other NZ ski resort roads because it’s reasonably wide, it often has corrugations and can be rather slippery. There are a few dodgy looking fences that are strategically placed near drop-offs, but it’s unknown if they’d be functionally useful!

Chains are often required which can be hired from various petrol stations and ski shops in Queenstown and Wanaka (e.g. Outside Sports) or request chains from your car rental company.

Not surprisingly, quite a few people try to hitch a ride from Wanaka or the Cardrona turn-off up to the ski resort.

One of the car parks at Cardrona is at the level of the base buildings, whilst another couple of carparks are further down the hill. A zoo train shuttle is available from the lower car parks to get up, but you’ll need to walk down at the end of the day. 

The car parks don’t have the same tendency to get as muddy as other nearby ski resorts. Wear your white pants if you're brave! 

If you already have a lift ticket, a great option is to park at Tower Corner further down the hill (and ski down to the Whitestar lift), or at the Valley View area, but check that the Valley View quad chair is actually running.

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Shuttles To Cardrona

Some people prefer to catch a shuttle bus and avoid the cost of a hire car and the hassle of driving up the mountain. Whilst shuttle transport has some advantages, it also has some drawbacks. Shuttles offer little flexibility in arrival or departure times, as the transport operators only offer one or two departure times. Either you have to stomp in your ski boots to their central pick-up point, or if they do accommodation pick-ups, this may significantly add to the travel time.

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