Getting to Cardrona Zealand/Cardrona_Location_Map_01.jpg

Getting to Cardrona

Where is Cardrona the Village?

The “village” of Cardrona consists of a collection of accommodations, a couple of shops 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 Resort 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, 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 near the famous Cardrona bra fence! The 10km drive from the village 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.

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 better than some other NZ ski resort roads because it’s reasonably wide, it often has corrugations and can be rather slippery. Thankfully there are some safety barriers half way up and guard rails towards the top.

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. Or for a little more, you can hire them on the Cardrona mountain road and there are often chain fitting crews to fit them.

If you don’t want to drive the mountain road, about 1km up the road you can catch the Pine Trees Shuttle. The shuttle goes every half hour in the morning from 8:30am whilst the shuttles down in the afternoon only go every hour. The mountain road shuttle attracts a fee.

Car Parking

Car parking can be in hot demand at Cardrona and you may have to get up early if you want a park. One of the car parks at Cardrona is at the level of the base buildings, whilst another few carparks are further down the hill. An inefficient shuttle is available from the lower car parks to get up, and you may 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 so you can wear your white pants if you're brave!

If you already have a lift ticket, a great option is to park near the Valley View chair lift, but check that the quad chair is actually running.

[AdListings collection="New Zealand" category="Country Wide" subcategory="Car Rentals"] [AdListings collection="New Zealand" category="Country Wide" subcategory="Campervan Rentals"]

Shuttles To Cardrona from Wanaka

Some people prefer to catch a shuttle bus from Wanaka to Cardrona 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.

Alternatively you can organise private transfers where you get door-to-door transport for you and your group.

Cardrona Resort offers a shuttle service once a day, with 3 pick-up points in Wanaka.

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Shuttles from Queenstown to Cardrona

Cardrona Resort offers 1 shuttle per day from Queenstown to Cardrona, with about 10 pick-up points in Queenstown. The bus takes a while and the trip from the first Queenstown pick-up to the last is about 50 minutes. This shuttle bus needs to be pre-booked.

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 from the turn-off to the Cardrona Alpine Resort, which is a ski area dedicated to cross-country skiing.

Powder hounds delight - the Wanaka and Queenstown areas are home to three heli skiing operations: Harris Mountains Heli-ski; Alpine Heliski; and Southern Lakes Heliski.