The Remarkables Ski Resort Terrain

The Remarkables Ski Resort Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Remarkables Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,475 - 1,943 (468)
  • Average Snow Fall
    3.7 metres
  • Lifts (8)
    2 high speed 6-pack 
    2 quad chairs
  • Ski Hours
    9:00am to 4:00pm
    early June to early Oct
  • Terrain Summary
    Longest run – 1.5 km
    Beginner - 30%
    Intermediate - 40%
    Advanced - 30%
The Remarkables Ski Resort in Queenstown is medium sized by New Zealand standards at only 385 hectares. The ski field primarily consists of three bowls that are rather sunny and relatively sheltered from the elements. The Remarkables Ski Resort Queenstown is predominantly suited to freestylers and first-timers. When the snow is right, there is also off-piste terrain for advanced riders, and steep terrain for experts who don’t mind a bit of a hike. Many of the bowls and chutes are magic on a powder day, but unfortunately you generally won’t be alone.

Plans are afoot at the Remarks to add a 230 metre tunnel that would open up the Doolans area which is currently backcountry terrain, which would significantly expand the ski area size to approximately 900 hectares.

The Remarkables Lifts

The lift infrastructure at The Remarkables Ski Resort consists of a high speed 6-seater (Curvey Basin), a fast 6 seater (Shadow Basin) and 2 fixed grip quad chairs. The Shadow Basin chair feels ridiculously slow after you’ve been on Shadow Basin, and thankfully there are plans in the pipeline to upgrade the Shadow Basin lift and realign it.

For beginners there are four fantastic surface conveyors (magic carpets). Another “lift” is the shuttle bus that operates from the bottom of the Homeward runs.

Lift Tickets

The lift tickets seem pretty expensive for the infrastructure you get in return. However if you’re a park rider then you’ll definitely get your money’s worth, and life is even better if you have an Ikon Pass, which provides up to 7 days (across The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt).

Beginners are well looked after with reasonably priced packages that incorporate a lift pass, lesson and equipment rental.

The Remarkables Snow and Weather

The snow conditions at The Remarkables are somewhat typical of New Zealand. The average annual snowfall of 3.7 metres is reasonable (for New Zealand), and the snowmaking capacity is extensive. Many of the advanced areas can suffer from marginal cover, but when there is fresh powder these runs can be awesome (although you can never be sure where the sharks are lurking!).

Like other NZ resorts the terrain is treeless, but the horse-shoe shape of the resort provides a little protection from the wind and weather. Considering that the main bowl (and Homeward) is north-facing, it is delightfully sunny, but this also increases the frequency of melt-freeze cycles. Conversely the chutes face southeast so they retain snow quality pretty well, and they also seem to catch any powder that’s flying about.

The Remarkables Skiing: Beginners

The Remarkables Ski Resort is a fabulous spot for novices to learn. The really gentle slopes are located just above the day lodge so it’s easy to retreat to the safety of the cafeteria when fatigue sets in. The location is also ideal so that parents can languish around the day lodge and keep an eye on the children.

The novice terrain is serviced by conveyor lifts including a double lane of covered magic carpets, so first-timers don’t have to contend with figuring out how to use a chair lift or being out in the elements, and they don’t have to compete with better riders playing in the same terrain.

Beginners can progress onto the Alta chair lift for a couple of green runs. Confident beginners can then tackle the green run off the Sugar Bowl chair, although you’d want to keep your eyes peeled for the run signage as it’s not that obvious.

Intermediate Terrain

Whilst 40% of the terrain is rated as blue, in reality there isn’t that much intermediate piste terrain.

There are a few runs off the Sugar Bowl chair, of which some parts are interspersed with terrain park features. There’s only one blue run off the Shadow Basin chair lift and it becomes like a snoring cat track towards the bottom.

Terrain Parks

The Remarkables is a freestyling playground with tonnes of opportunities and jibs for all levels. The terrain parks include the “Stash”, a Burton signature terrain park which has loads of advanced features. This park is really impressive, and in line with other Stash parks around the world, it aims to mimic natural hits. However considering there are no trees in NZ, Burton has sort of cheated by putting log features in.

The Remarkables Ski Resort also has a little kids’ terrain park which is really cute.

Advanced Skiing The Remarks

Even though The Remarkables ski resort caters mainly for learners and shredders, there are some of New Zealand's finest black runs to be explored and defeated. The advanced runs are mostly off the Shadow Basin chair so a lot of déjà vu can set in. You can drop in anywhere off the outer trail on the skiers left, and into narrow bowls and chutes. The runs are pretty short but rather sweet. The Waterfall is occasionally groomed and is fun for some fast turns.

Further down this trail is the access to the Homeward runs (including the formerly out of bounds Outward Bound). The status of this bowl is indicated on a board at the bottom of the Shadow chair. Homeward is a large basin of off-piste fun, and the snow is generally very soft in the middle of the day. It’s not particularly steep so you don’t have to be a super expert to tackle it, but it can become an experts’ run if the snow cover is marginal near the bottom where it runs down to the road. There a shuttle bus will return you to the resort base area from 10am-3:30pm. The bus is a rather inefficient “lift” but it’s better than nothing. It can take a while to get there, and by the time everyone gets up the steep steps of the bus to load and then unload, it can take a very long time to do laps of this area.

Off the other side of the Shadow Basin chair you can traverse to the East Face, a favourite of many of the locals.

Expert Skiing The Remarkables

Some of the terrain is quite testing, but it requires fitness, and laps take a while. A reasonably short walk up from the Shadow Basin Chair leads to the Alta Chutes area with runs like the official Elevator and Escalator, and also Terminator, Eliminator, Exterminator and the ridiculously difficult Diangulator. These chutes often have windblown powder in them, and combined with a good aspect, the snow quality is generally far superior to other parts of the ski area.

The Gallipoli chutes are not too extreme, and are accessed off the top of the Sugar Bowl quad with a bit of a hike.

If you still want to do some climbing, you could also give the Toilet Bowl a go. This is the large bowl visible on the left as you drive up to the resort. It’s accessed via a climb from Sugar Bowl.