5-Days of Skiing or Snowboarding in Queenstown New Zealand

Queenstown is gearing up for an exceptional 2024 ski season. The snow guns are on and the mountains are gearing up. Our lakefront apartments are a great base for your ski holiday or vacation - for a short stay or long stay! The apartments are wonderfully furnished, comfortable, and are close to amenities and have spectacular views too. With an opening date range of mid to late June 2024 for local Queenstown ski fields, it's time to get those skis and snowboards unpacked, waxed and ready to ride!  So read on for our 5-Days of Skiing or Snowboarding in Queenstown New Zealand Itinerary!

Ultimate Queenstown Ski Holiday Itinerary MUST do’s

 So we’ve given some thought on how best to spend 5 days of skiing and boarding while you stay with us at Spinnaker Bay Apartments.

Firstly, like all of our posts, this is entirely a personal viewpoint as a long-term local of Queenstown who has learnt to ski in these parts, and who has worked on the fields too. It’s just a single opinion, and like always, we encourage you to get out and experience Queenstown for yourselves, and form your own first-hand opinion!

To begin with, there are 4 ski fields within easy to easy’ish reach from our apartments. Locally are The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski fields (45 and 25 minutes away respectively), and further afar are Cardrona and Treble Cone (1hr 20 and 2hrs respectively).

Skiing and Boarding in Queenstown NZ

These Days are flexible, to a degree, and meant to be re-organised depending on the weather. For example, if you have adverse weather conditions, then it doesn’t make sense to trek over to Treble Cone. it would take too long and the risk of the Crown Range being closed is always there.

1: First tracks / Day / Night Skiing at Coronet Peak

A day on Coronet Peak is an easy day - but sometimes stressful given the quantity of people who head up there. It's super convenient to get to and has descent on mountain parking and a reliable cap park shuttle. And for that reason, dozens of people go. The queues are simply the worst part (from the ticket lines to the food lines and the lift lines), as is the cost of food and the always long wait for a coffee.
But it is a fun mountain.
We recommend the early bird skiing! For a unique experience, try a night skiing under floodlights from sunset to late evening on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from late June to early September. Enjoy live DJs, the occasional concert and pizza & pinot evenings.

2. Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort

Allow yourself a huge epic day for today. It will take you about an hour to an hour and a half to go over the Crown Range, through Cardrona Valley then up to Cardrona Ski Field - it depends on both the weather and the traffic, and you have to be prepared with chains in the car at all times. if you are renting, then we suggest you request winter tyres as well as carrying chains on board.

This is a hugely fun and well-run mountain. It has less of the ‘corporate big company’ kinda feel of Coronet Peak, and more of a ‘locals for locals’ kinda feel. There are a few skiable basins networked by lifts which offer a diverse range of skiing - with bigger, wider and more open runs to blast around on.

And on the way home, a stop at the Cardrona pub is an absolute 100% not to be missed opportunity! Best Après Ski in New Zealand!

3. Day Off

Keeping it local, we’d suggest a day off the snow to explore the surrounding vineyards and/or a day trip to Glenorchy or further afield to Milford Sound

There are dozens of things to see, activities to experience and cool stuff to do in and around Queenstown. We recommend you take a day to enjoy what’s off the mountain too.

4. The Remarkables

It’s a little more of a harrowing drive up the Remarks, but it’ll be worth it when you get there. If you’re travelling with a family, then utilise the drop-off zone before parking and shuttling back to the base building. You can’t really leave gear bags on the deck, so either hire a locker for the day or come absolutely prepared for the day. The Remarks makes for an interesting ski day. It has a good mix of terrain, and if the off-piste is opened up, then there’s always the possibility of hiking and a little ‘back country’ skiing. The pistes are slightly wider and have a more gentle flow than Coronet Peak which is scattered with slow signs, piste furniture, and piste intersections. It means you get your flow on a little easier over here.

5. Heli Skiing

if you want to make some truly epic memories, then consider heli-skiing. What a way to enjoy the southern terrain and get untracked powder runs. Generally, there are two options:
a) as a group of friends you hire the copter for the day, alongside the guide and you be footloose and dance free - within reason, your guide can take you wherever the powder is best. You control your pace
b) grab a seat on a heli-ski day on rotation. This means that you’ll be picked up, alongside other skiers/ and dropped off at the top of a run with a guide, and while you’re experiencing snow nirvana, the copter returns to collect the second group of skiers and boarders and drops them off at the start of their run. You then hopscotch each other as you ski/helicopter on a rotation basis.

Whichever you choose, heli-skiing is not cheap, and nor for the faint hearted. What it is, is FUN - that’s right, all capitals! It’s a brilliant experience in some of the best high-altitude environments in the southern hemisphere. You can always grab powder skis through the heli-ski company or rent them from Browns in town.

Skiing Boarding Queenstown Accommodation Stay

So that makes up 5 days of fun and adventure in Queenstown New Zealand. Of course, we hope all 5 days are calm, bluebird days following a big pow dump the night before! Wouldn’t that be great?

Here are a few other thoughts for you…

  • Easiest learners mountain: Cardrona or the Remarkables
  • Easiest access; Coronet Peak
  • Hardest Access: Treble cone due to its distance
  • Best Child Care: Remarks and Coronet peak - but bookings are super essential so as soon as you know your dates, make the booking!
  • Best on mountain food: Cardrona for the diversity.
  • Best Apres Ski - Cardrona Pub, at the bottom of the mountain, on the way home!
  • Easiest Rentals: Coronet Peak
  • Best rental company: Browns in Queenstown
  • Cheapest Day out: Cardrona or Treble Cone
  • Best Experience: Treble Cone
  • Easiest Drive: Coronet Peak
  • Quickest Drive from Queenstown: Coronet Peak
  • least Queues: Unfortunately they all have pretty bad queues
  • Best off-piste: Treble Cone on a pow pow day!

We hope you have a safe journey to Queenstown New Zealand and to us at Spinnaker Bap Apartments.  We wish you a great Stay in our beautiful alpine lakeside apartments.  Enjoy your time on the mountain!