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Cardrona Ski area, Crown Range, Otago, New Zealand

Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Pros: Can get very crowded in the school holidays

Cons: Well organised and run resort, lots of great intermiediate runs, staying on the Mountain

We stayed in the on Mountain Apartments so would have a very different experience to most, who would be doing day trips from Wanaka and surrounding area.  The accommodation, although expensive, was great and being on the Mountain meant skipping the crowded cafes and daily race up and down the mountain through the mud bath the access road can become.  The apartment was new and very well appointed, and there were activities most nights the kids could go along to and by all accounts enjoyed.  On mountain evening dining options are limited and most people staying self-cater, so stock up at a supermarket on your way to the resort.  If you want night life suggest staying off the Mountain in Wanka or Queenstown.


The snow and skiing were fantastic, with lots of decent blue runs, which suited the skill level or our party.  We were there during school holidays, which meant you could be waiting a while at Captains or Whitestar, with it hitting 20 minutes a few times a day, but the express lifts get you to the top pretty quickly and we didn't feel like we spent the day queuing.  The McDougall's quad was far worse and is slow, so we skipped it most days by either skiing to Whitestar or just catching it only first thing in the morning or near the end of the day.  There was seldom a queue for the Valley View quad, probably due to the fact it's an older slower lift and the slightly steeper runs (think Treble Cone) that get you to the base, but apart from a few slushy bits we actually liked the runs and the no queues aspect an awful lot.


Pros: Excellent for families, great terrain park

Cons: Pretty easy terrain for advanced/experts

Cardrona is super family friendly. It has a fantastic ski school and easy terrain for beginners. It also has one of the best terrain parks in NZ. Advanced and Expert skiers might get a little bored though as the high end stuff is a little limited. For back country skiers there is some good access to powder skiing.