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Skiing New Zealand Late June [beginner/intermediate]

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys

 

I'm looking to ski at one of the four ski fields near Queenstown in New Zealand for a few days. My Mum and I are beginner/intermediate and I am wondering which ski field would have the best snow coverage and best terrain for our skiing abilities.

 

Cheers

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenSchampers View Post
 

Hey Guys

 

I'm looking to ski at one of the four ski fields near Queenstown in New Zealand for a few days. My Mum and I are beginner/intermediate and I am wondering which ski field would have the best snow coverage and best terrain for our skiing abilities.

 

Cheers

Where have you skied before?  It's great that you and your family are learning together.

 

The thread was moved fro Resorts to International Zone and New Zealand added to the title in the hope of getting more responses.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

We have skied in Switzerland for a couple days when i was 13 im now 17 and we went to Cauterets (French Pyrenees) for 6 days 1 and a half years ago. i just need a refresher on the greens for half a day till I hit the blues but my Mum isn't as confident.

 

Cheers Hayden

post #4 of 8

It probably depends on where you are staying - I'm assuming central Queenstown, so based on that and your skiing level I'd discount Treble Cone. It's the furthest away from Queenstown and has the least beginner /intermediate terrain.

 

Probably the best would be Cardrona. http://www.cardrona.com It has a lot if beginner and intermediate terrain and the McDougall's quad is a great confidence booster. It is quite high so its snow quality is generally ok. I wouldn't recommend staying at Cardrona though, it really is isolated and there is very little / no apres or retail. 

 

The two closest to Queenstown, Coronet Peak (the closest) and the Remarkables http://www.nzski.com are owned by the same company so if you are buying multi-day passes you may be able to get passes that are valid at both resorts. I haven't skied at either for so long I can't really comment on current terrain or crowds.

 

http://www.powderhounds.com/NewZealand/Queenstown.aspx is an Australian site, but has some good info on Queenstown and the associated ski areas, although it is a little out of date.

 

The other thing to consider is how you will get to the ski field, If you are driving yourselves, Coronet Peak is the only one that has a two-lane (one lane of travel in each direction) sealed road, the others are not sealed and are single lane in places. At the end of June/ early July if you are self-driving you should be prepared to fit chains to your car. Alternatively there are good bus services to each.

 

From the 26th June for the next three weeks are also Australian (beginning 26th June - ending 14 July) and New Zealand (beginning 3 July ending 21 July) school holidays so it will be crowded.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks

post #6 of 8

That's also VERY early in the season, so open terrain may be very limited and most snow will be manmade, which can mean quite firm with high skier traffic. I'm assuming there's another reason you're in NZ at this time, but if not you should try to go later.  The post about holiday crowds could considerably worsen early season conditions.

 

I agree that of the 4 areas Cardrona is the most suitable for you terrain-wise and has the highest base.  However, I'm fairly sure Coronet has the best snowmaking, which could be the key factor in the early time frame.

post #7 of 8

Pretty much what they said, though the Remarkables is also a good contender -- if it's had enough snow by then, and assuming you're staying in Queenstown. At least the NZ school holidays aren't until a bit later (July 5-20), though the Aussie holiday crowds might be a pain.

 

There've been a few developments at the Remarkables this past summer which possibly make it a better bet for you and your mother, although it is set to open a couple of weeks later (June 20) than Coronet Peak. I'm generally reluctant to ski there unless it has a base of at least 85cm, whereas 25cm coverage at tussocky Coronet Peak isn't going to do nearly as much damage to your skis. Terrain at Remarks is a mixed bag and it doesn't have quite the range of continuous fall-line skiing of Coronet Peak and Cardrona unless you're hiking/traversing to them, but it is very well set up for beginners, and now also to intermediate skiers with the new Curvey Basin chairlift accessing what used to be some very nice hike-to slopes overlooking the base area below.

 

It's a longish drive up, but the road's just been partially sealed from the bottom (with plans to seal the whole thing in the next year or two, I believe), which will hopefully erase some of the more "interesting" features (corrugations) of getting there. The Remarks faces north, so it gets more sun than Coronet Peak, but the extra elevation it has over CP tends to keep the snow longer than you'd think. And the views are fabulous. 

 

If the snow's still a bit thin, the snowmaking at Coronet Peak and Cardrona would make them the better bets. CP can get crowded (especially in the holidays), though the new amenities and cheaper passes at the Remarkables will probably draw a few people away. If you've got a few days there I'd visit all three -- they're all fun on a good day. If you don't mind the drive, I wouldn't necessarily discount Treble Cone either: people do in fact learn to ski there too, and from memory there's a big cruisy run off the main chairlift out of the base area which is ideal for intermediate skiers. Fabulous views there too. 

 

Driving times from Queenstown are roughly 20-30 minutes (depending on weather, road conditions and traffic, and where in Queenstown you're staying) to Coronet Peak, 35-45 minutes to Remarkables, an hour or so to Cardrona, and an hour and a half or more to Treble Cone. If you're in Arrowtown, it's about the same to Coronet Peak, but a bit longer (5-10 mins) to the Remakables, and a bit less to Cardrona and TC. Wanaka is about an hour to Queenstown. Wanaka to Cardrona is about 35-40 mins (from hazy memory), and TC about the same or a bit more. (I'm open to correction on that last bit of info.)

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks, and yeah unfortunately i am in my last year of high school so I am limited by my time frame. 

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