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Overview

As soon as Queenstown’s exuberant Winter Festival has kicked off in late June, skiers and snowboarders scramble up into the surrounding mountains to reacquaint themselves with some of New Zealand’s best runs. Cresting above Queenstown to the southeast is The Remarkables skifield, the most family-friendly resort in the area. It has a trio of sheltered bowls criss-crossed by parents barking instructions and encouragement at their trailing broods. Twelve miles north of Queenstown is Coronet Peak, where consistent conditions are the norm thanks to the country’s most extensive snowmaking facilities; the undulating terrain here is perfect for ...

As soon as Queenstown’s exuberant Winter Festival has kicked off in late June, skiers and snowboarders scramble up into the surrounding mountains to reacquaint themselves with some of New Zealand’s best runs. Cresting above Queenstown to the southeast is The Remarkables skifield, the most family-friendly resort in the area. It has a trio of sheltered bowls criss-crossed by parents barking instructions and encouragement at their trailing broods. Twelve miles north of Queenstown is Coronet Peak, where consistent conditions are the norm thanks to the country’s most extensive snowmaking facilities; the undulating terrain here is perfect for snowboarding. Beyond Coronet Peak, off the road to Wanaka, is Cardrona. This is a favorite of beginner and intermediate skiers, who take to its open slopes to hone their downhill skills. Those after a challenge head farther north to tackle the steep, difficult runs at Treble Cone – the skiing here is magnificent, as are the views of Lake Wanaka from up the mountain. True daredevils forge their own runs after being deposited by helicopter onto remote South Island peaks.

Paul Smitz
About the Expert

Paul Smitz has coauthored a dozen guidebooks for Lonely Planet on places such as Australia, New Zealand, Malaysian Borneo, Brunei, various Pacific Islands, Prague, and Brussels.

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Paul Smitz for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in the southwest of New Zealand's South Island
  • Language: English and Maori
  • Currency: New Zealand Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Visit June–August when the snow is deep.