Coronet Peak is the closest to ski field to Queenstown, only a quick a 20 minute drive from downtown. Roads are probably the best of the three down that way and there is a lot of parking at the top. If you don't fancy driving up, buses run from the centre of town, every 20 minutes from 8.00am to 12.00pm from the Snow Centre. They head back down the mountain from 1.30pm onwards when they fill up.
A round trip will set you back $20NZD, $72 for 5 days and $132 for 10. If there’s a few of you it probably is cheaper to self drive, but it’s kind of nice to come back when you want and not have to worry about navigating potentially icy roads. Matter for you.
Coronet peak has a good variety of runs from the "nursery slopes" to black runs, something for all levels. There are 2 terrain parks over 280 hectares.
If the season hasn't been great and it's a while between snowfall it can get icy. Also it can get pretty crowded up, beware of inexperienced snowboarders on runs they shouldn't be. After being taken out on a few different occasions, I vowed next time I went I would wear a helmet. The mountain has a food court with three restaurants as well as Heidi’s Hut on the slopes, storage facilities and ski hire, though it’s usually cheaper to hire gear in town.
Lift passes start at $99 per day. The daily price goes down the more days you buy. The good thing about Coronet and the Remarkables is you can use your multi day passes between the two mountains which gives you a bit more choice and variety.
A little further from Coronet peak is and on a very scenic drive is The Remarkables. I remember driving through the clouds to the carpark which was absolutely stunning. The drive takes around 35 minutes from Queenstown so still an easy drive.
Again, if you don’t want to drive, buses run from the centre of town, every 20 minutes from 8.00am to 11.30am from the Snow Centre and head back down the mountain from 1.30pm onwards once full. Prices are the same as for Coronet Peak.
The Remarkables has 3 terrain parks but overall is smaller than Coronet Peak at only 220ha. It’s popular for snowboarding and can feel a little crowded. The mountain gets significantly more annual snow than Coronet so less icy patches.
Lift passes are the same as coronet and multi day passes can be used between the two.
Cardrona is probably my favourite of the three within close proximity to Queenstown. If it weren’t for the extra driving distance, I would have skied there more often. Cardrona is 34km (35min drive) from Wanaka & 58km (60min drive) from Queenstown.
It has the largest park & pipe facilities in the Southern Hemisphere so if you’re a snowboarder, Cardrona is for you. The mountain is the biggest of the three at 345 hectares and runs are really spread out with something for all levels. Average snowfall is 2.9m.
Lift passes start at $103 p day making it the most expensive of the 3 and again the daily rate goes down the more days you buy.
Round trips from Wanaka are $35 and can be combined with lift passes for $127.
Buses from Queenstown are $47 round trip, but if you combine it with a lift pass it’s $127, bringing it down to the range of Coronet Peak.
Cardrona has 6 restaurants and cafes on site as well as a small amount of accommodation. Click here for more info.