A snowboarder at the Remarkables
Things to do

Skiing and snowboarding in Queenstown

Guide by Roxanne de Bruyn

Last Updated 5 January 2024

Discover New Zealand's premier skiing and snowboarding destination.

If you’re in Queenstown in winter, one of the best things to do is to hit the slopes and go skiing or snowboarding. The Southern Alps are best enjoyed up close, and there are five ski fields easily accessible from Queenstown, ranging from beginner-friendly to more challenging slopes.

You can expect well-maintained facilities and diverse terrain, and the stunning alpine scenery adds to the outdoor adventure experience. Queenstown itself is also the perfect place to unwind after a day of skiing, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars in town. Unpretentious yet exciting, Queenstown is a winter destination that effortlessly combines exhilarating snow sports with a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

When to go

One thing to be aware of is that the ski season in Queenstown is relatively short compared to other popular skiing areas around the world. It generally runs from late June to September, but snowfall can be unpredictable. For the best chance of experiencing decent snow during your trip, book your trip for July or August. It’s also worth keeping up to date with the snowfall and how the season’s progressing.

People in the sun on the lower slopes of Coronet Peak, Queenstown

Coronet Peak Ski Field

Just 20 minutes’ drive from town, Coronet Peak has 260 hectares of skiable terrain, a base elevation point of 1187 metres and a highest lifted point of 1649. It’s New Zealand’s oldest commercial skiing area, and you can either drive there or catch a quick bus from the city centre.

Coronet Peak is the ideal choice if you’re at a beginner or intermediate level, or if you’re bringing your kids along for an adventure. There is also some good terrain for more advanced skiers, along with a freestyle terrain park. For beginners, several options are available for learning skiing and snowboarding, ranging from private lessons to group sessions. Skiwiland is the perfect option for little ones – they teach children from two to five years old how to ski or snowboard. 

Coronet Peak also offers night skiing, where you’ll find the mountain buzzing. Freshly groomed trails under the floodlights are suitable for all skill levels and offer an inviting canvas for making the first tracks of the evening. Post-ski, join the lively mountain party or unwind at Onsen Hot Pools in Arthur's Point, soothing weary muscles under the stars. Night skiing typically operates on Wednesday and Friday evenings through the ski season, and on Saturdays during school holidays, but it’s best to check heading up the mountain.

The ski area at the Remarkables

The Remarkables Ski Field 

If you’re looking for the most iconic skiing experience in Queenstown, the Remarkables is the obvious choice. It’s the mountain range that the city is known for, and it provides exceptional views of Queenstown as well as a variety of different terrains. The ski fields cover a total area of 220 hectares, and there are four chairlifts and four surface conveyor lifts. When it comes to elevation, the Remarkables has a base elevation of 1586 metres, and the highest point is 1943.

The Remarkables Ski Field is suitable for both skiing and snowboarding, and it’s generally considered the best option near Queenstown. Because of its location in a valley, the snow is reasonably protected from the sun, and it’s also pretty protected from the wind. If you’re an advanced skier, there are a few fun ski jump options, as well as places where you can enjoy some back-country skiing.

Transport to and from the ski field is pretty convenient – it’s only about 45 minutes’ drive from downtown Queenstown, and there’s also a mountain coach transport option.

There are several amateur runs available for beginners and children, however, the Remarkables doesn’t offer any childcare or lessons for kids under the age of four years old.

People on a chairlift at Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona Alpine Resort

Cardrona Alpine Resort is arguably the best of all the ski fields in the wider area due to the sheer variety of slopes and difficulty levels, and the additional features available to more experienced skiers and snowboarders. With 345 hectares of skiable slopes, Cardrona Alpine Resort boasts a base elevation of 1670 metres, and its highest point is 1894 metres tall.

These ski fields offer an almost equal split between slopes appropriate for beginners, intermediate skiers, advanced skiers and expert skiers. So, if you’re visiting with your family with varying abilities, Cardrona is the ideal destination for your next skiing holiday.

Cardrona has four different chair lifts and three surface conveyor belts. Within the resort, there are also pipes, parks and a fun-free terrain area too. Although the area gets pretty decent snowfall, the natural snow is often supplemented with fake snow produced by snowmakers when necessary.

If you’re visiting with children, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are many options when it comes to childcare – whether your kids want to learn how to ski at the hands of professionals or even if you just want them to be looked after and entertained while you hit the slopes.

Cardrona Alpine Resort is pretty easy to get to as it’s less than an hour from both central Queenstown and Wanaka. There is also a shuttle from Queenstown.

Beautiful outlook while descending the ski piste with Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps in the distance

Treble Cone Ski Field

Treble Cone is the closest ski field to Wanaka (about a 30-minute drive from town) and the largest skiing area in New Zealand’s South Island, covering a whopping 1359 acres. It has a base elevation of 1260 metres, and its highest point, or lift elevation, is 1960 metres.

The skiing area offers exceptional views over Lake Wanaka, and it's particularly well known for its intermediate/advanced level terrain, making it ideal for more experienced skiers and snowboarders looking for a fun new challenge. There is a novice-friendly area near the base, but its steeper terrain and thrilling off-piste runs offer an exhilarating day on the mountain for those with experience.

Treble Cone boasts some of the longest groomed trails in the country - the longest run is an astonishing 400 metres long. For an adrenaline rush, venture to the Saddle Basin, where open powder faces and natural half pipes await. Alternatively, the Summit Slopes and Motatapu Chutes offer steep, heart-pounding slopes for a truly thrilling experience.

Treble Cone Ski Field is the furthest away from Queenstown, roughly an hour and 45 minutes’ drive by car or bus. But it’s totally worth it – the area is well known for its uncrowded runs and awesome off-piste terrain for the adventurous among us.

Looking down at Snow Farm

Snow Farm

One of the lesser-known ski fields in the area, Snow Farm is where cross-country skiing takes centre stage. Situated near Cardrona, this high-altitude ski area provides a stunning backdrop for cross-country skiing, a sport that melds fitness, adventure, and an appreciation for nature's beauty. 

Over 55km of meticulously groomed trails ranging from beginner to advanced levels allow novices to grips with the sport on gentle terrains that let them learn at a comfortable pace. For the seasoned skier, challenging tracks that twist and turn through the striking Alpine landscape offer an adrenaline rush and a robust workout.

Training facilities are top-notch, allowing cross-country skiers to refine their skills or prepare for competitive events. It's also a hub for biathlon – an exciting sport that combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting - but you'll need to be a member of the local club to participate in these.

Those not keen on skiing can try out snowshoeing or fat biking on the snowy terrain. Snow Farm is also a favourite with families. The Snow Fun Zone is a snowy wonderland dedicated to snow tubing and sledging and is heaps of fun for adults and kids.

Snow Farm is about an hour and a half out of Queenstown and you'll need your own transport to visit.

Skiers at Coronet Peak in Queenstown

 Ski lift day prices

These rates are based on single-day passes; multi-day passes are typically discounted. Please click on each ski field for more details on lift pass prices.

Coronet Peak 

  • Adults: $159

  • Child: $99

  • Free: Under 6 / 75+

 The Remarkables       

  • Adult: $159

  • Child: $99

  • Free: Under 6 / 75+

Treble Cone   

  • Adult: $160

  • Child: $83

  • Student: $115

  • Free: Under 6 / 75+


  • Adult: $160

  • Child: $83

  • Student: $115

  • Free: Under 6 / 75+ 

Snow Farm

  • Adult: $45

  • Child: $25

  • Student: $40

Check the ski field’s websites for lift ticket prices for:

  • Half-day skiing

  • Night skiing

  • Novice/intermediate lifts only

  • Sightseeing lift passes