What’s New for Summer

Summer 2015/16 is going to be absolutely humming up Cardrona with a whole bunch of new alpine activities! From Mountain Carting, to walking and hiking, to even more trails in the Bike Park, there’s something for the whole family this summer!

Mountain Biking

Cardrona Bike Park Queenstown Scenic (2) (400x267)The Cardrona Bike Park will be receive loads of new improvements for the 2015/16 summer! The park offers lift accessed downhill and cross country mountain bike trails so there is something for every kind of peddler! Trail construction and maintenance is currently underway to build more trails for every skill level. Technical, advanced trails along with our “Freeride Zones”, where riders choose there own line down a wide bank, will keep even the most hardcore bikers frothing all season long!

For the beginner mountain biker, this season we have McDougall’s quad open with access to beginner and intermediate trails. We will also be debuting the Cardrona Bike School this summer, so you can come up and learn from a pro! Test your legs out on the Learner Conveyor, or take the little ones to the Kids’ Park in the base area.

Mountain Cartingthree wheeled mountain cart

Mountain biking not your thing? Why not take one of our extreme Mountain Carts for a spin? New for this summer, the three-wheeled carts will access beginner, intermediate and advanced trails on the Learner Conveyor and McDougall’s Quad. Race your friends or cruise with the family on the specially designed off-road carts!

Walking and Hiking

If you prefer to stay on your own two feet, Cardrona also offers lift accessed walking and hiking! With two chairlifts to take in the breathtaking 360° alpine views, you can either take a light stroll to the Skyline viewing platform or access our many hiking trails around the mountain. Breathe in that fresh mountain air and pack your camera as there’ll be plenty of photo opportunities!

Enjoy the wonder of Cardrona at night with the Alpine at Night package! Have a delicious dinner at Mezz Café as you wait for night to fall. Then you’ll head up McDougall’s Quad on a guided tour like no other! After soaking in the incredible alpine night views on the chairlift, you’ll take a short walk to the viewing point where you’ll sip on mulled wine or hot chocolate as your guide tells you about local myths, legends and Cardrona history. Finishing with either a walk or a chairlift ride back to base, it will be an experience you’ll never forget!

Cardrona Base Buildings at night

With so much on offer at Cardrona, it will be a summer to remember! Book into our on-mountain apartments and bring the whole family for a truly epic summer alpine experience! We can’t wait to see you up here soon – bring on summer!!

World’s Elite Train at Cardrona’s Spring Camp

Scotty James at Spring Camp (600x401)

Scotty James sending it at Spring Camp. Image: @jacksciaccaphotography

Some of the world’s elite snow sports athletes honed their skills and pushed the envelope at this year’s Spring Camp at Cardrona. Lifts finally stopped turning last Sunday which saw the end of winter operations for 2015 (but what a winter it’s been eh!?)

The annual two-week training camp attracted world class skiers and snowboarders from New Zealand and overseas as they prepared for the northern hemisphere competition season. This year’s Spring Camp was attended by around 93 athletes from 6 different nations.

Top athletes included US superstar Shaun White, who relentlessly practiced trick after trick into the camp’s specialised halfpipe airbag. Among many others, he was joined by fellow American Olympian and X Games medallist Louie Vito, Sochi Olympic silver medallist Ayumu Hirano, and Australian FIS World Halfpipe Champ Scotty James. Wanaka’s favourite sons the Wells brothers hosted a slew of freeskiing’s top contenders, including Great Britain’s James “Woodsy” Woods and USA’s Noah Bowman.

Beau-James Wells at Spring Camp. Image - Jack Sciacca (600x586)

Beau-James Wells flying high. Image: @jacksciaccaphotography

Alongside the long list of professional snow sports athletes, young Kiwis and Australians trained in race and freestyle disciplines as part of their high performance programmes. Cardrona Team Rider’s Carlos Garcia Knight, Miguel Porteous and Nico Porteous were among the young athletes throwing down to prepare for a competitive summer overseas. Cardrona General Manager Bridget Legnavsky says that seeing the progression of local and national athletes is one of the highlights of Spring Camp every year.

“We are proud to be the official supplier of the Cardrona New Zealand Park and Pipe team. This camp is about helping them develop and succeed in a home environment when it’s warm and the snow is soft. As part of this, we open the Spring Camp up for top international athletes to also join in. It is a privilege to sit in the sun, in an incredible supportive environment and watch the world’s best push their own boundaries and witness new tricks go down right here at Cardrona” says Ms Legnavsky.


This year’s camp took place at the end of a bumper snow year for us, with a large stockpile of snow available to maintain features for the athletes. US halfpipe snowboarder Louie Vito says the way the features were maintained was one of the highlights of the camp.

“I’ve been coming to New Zealand for over 10 years and this was the first Spring Camp I’ve actually stayed for, and I’ll tell you what – this was a banger one! We had so many great days, the weather was amazing, the halfpipe was great and the big air was going off!”

“The park staff did such an amazing job maintaining everything. We had such warm, beautiful weather that made the pipe very slushy and they did a great job of holding it together so we had not only great halfpipe days, but long ones too. I look forward to coming back down for Spring Camp again” Vito says.

Louie Vito at Spring Camp. Image- Jack Sciacca (600x550)

Louie Vito getting stylish. Image: @jacksciaccaphotography

Cardrona’s Spring Camp features included the 22ft Olympic halfpipe and an extended wall on the neighbouring International halfpipe, creating two 22ft walls into an airbag for the athletes to perfect new tricks. Also on offer were the “Big Bucks” World Cup Slopestyle Course and the Cardrona Big Air, which included a second jump into another airbag. For the second week, the 3CS Cardrona Park Crew also added a rail section to the learner’s slope area.

We are now in full swing preparing for our upcoming summer season which offers lift accessed mountain biking trails, hiking, sightseeing and more! We’ll see you all again on the 27th of December for loads of summer fun in the sun!


Cardrona NZ Freeski & Snowboard Junior Nationals 2015 recap

The weather may have challenged this year’s Cardrona NZ Freeski & Snowboard Junior National Champs last week, but it did not deter the young snow sports competitors from throwing down their finest runs in the parks, pipe, race and big mountain courses!

The week-long event attracted over 200 competitors aged five to 18 from throughout New Zealand as well as Australia and France. New to the Junior Nationals this year was an Under 18s Open Slopestyle event in Big Bucks Park designed to give the elite competitors an opportunity to wow the judges and spectators. Also added to the mix was a National Schools Championship.

junior nationals skiers photo Neil Kerr NZ Skier MagCompetitors and supporters at the Freeski Halfpipe, photo by Neil Kerr, NZ Skier Magazine.

Event Schedule

The windy conditions early in the week forced rescheduling of events, leaving competitors with a busy four days of competition:

Day 1: Freeski Slopestyle and Snowboard GS and Boardercross

Day 2: Freeski Halfpipe and Snowboard Freeride

Day 3: Ski Big Mountain and Snowboard Halfpipe

Day 4: Snowboard Slopestyle and U18 Open Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle

U18 Open Slopestyle Event

Mother Nature eventually eased up for the final days and competitors and spectators were treated to sunny skies and soft snow. The champs finished on a high with the pinnacle event, the U18 Open Freeski and Snowboard Slopestyle, providing those skiers and snowboarders with high end tricks, the opportunity to showcase their skills on a truly challenging stage.

The gutsy French freeskier and the only female skier in the field, Margaux Hackett (France) hit Big Bucks for the very first time that day. It didn’t stop her from sending it but unfortunately she crashed on landing.  Finn Bilous of Wanaka was the stand-out winner in male Freeski with a strong rail run and multiple doubles in his run.

With the snow softening for the afternoon’s Snowboarding Open Slopestyle, only those riders committed to attacking the course could gain enough air time to pull off technical tricks and nail their landings. Zoi Sadowski Synott and Tiarn Collins proved themselves up to the task taking the top spots.

Watch the footage from the final day, video courtesy of Snow Sports NZ.

The week’s competition concluded with a prize giving ceremony at the Lake Wanaka Centre. Photos and footage from the event were shown and the overall prizes were awarded.

Overall Winners

The winners in each school year category were:

Year 1-2

Girl Ski – Zavia Magill (Wanaka)

Boy Ski – Jacob Toomey (Wanaka)

Year 3-4

Girl Ski – Amy Benson (Wanaka)

Boy Ski – Finley Melville Ives (Wanaka)

Girl Snowboard – Cassandra Lyell (Christchurch)

Boy Snowboard – Rocco Jamieson (Wanaka)

Year 5-6

Girl Ski – Mia Gerrard (Wanaka)

Boy Ski – Gustav Legnavsky (Wanaka)

Girl Snowboard – Mila Stalker (Queenstown)

Boy Snowboard – Valentino Guseli (Australia)

Year 7-8

Girl Ski – Molly Thomsson (Wanaka)

Boy Ski – Jasper Bloomfield (Queenstown)

Girl Snowboard – Cool Wakushima (Queenstown)

Boy Snowboard – Zak Baikie (Twizel)

Year 9-10

Girl Ski – Maggie Little (Wanaka)

Boy Ski – Nico Porteous (Christchurch)

Girl Snowboard – Zoi Sadowki Synott (Wanaka)

Boy Snowboard – Fletcher Craig (Hamilton)

Year 11-13

Girl Ski – Margaux Hackett (France)

Boy Ski – Finn Bilous (Wanaka)

Girl Snowboard – Georgia Ferris

Boy Snowboard – Tiarn Collins (Queenstown)

Overall Primary School Champions

Wanaka Primary School

Overall Secondary School Champions

Mount Aspiring College (Wanaka)

More about the Cardrona NZ Junior Nationals 2015

Full results

Wrap up of the Junior Nationals from Snow Sports NZ


Sending off Winter 2015 in Style!

We joined together at Cardrona on Sunday to send off Winter 2015 in style. It was t-shirt weather, with sunny skies and soft spring snow, the perfect end to a bumper season!

“It was a great, fun weekend,” said General Manager, Bridget Legnavsky.”We had a busy week with the New Zealand Junior Nationals. It was great to see so much young talent and energy. It was quite intense so it was brilliant to end with a weekend of celebrating.”

Skiers and snowboarders dressed up at Cardrona Closing Day

Closing Day antics. Photo courtesy of 360queenstown-wanaka.com

Finishing the longest ski season in the Southern Lakes, Cardrona celebrated with half price lift tickets, a Fashion in the Field catwalk event and the usual crazy closing day antics as skiers & snowboarders slid around in the spring slush all closing weekend!

Snowboarder in air at Cardrona

Mutant Method. Photo courtesy of 360queenstown-wanaka.com

Fashion in the Field

There was a festive atmosphere in the courtyard as the music blasted and fashionistas of all ages strutted down the catwalk in their finery. We were entertained by an array of outstanding dress-ups that included seventies ski suits, superheroes, dragon slayers, Hawaiian dresses, fairy dresses, tutus, sequins, business suits, lots of onesies and even an android!

Fashion in the Field Judges Bridget Legnavsky & Rachel Milner at Cardrona

Fashion in the Field Judges Bridget Legnavsky & Rachel Milner at Cardrona

Dressed in a stylish red 70s two-piece with matching floral shirt and knitted headband, Erin Lister was awarded the best dressed and won a GoPro Hero 4 for her efforts.

Overall winner, Erin Lister

Overall winner of Fashion in the Field, Erin Lister

See a full range of photos from Closing Day on our Facebook page here and a quick recap video below:

End of Season video

“We had a phenomenal snow year which is great for us and the whole district because internationals start looking at New Zealand as a place to consider. Numbers have been strong and we hope that continues as our reputation grows,” said Bridget Legnavsky.

Relive the epic season:

Summer at Cardrona

As we sadly wave goodbye to Winter 2015, there’s no time to waste, we’re full swing into preparation for Summer operations. From December 27th 2015, Cardrona is open for lift access in all four seasons – with mountain biking, hiking and more during summer and into autumn, and winter/spring skiing and snowboarding. Be sure to check out our new four season Cardrona Gold Pass.

See you on the trails again soon!

Preserving our Mountain Environment

Cardrona is dedicated to creating epic experiences both on and off the snow and dirt, all year round. But one of our biggest focuses at the moment and into the future is making sure that we get to keep appreciating our incredible mountain environment for many years to come.

Cardrona NZ scenic imageOur environmental plan is in full swing, and runs across every facet of our mountain. From our buildings, to our operations and even our off-season work, we are committed to changing the way that we do things to preserve our alpine playground.

So far, a lot of our changes have happened behind the scenes. This year we moved our snow guns around to reduce snowmaking. Our new GPS snow tracking software, SNOWsat, has allowed us to make better use of the snow we have, with groomer drivers able to see where snow is needed and where there is more than enough right from inside the cat. We’ve also upgraded our trails with better drainage systems and re-vegetation to minimise erosion.

We’re very proud that many of our environmental changes have begun with our staff. As of the 2015 winter, Cardrona staff have completely moved away from paper takeaway cups – they are all served their morning coffees in reusable, plastic cups. Many of our staff also travel in our new employee bus, to reduce the number of staff vehicles coming up and down the mountain each day.

You’ll see little changes around the resort, like our new recycling bins which encourage you to separate bottles, cans, and plastic. But the big changes are still to come. We want to make sure sustainability is included in all our decision making – addressing every department and working out how to make it better for the environment. Our long term goals include minimising waste by replacing our disposable products with biodegradable ones and looking into composting our organic matter, and restoring the environment we use by replanting vegetation and optimising our waste water systems.


But we understand that looking after our mountain environment doesn’t end with us. So one of our big upcoming initiatives is introducing environmental learning into our local schools’ programmes – so local kids can learn to ski, and also learn how to give back to the mountain environment so their kids can ski and snowboard in the future. It’s part of our commitment to making sure that our mountain is available for generations to come, to have EPIC experiences all year-round.

Cardrona is “going green” because we have a responsibility to share our amazing mountain and all it offers with guests from all over the world. We can’t do it alone – it’s going to take all of us who love being in the mountains to help preserve them for the generations to come. One recycled bottle at a time is going to help the red and white of Cardrona stay green for decades to come!

New Technology for Spring Camp 2015

Once Winter 2015 is done and dusted, some of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders will hit the Cardrona slopes for Spring Camp 2015! This year is all about new technology – we’ve made some pretty big changes that will make this year’s Spring Camp more epic than ever before!

On October 12th, skiers and snowboarders from around the world, including the New Zealand Park and Pipe team, will descend on Cardrona for two weeks of intensive training. With the mountain to themselves, high performance athletes will be able to test out new tricks quickly and repetitively.

As the home of the NZ Park and Pipe team, at Cardrona we feel we have a responsibility to keep pushing the envelope for our freestyle athletes – just like they keep progressing their sport as a whole. Some exciting pre-season developments at Cardrona have led to a whole new Spring Camp for 2015, where our athletes can even use their phones as training tools!

For more information on Spring Camp, check out the Cardrona Spring Camp Flyer 2015.


New Fibre Optic Cabling

Over the summer Cardrona, Snow Sports NZ and the managing trust of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ came together in a three-way partnership to install permanent fibre optic cabling at Cardrona – running the lengths of the World Cup Slopestyle course and the 22ft Olympic Halfpipe.

Not only did this help the film crews and live streaming teams for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, but it has set up an opportunity for better training for New Zealand’s high performance skiers and snowboarders. Now an entire slopestyle or halfpipe run can be filmed and uploaded instantly to a central server – which means an athlete can review their run from the chairlift on the ride back up!

“SNOWsat” Slope Management

Cardrona's new Snow Sat SystemWith the regular season finishing a week later to include the entire October school holidays, one of the big challenges we faced this year was making sure we still had enough snow to make Spring Camp happen. That’s where our new SNOWsat system came into play.

The GPS SNOWsat system tracks snow levels across Cardrona, and means groomer drivers can see which areas of the ski field need more snow, and where they can pull that snow from. It’s meant far better management of the snow we have – even though this year we’ve been blessed with over 3 metres total snowfall the entire season!

With knowing where the snow is, and where we need more, we’ve been able to build and maintain our terrain park features earlier and better this year – and we’re the only ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere with the new system. The halfpipes were built in record time, and they, the big air, and all the main terrain park features will still be in tip-top shape even with Spring Camp starting a week later than usual!

New technology and well-managed terrain are going to make Spring Camp 2015 bigger and better than ever! Keep an eye on our social media for the latest tricks and updates from the NZ Park and Pipe team out of Spring Camp, and get excited for them to take on the world in the Northern Hemisphere season!


The Cardrona Gold Pass

After an EPIC 2015 winter season, we are very excited to launch a new product for 2015/2016 – the Cardrona Gold Pass!

Cardrona Gold Pass ImageFrom December 27th 2015, Cardrona is open for lift access in all four seasons – with mountain biking, hiking and more during summer and into autumn, and winter/spring skiing and snowboarding. So, we decided it was time to create a pass that fits – an unlimited, year round pass for ALL our 2016 operations!

Cardrona is open from December 27th 2015 to 3rd of April 2016. In February and March, the park will run Fridays through Sundays. The Cardrona 2016 winter season will run from 11th June – 9th October 2016. This means ONE pass for every kind of fun on the mountain, and it’s loaded with pass holder benefits!

Every pass holder will receive a FREE Real Journeys Real Rewards card ($125 value), which includes TSS Earnslawunlimited free travel on the TSS Earnslaw, discounted Walter Peak activities and meals, and up to 50% off other Real Journeys activities including Milford and Doubtful Sound cruises, Te Anau Glowworm Caves and Stewart Island Experience Activities. Card holders will also receive a 20% discount for their accompanying guests on eligible products, an added bonus for when your friends and family ask you to play tour guide!

Cardrona Gold Pass holders will also receive 21 free days skiing or snowboarding across three of Colorado’s premier resorts; Copper Mountain, Steamboat and Winter Park Resort, as part of Cardrona’s addition to the Rocky Mountain Super Pass+. That’s right – as a Cardrona season pass holder you can now keep chasing winter too! This deal is also offered to our current 2015 winter season Cardrona NZ skier imagepass holders.

As well as those huge benefits, Cardrona Gold Pass holders will also be eligible for discounted coffees all year at any of our cafes, and a 10% discount at our Cardrona shop. Similar to this season’s Flexi Pass holders, you will also receive discounts on a range of activities at local businesses in Queenstown and Wanaka!

With a huge amount of benefits and the prospect of being up the mountain in all four seasons, make sure you’re one of the first in the country to score the Cardrona Gold Pass! We can’t wait to see you up here and share your EPIC mountain experiences with you!

Cardrona Gold Pass

  • Summer Operations 27th December 2015 – 3rd April 2016 (In Feb/March Cardrona will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only).
  • Winter Operations 11th June – 9th October 2016


2015/16 Gold Pass Pricing

Cardrona Gold (purchase by 24th December 2015) 
Senior 65-74yrs$799

The Cardrona Gold Pass is on sale from October 11th – December 24th 2015, so get in quick to get your hands on year round mountain adventure! To purchase, visit our online shop.

Closing Weekend 2015

Winter 2015 will go down in history as being the longest and the snowiest in many a year! Not only did we open with EPIC snow conditions and base, we opened a week earlier than usual. Just one week into the season, on the 19th of June, we experienced ‘Big Friday’ with over a metre of fresh powder. And the snow kept coming throughout the season – over three metres in total!

The season has been full of incredible events highlights – from hosting The North Face Freeski Open of NZ, to showcasing freestyle skiing and snowboarding on a world stage at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, and just this week seeing our up and comers shine at the Cardrona NZ Junior Ski and Snowboard Nationals! We’ve had a fantastic season on the slopes and in the Cardrona Parks, and we can’t wait to celebrate with one last weekend of fun!

With the amazing snow coverage, spring conditions have been superb and it seems like this season could just go on for ever! But sadly, all good things must come to an end and on Sunday, 11th of October we are sending off this longest-ever season. Come and celebrate Closing Day with us – we’re having a HUGE party!

It's Over, Cardrona 2014

To celebrate the end of this amazing winter, we are offering ½ price lift tickets for anyone with a 2015 Season Pass from any other New Zealand mountain. The offer is valid for all of Closing Weekend! Just show your season pass to ticketing staff to claim this offer.

Put your best dress-ups on and stroll the catwalk for ‘Fashion in the Field’. LOADS of prizes are up for grabs, including prizes for the best individual and team outfits. Live music will be pumping all of Closing Weekend and it will be FUN guaranteed!

So get dressed up and get ready for an EPIC closing weekend at Cardrona, and let’s see off Winter 2015 with a bang!



Junior Nationals NZ Only 10 Days Away

The Cardrona NZ Junior Ski and Snowboard National Championships are fast approaching – there are only 10 days to go until the premier event on the Junior snow sports calendar!

Junior Nationals Winner, Nico Porteous

Junior Nationals Winner Nico Porteous. Pic: Antony Hansen

The top New Zealand young skiers and snowboarders will descend on Cardrona from the 5th – 10th of October for the chance to claim a national title. With events including ski/snowboard cross, giant slalom, halfpipe, slopestyle and big mountain, the 2015 Junior Nationals are sure to put the spotlight on the growing junior ski and snowboard community.

As in previous years, the junior athletes will be awarded podium places for each individual event, and the overall top male and female skiers and snowboarders for each age group across all events will be awarded the national titles.

New for this year are the National Schools Championship and the Open Slopestyle events. This year athletes will be put into age divisions based on school year, and schools vying for the Championship will need their athletes to compete in every ski or snowboard discipline. An extra day of competition will include a U18 Open Slopestyle in Big Bucks Park plus a U14 Open Slopestyle in Antlers Alley. Both of these events will count towards the school and the individual overall prizes.

We can’t wait to host the country’s best young skiers and snowboarders! It’s sure to be an exciting week of fun and progression, so make sure you head up to Cardrona to catch all the action!


Monday 5th October: Ski Giant Slalom | Smith Skier-cross | Bonfire Snowboard Slopestyle

Tuesday 6th October: Smith Boarder-cross | SB Giant Slalom | Salomon Ski Slopestyle

Wednesday 7th October: Salomon Ski Halfpipe | K2 Snowboard Freeride

Thursday 8th October: Bonfire Snowboard Halfpipe | K2 Ski Freeride

Friday 9th October: U18 Big Bucks Slopestyle Open | U14 Antlers Alley Slopestyle Open

Saturday 10th October: Postponement/weather day| Prize giving


5:45am Event update, fax, e-mail and internet reports

6:45am Live radio reports on 92.2 Wanaka FM

7:30am Officials & staff meet, upstairs training & media room

8:00am  Lifts open for competitors, marshals and staff on course.

8:30/9:00am Courses open for competitor inspection

9:15am Competitor briefing top of course

9:30am Start of competition and or training

3:30pm Results and Awards Presentation (Cardrona courtyard)

4:00pm Saturday 10th October – Overall Prize Giving Wanaka Event Centre

More Information

For registration and more information, head to Snow Sports NZ

Changes to the 2015 NZ Junior Nationals

View this event at Cardrona Events 

New Wanaka Town Office!

After many years tucked in next to New World on Dunmore Street, the Wanaka town office has moved! Although we haven’t moved far – we’re just across the road!

The Cardrona town office is now located on the corner of Helwick and Dunmore streets, opposite Paper Plus, at 20 Helwick Street. You can’t miss us – we’ve taken over what we now call the “Cardrona Corner” and we’re nestled under the big town centre clock (just like our famous clock tower up the mountain!).

The new town office is open now – our little elves moved everything important across overnight last week to make sure we are still in town for all your pre-mountain needs and information sharing! Just like the old town office, you can buy lift passes, rental equipment, lesson packages and your Cardrona souvenirs all before you drive up the mountain road. The only thing that’s changed is that we have a whole lot more room in there!

The office is still a work in progress, but here’s what it looks like so far:

12047736_10153753933522625_216669073_n 12048664_10153753930487625_1448516794_nWe’ll see you soon down at the new Cardrona Corner!