Downtown Carting A Hit With Families!

Downtown Carts2 - Pic - Cardrona Alpine Resort (800x450)On Saturday evening we brought 10 mountain carts from the peaks of Cardrona to Wanaka, for a few hours of FREE downtown carting!

In a family-friendly event, thrill-seekers young & old tried out our new adventure at Lismore Park. From 6-8pm, members of the public were boosted off a wooden ramp, steering their way through a marked course to the bottom of the hill. Cardrona staff members then loaded the carts onto a trailer & sent them back up to the start line.

SSNZ Adaptive Snow Sports Manager Jane Stevens takes a mountain cart for a burn - Pic - Cardrona Alpine Resort (800x450)

SSNZ Adaptive Snow Sports Manager Jane Stevens ready to ride!

We also received donations & raised awareness for Adaptive Snow Sports New Zealand. The evening saw over 200 rides with members of the public keen to experience downtown carting on unique mountain carts.

Cardrona is the first alpine resort in the Southern Hemisphere to offer mountain carts, which were designed & produced in Germany.The three-wheeled carts have a low centre of gravity, hydraulic disc brakes & are fun for everyone – from the cruising with the family to racing your mates!

We’ve got a busy events schedule in March, kicking off with an Industry Demo Day & Strava Enduro on Downtown Carting. Pic- Cardrona Alpine Resort (800x450)March 6th. Cardrona will also host the 2016 Altherm Windows Systems National Mountain Bike Championships from March 17-20 & Cardrona’s Mega Avalanche starts on Friday March 25. The Mega Avalanche will be run with a ‘Hot X Fun Day’ which includes a family downhill race & treasure hunt up Cardrona – we can’t wait!!

Book now to have a mountain carting adventure at Cardrona!

Cardrona Athlete Jossi Wells wins X Games Gold

We are beyond stoked to write that Cardrona Team Ambassador Jossi Wells has won X Games gold!! Jossi has made history, becoming the first New Zealander to win a Winter X Games event…what a legend!

Jossi Wins X Games Gold. Pic - Shay Williams

Jossi Wins X Games Gold. Pic – Shay Williams (@shay_will)

Jossi captured his first gold medal at the Winter X-Games this week in the Mens Freeski Slopestyle event, held in Aspen, Colorado.

The 25-year-old produced a strong first run of 88.3, which was the highest score until he improved it in his third & final run with a 90…boom! This proved too much for American superstar Gus Kenworthy who finished second with a score of 87.33, ahead of third placed Oystein Braaten of Norway.

Wells told ESPN X Games reporters: “To come here in my tenth time & finally get the gold that I’ve been after since I was back here when I was 17 is amazing, I’m so happy”.

Bruce Wells, father of the famous freeskiing family is a regular face at both Cardrona & prolific freeskiing events but it was extra special with mother Stacey Wells watching in the crowd. Jossi told X Games reporters: “To have her here when I have won the gold…I’m speechless,”. Brothers Byron and Beau-James were also invited to this year’s X Games, Byron finishing 7th in the Mens Superpipe and Beau-James sitting out due to injury.

Jossi has been skiing at Cardrona since he was 2 years of age and has been sponsored by us for over ten years. Bruce and Stacey Wells moved to Wanaka to work at Cardrona over thirty years ago – Bruce as a ski patroller and Stacey in the childcare centre. The Wells brothers were literally raised on Cardrona’s slopes, the home of the New Zealand Park and Pipe Team. A fun fact if you didn’t already know: The Wells family have a platter lift named after them at Cardrona (“The Wells Platter”), which services the 22ft Olympic Superpipe.

The victory was extra sweet for Wells who has finished second in the Winter X-Games ski slopestyle in 2008 and 2013. Jossi has also been impressive across a variety of Winter X Games events in the past, picking up a bronze medal in the 2012 Big Air and a Silver Medal in the 2010 Superpipe. He also just missed out on receiving a medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, finishing fourth in the Superpipe.

Well done Jossi, we’re so proud of you!!

Downtown Mountain Cart Rides

Adaptive Snow Sports FundraiserWe’re bringing our all-new mountain carts from the peaks of Cardrona to central Wanaka this weekend, fundraising for Adaptive Snow Sports New Zealand!

From 6pm – late on Saturday February 6, we’ll be hanging out at Lismore Park in Wanaka with ten mountain carts. All are welcome and everyone will have an opportunity to have a burn on our specialized mountain carts! We’ll also be accepting donations for Adaptive Snow Sports NZ which are optional.

Cardrona is the first alpine resort in the Southern Hemisphere with the specialized mountain carts, which were designed & produced in Germany. The three-wheeled carts have a low centre of gravity, hydraulic disc brakes & are fun for everyone – from the cruising with the family to racing your mates!

Lismore Mountain CartUsually on the mountain, the carts can zoom down purpose-built tracks under McDougall’s Quad. Once at the bottom, the carts are loaded on to the chairlift to head back up to the top. On Saturday the carts & riders will cruise down a marked track through Lismore Park until they reach the bottom of the course. A car & trailer will take the carts up for the next thrill-seeker!

Saturday’s event will run from 6pm until late, with all funds raised going to Adaptive Snow Sports NZ. Everyone is welcome, but any children under 120cm will need to ride tandem with an adult.

Adaptive snowsports logoSee you on Saturday for a ride in Wanaka!

Cardrona Peak to Pub is here!!

Peak to pub Cardrona hotelYou asked & we listened! From January 20th, you can now ride from Cardrona all the way to the Cardrona Hotel – Peak to Pub!

To make things even better – this is a FREE experience! Meet our Cardrona hosts under the Archway at 4pm daily to ride the lower bike park trails & join the historical “Persecution Road”. This will take you all the way down to the Cardrona Hotel…boom!

“Persecution Road” is the original Cardrona ski field access road built by founder John Lee – without permission! It got its name from the threats of legal action the Lee family received from the council after the road was built.

The whole Cardrona Peak to Pub trail is 7km long, & covers 1,100m of vertical descent between our base area & the Cardrona Hotel.

To put the cherry on top, we’re also offering FREE shuttles for you & your bike from both Queenstown & Wanaka! Shuttles leave at 8.45am from Outside Sports in Queenstown, & Cardrona Corner in Wanaka daily until the end of our summer season. If you caught the shuttle & are keen to get amongst the Peak to Pub, just let the shuttle driver know & they will pick you up from the Cardrona Hotel at the end of the day!

Cardrona Peak to Pub - Credit Cardrona Alpine Resort WebThis is an epic backcountry freeride experience on private land, hosted by the Cardrona crew! Just make sure it’s not your first time riding downhill – the trail is a mixture of single track & backcountry riding so some experience is essential.

To check the mountain weather & conditions each day, call the Dirt Phone on +64 3 443 7007, or check out our Facebook & Twitter.

We’re stoked to announce this and can’t wait to share it with you…see you soon!


TGIF – Friday bike nights

Thank God it’s Friday – celebrate on your bike! Start your weekend the right way & head up to Cardrona on Fridays to get amongst our special ‘Friday Bike Night’. Make the most of the long days & lap the lifts from 4-8pm for only $35! We know what we’ll be doing on Friday night!

TGIF Friday night bike

Scared you’ll miss out on after work drinks? Not to worry…our Mezz Cafe will be open late to quench your thirst & it’s the perfect option for your Friday dinner. That well earned beverage will taste even better after a few laps on your bike, you deserve it right!?

If you are staying for dinner then grab our special burger & beer deal for only $12! Can you think of a better way to finish your evening ride??

Friday Bike Night4pm - 8pm
Friday Evening Lift Pass$35
Mezz Cafe Burger & Beer$12
See you up Cardrona this Friday…after work rides are ON!!

Cardrona Release New Summer Trail Map

We are amped to open this Sunday (December 27th) and have released our new summer trail map!

Cardrona Industry Day 2We have a range of new trails and features for the upcoming summer season that we can’t wait for you to get amongst. After our annual winter Spring Camp finished in late October, our team constructed several new mountain biking trails, along with three new walking trails and two new mountain carting trails. New features have also been added in the Base Area which are perfect for kids and families, including an improved skills area and new pump track!

This season, two chairlifts will operate in the Main Basin (McDougall’s Quad and Whitestar Express) and shuttles will run from the Valley View car park to service the lower trails. Bike rental, retail and the Mezz Cafe will be open, along with our Alpine Apartments (the highest in New Zealand) for those wishing to stay the night. Remember, we’ll also be operating our Alpine by Night guided tours which include dinner service and stargazing from a ‘Skyline’ viewpoint. Sounds fun yeah!?

Cardrona Industry DayLast Saturday, we held an ‘Industry Day’ after hosting the final stage of the 2015 DHSS (Downhill Southern Series). Local bike/tourism industry staff members were invited to ride the lifts for free from 2-6pm. We were stoked to see over 230 people turn up to explore the network of mountain biking and walking trails while also getting a glimpse of Cardrona’s new mountain carts. Cardrona is now the first and only ‘Mountain Cart Station’ in the Southern Hemisphere!

Our team have also been busy maintaining and improving facilities for the upcoming summer season and beyond. New guard rails are being installed in the top car parks and sections of the access road have been widened. Our staff members recently helped local community members clean up approximately a 10km stretch of the Cardrona Valley road. The clean-up started on the Crown Range side of the Cardrona Hotel and headed towards Wanaka…keeping it green!

While we open THIS Sunday, the new Cardrona Gold Pass sale finishes on December 24th so get in quick!

See you over summer!


Local’s Special – spend a night in one of NZ’s highest apartments!

Hey locals! Ever wondered what it would be like to spend a night at 1670m in an alpine apartment?? It’s now easier than ever to spend a night in NZ’s highest apartments with our local’s special! You don’t have to be an actual local to jump on this deal…as long as you’re in the area between January 4th – Cardrona Apartments Double Bed (640x427)29th then you’re eligible!

Grab your partner or the family and head up to Cardrona for a memorable night at an amazing price! For only $299 you’ll spend one night for two in a Studio Apartment (add up to 2 kids, $50 each) which includes dinner and a complimentary Alpine by Night experience!

This deal is only available from January 4th – 29th but there’s no harm in booking early! The only way to secure this deal is to email:


Local's Special 
2 Adults: Studio Apartment (1 night), dinner, complimentary Alpine by Night (weather permitting).$299*
*Add up to 2 kids for $50 each


Cardrona Apartments Incense (427x640)Terms and Conditions:
  • Local’s Special must be booked via emailing
  • Apartments are subject to availability.
  • Local’s Special is only valid for use on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights between January 4th – 29th inclusive.
  • Dinner will either be served in the Mezz or delivered to your apartment depending on Mezz bookings.
  • *Alpine by Night experience is subject to weather conditions and minimum numbers.
  • *Alpine by Night is complimentary so no refund will be given if it’s cancelled.
  • Local’s Special is available to anyone, regardless of town/city of origin.
  • The $50 child rate is for up to 2 guests only. A child is 14 years and under
  • Full payment is required to confirm booking.
  • Check-in time is from 2.30pm. Check-out is 10.00am.
  • All other apartments T’s & C’s apply


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