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Your guide to choosing a lift pass this season

Our easy breakdown of lift passes helps you decide which pass is best for you.  

Understanding which lift passes are available to you is the key to having the best season. We’ve got you covered with this handy breakdown of all the different passes you can purchase 

Read below to understand what each ski pass means, and how to use them.

Contents 

Choose Cardrona, Treble Cone, or both! 

Did you know that Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone are partner ski areas? That means some passes will give you access to both mountains, whereas others will ask you to select and commit to one. It’s good to understand before buying your pass if you want to ski at both mountains, and which mountain will suit you. what you get from Cardrona and TC before you decide on your pass.   

Cardrona

Cardrona is New Zealand’s favourite family resort. The perfect spot for families, first-timers, world-class athletes, and terrain park lovers alike. The terrain looks like: 

25% Beginner 

25% Intermediate 

30% Advanced 

20% Expert 

There are also five chairlifts, one pipe platter, and three conveyor lifts for beginners. Read more about Cardrona Alpine Resort.  

Treble Cone 

Treble Cone is New Zealand’s largest ski area and is perfect for those who want to take their skiing or riding to the next level. 550ha of terrain, 700m of vertical, long, and uncrowded groomed runs, awesome off-piste terrain with views to match, and consistent snow. The terrain looks like: 

10% Beginner 

30% Intermediate 

40% Advanced 

20% Expert 

There are two chairlifts and one conveyor lift for beginners. Read more about Treble Cone.  

Which ski pass is best for my ability?  

Beginners: You’re well looked after at Cardrona, and a lot of products are specifically tailored for you to learn in a safe and fun environment. If you’ve never set foot on a ski or snowboard before, we suggest getting a First Timer 1-Day Package is a must. This bundles together a learner’s pass, a full day of lessons, and rental equipment. After you’ve completed your First Timer Package, grab a lift pass that will last you for the rest of your ski holiday or season. 

If you’re not a first timer, but still a beginner, you’ll be what we call a novice, who is : 

  • Mastering the basics 
  • Skiing/riding the green runs and beginner area 

We suggest getting a Learner Pass (available for purchase at end of April), which gives you a full day of access to the conveyor lifts at Cardrona, plus one trip on McDougall’s Chondola to the top of the mountain 

If you’re determined to progress throughout the season, a pass that gives you access to the whole of Cardrona will be more useful. Check out the Multi Day Pass. 

Intermediate: is if you’d describe yourself as: 

  • Skiing/riding blue runs 
  • Improving skills 
  • Exploring new terrain 

Depending on how much time you have to ski or snowboard, you can’t go wrong with a day or Multi Day Pass. When you go to book, you’ll need to provide the dates and the mountains you want to use your pass at, Cardrona, Treble Cone or both, so settle on what kind of skier or snowboarder you are before you buy! 

If you’re into parks, wide groomed runs and steady progression, Cardrona is for you. 

If you’re into steeps, chutes, off-piste, and challenging yourself, Treble Cone might be more up your street.  

Advanced: Real keen on skiing or snowboarding? You might describe yourself as: 

  • Skiing/riding red/black runs 
  • Sharpening skills on varied terrain and conditions 

The pass we recommend for you is a flexi 5-day. It allows you to use your 5 days at any point in the season and at both mountains, so you can explore everything. 

If you’re expecting to go hard all season, and ski/ride more than 7 days, an unlimited season pass will suit you. Unlimited skiing or riding, all season long, at both Cardrona and Treble Cone. The ultimate unlock to the Lakes District skiing!  

How can I save money on a lift pass? 

If you’ve decided on a day or multi-day pass, you should buy online, ahead of time, to save up to $30 per day. It will also secure the days you want to visit, as passes are limited. The busier the day is, the more the pass will cost, and may even sell out.  

If you wait to buy your pass when you get to the mountain on the day, you won’t be guaranteed a pass, and you will be paying maximum amount the pass can cost. 

Visit our booking page to see live availability throughout the season. 

Visiting Cardrona or Treble Cone in NZ and Australian school holidays  

Some people know it as a blackout and others know it as a peak period. Either way, June 29 - July 21, 2024 is the most popular time to ski or ride, and coincides with the New Zealand and Australian school holidays.  

Day and Multi Day Passes are likely to cost more the closer we get to this period and will sell out. We recommend buying early and online to avoid the disappointment of missing out.  

If you have already purchased an Earlybird Multi Day Pass or a Saver Season Pass, your passes will not work during this peak period, June 29 - July 21, 2024. 

The different lift pass options 

Day pass 

What: A full day of fun on one pre-selected day up one or two mountains! Opening hours are 8.30am – 4 pm. 

Where: Before you purchase your pass, specify the mountain you want to ski or ride at: Cardrona, Treble Cone, or both. 

How much: Prices start at $169 for an adult to access one mountain, and from $99 for a child’s access to one mountain. If you choose to add on a day at Treble Cone you can save up to $74 per adult.

If you wait until you’re on the mountain to buy your pass, the price of the pass will be at its most expensive. Instead, buy early and online to avoid the price increase and save money. When there are dates with high demand and few passes remaining, the price of passes day pass will also increase 

Why: A day pass is great for those looking to try out Cardrona or Treble Cone, or here for a short time. You can purchase a day pass any day or time within the season, if there are still passes remaining, but popular days will sell out 

The most likely days to sell out are during the ‘blackout’ peak season period during the Aus & NZ school holidays, June 29 - July 21, 2024. Book early and online to avoid disappointment! 

Who: Families wanting to try something new, locals, tourists visiting town for a short time 

Level: Novices to experts 

Sale Period: All season but buy as soon as you can to avoid price increases and sold out days! 

Day pass

Buy now and save

Earlybird Multi Day Pass

What: A multiple-day pass which rewards buying early with flexibility. It gives you access to both Cardrona and Treble Cone, and the freedom to use your days at any point throughout the season, besides the ‘blackout’ peak season period, June 29 – July 21, 2024. Choose from 3 to 6 days of access on your pass. 

Where: Cardrona and Treble Cone 

How much: Prices start from $95 per day for an adult and $49.20 per day for a child. Earlybird Multi Day Passes save you more money the more days you book, so if you’re on the fence about how much you’ll ski or ride, being safe and committing to more days will save you money in the long run. 

Why: This pass is great for those who want a bargain and to use their pass throughout the season across both mountains but won’t want to use it in the NZ and Aus school holidays.  

Who: Popular among locals and guests who want to ski and ride outside of the most popular period, June 29 – July 21, 2024. 

Level: First timers to advanced.  

Sale Period: Limited passes available from Feb 9 – April 30, 2024, unless sold out prior.  

Earlybird Multi Day Pass

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Multi-day pass 

What: A multiple-day pass for access to one mountain. Days need to be used consecutively in a pre-selected window of time. 

Where: Before you purchase your pass, specify the mountain you want to ski or ride at: Cardrona, Treble Cone or both. If you want to ski or ride at Cardrona, but would like to ski one day at Treble Cone, you can select 'Treble Cone Add-On Day' at the checkout.

How much: Prices start online from $118 per day for an adult entry to a single mountain, and $59 per day for a child. Multi Day Passes save you more money the more days you book, so if you’re on the fence about how much you’ll ski or ride, being safe and committing to more days at once will save you money in the long run. Plus, buying online early will save you up to $30 per day too. 

Why: The pass is semi-flexible in that it allows you access to the mountains in a pre-selected window of time, giving you days off-mountain for rest and poor weather. The more days you buy in one transaction, the larger the window you have to use them in.  

Example: If you purchase a 2-day pass, you will have a 3-day window to use it, starting from your selected start date. 

Here’s a breakdown that tells you the number of days in your pass against the window to use them in: 

Multi-day pass 

“Window” of days to ski or ride, starting from your selected start date  

2 day pass 

3 day window to ski or ride 

3 day pass 

5 day window to ski or ride 

4 day pass  

7 day window to ski or ride 

5 day pass 

8 day window to ski or ride 

6 day pass 

9 day window to ski or ride 

7 day pass 

11 day window to ski or ride 

Who: This pass works well for those who want to ski multiple days at once, and know when they want to ski. Popular among families and tourists who want to ski in our ‘blackout’ peak period (the NZ and Aus school holidays, June 29 – July 21, 2024), or locals wanting to make the most of the school holidays. 

Level: First timers to advanced.  

Sale Period: All season but buy as soon as you can to avoid price increases and sold out days! 

Multi-day pass

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Treble Cone Add-On Day 

What: An additional day to try out Treble Cone for those buying a Cardrona-specific Day Pass or Multi Day Pass. This additional day is open-dated, so can be used whenever you feel like it. However, it must be ‘added on’ at the same time of buying your Multi Day Pass for Cardrona.  

Where: Treble Cone only 

How much: An adult day pass costs $125 and a child pass costs $103 

Why: New to 2024, this pass helps ease the lift pass decision making. If you know you’re going to want to use your Multi Day Pass evenly across Cardrona and Treble Cone, then we recommend a Dual-Mountain Multi Day Pass. But if you’re going to be skiing and riding Cardrona and want to try out Treble Cone to see the views, enjoy the steeps and live like a local, this one-off add-on day pass is for you! 

Who: We think this will be popular with confident skiers and riders who will be based at Cardrona but want to try out Treble Cone for a day to test themselves, or mix things up. 

Level: Confident intermediates to advanced 

Sale Period: All season but try to buy before the season starts to avoid price increases! 

Buy Treble Cone Add-On Day

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Dual Mountain MULTI-DAY PASS 

What: A multiple-day pass that can be used at either Cardrona or Treble Cone in a pre-selected window of dates 

Where: The pass is valid to use at both mountains.

How much: Prices start online from $133 per day for an adult and $69 per day for a child. This pass saves you more money the more days you book, so if you’re on the fence about how much you’ll ski or ride, being safe and booking more days in a single transaction will save you money in the long run. Plus, buying online will save you up to $30 per day on top. 

Why: The pass is semi-flexible in that it allows you to use your pass in pre-selected window of dates, to account for rest and poor weather days. The more days you buy in one transaction, the larger the window is to use them in.

Example: If you purchase a 2-day pass, you will have a 3-day window to use it in, starting from your selected start date. 

Here’s a breakdown that tells you the number of days in your pass against the window to use them in.

Multi-day pass 

“Window” of days to ski or ride, starting from your selected start date  

2 day pass 

3 day window to ski or ride 

3 day pass 

5 day window to ski or ride 

4 day pass  

7 day window to ski or ride 

5 day pass 

8 day window to ski or ride 

6 day pass 

9 day window to ski or ride 

7 day pass 

11 day window to ski or ride 

Who: This pass works well for those who want to ski or ride multiple days at both mountains. It works best for those who know when they want to ski or ride. Such as families and tourists on holiday, or locals wanting to make the most of the school holidays. 

Level: First timers to advanced.

Dual Mountain Multi-day pass

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Flexi 5-day pass 

What: 5 days up the mountain that can be used nonconsecutively and at any time in the season. 

Where: Valid to use at both mountains, no need to specify which one you want to visit.  

How much: Only available to purchase online between Feb 9 – June 14, the Flexi 5-Day Pass costs $750 for an adult and $400 for a child. That works out as $150 per day for an adult and $80 per day for a child. Though it costs $160 more than the cheapest single-mountain 5-day multi-pass, you’re gaining flexibility to use your pass on both mountains, and on any open day throughout the season, even if lift passes sell out. 

Why: This pass is super flexible and allows you to spread your 5 days across the season. It’s great for using spontaneously to cherry-pick the best conditions and weather days of winter. Use this pass from the most popular days to the quietest ones 

Who: Those who want the flexibility to use their pass on any open day throughout the season. This might suit those living locally who won’t likely visit more than 5 days. The Flexi 5-Day Pass would also suit holidaymakers who are visiting for a longer period and don’t want to use their pass in a smaller window of time.  

Level: First timers to advanced 

Sale Period: Limited passes available between Feb 9 – June 14, 2024 

Flexi 5 day pass

Buy online only

Unlimited season pass 

What: All the skiing and riding you can get, all season long. If you’re planning on skiing more than 7 days on both mountains this season, this is the pass for you.  

Where: Make the most of this pass and ski/ride at both Cardrona and Treble Cone. If you’re just starting out, take it easy on Cardrona’s slopes first before progressing to the steeper Treble Cone terrain later in the season to experience it all!  

How much: In-season, an adult Unlimited Season Pass costs $1749, and a child’s costs $599. However, season passes are released in drops, which means the earlier you buy, and the earlier the drop, the more you save. Save the maximum next season and buy early during the Drop One sale! 

Why: If winter is about skiing and riding as much as possible, then an Unlimited Season Pass is a must-have. It offers ultimate flexibility and can be used on the most popular days, even when ski passes are sold out in the ‘blackout’ peak season period, June 29 - July 21, 2024. 

Who: Locals who will spend their winter up the mountains. Guests who want to spend the whole of the NZ and Australian school holidays skiing and riding both Cardrona and Treble Cone.  

Level: First timer to advanced. You’ll see unbelievable progression! 

Sale Period: All season long, but try to buy before the season starts to avoid price increases! 

Sightseeing pass 

What: A single uplift in a gondola cabin on McDougall’s Chondola  

Where: Cardrona only 

How much: $40 for an adult single uplift and $29 for a child. 

Why: The views at the top of Cardrona aren’t just for skiers and riders, you can hop in a McDougall’s Chondola gondola cabin, take in the views at the top of the mountain, post a photo from the Cardrona Swing and maybe even indulge in a mountain-top drink at Vista Bar.

Who: Those who still enjoy the snow and sights but perhaps can’t ski or snowboard. 

Level: N/A

These passes are available from late April until the end of Winter 2024.

 

Learners Pass 

What: A full day pass valid for the beginner’s area and learner conveyor uplifts at Cardrona. Plus, one uplift on McDougall’s Chondola to the top of the mountain (and this can be used at any point in the day).

Where: Cardrona or Treble Cone

How much: $91 for an adult and $61 for a child.

Why: If you’re a beginner, you might not need access to the whole mountain right away. Getting the hang of skiing and riding in the beginner’s area is what some guests want from their time at Cardrona, so there’s a specific pass just for you. If you’re a complete first timer, bundle your pass with a full day of lessons and rental equipment and grab a First Timer Package.

Who: Those who want to get the hang of skiing or snowboarding in the learner’s area before advancing  

Level: First timers and novices.

These passes are available from late April until the end of Winter 2024.

Half Day Pass 

What: One afternoon of skiing or riding at your chosen mountain.  

Where: Cardrona or Treble Cone 

How much: $133 for an adult and $79 for a child. Half Day Passes can only be bought on the day you want to ski or ride.  

Why: Every day, our on-mountain capacity experts will assess mid-morning if we have the space to offer half day passes to you  

Who: When the conditions are epic, the mountain is quiet, and you’ve got no plans, this is when spontaneity shines. 

Level: Confident beginners, intermediates and advanced skiers and riders who can drop in with ease. 

Sale Period: All season long. Though Half Day Passes will only be available on the day you want to ski or ride, if capacity allows. 

We hope this makes your decision making to get a pass an easier one this season. Explore all ski pass options 

About the Author

Eleanor Stephens

Copywriter