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Insider’s top time-saving tips and more

Discover our insider's top time-saving tips, from booking early online, to catching the free shuttle, for an effortless experience at Cardrona Alpine Resort.

Is anything more satisfying than feeling like you’re in on secrets that make your time at a ski area 100% more efficient? At Cardrona, we don’t gatekeep these time-saving tips. In fact, it’s our job to make your life as enjoyable and easy as possible! So, if you’re ready to conquer the slopes this winter, get ready to go with these insider top tips for the season. Because if you know, you know. You know? 

Say goodbye to ticket queues

Our number one tip, maybe forever and always, is to book your lift passes online and ahead of when you want to visit. Whether that’s a Flexi 5-Day Pass, a day or multi-day pass, or a season pass, you can book them all online and in advance. 

Your pass will be uploaded to your pre-existing RFID Card (your physical lift pass), or you’ll be given a scannable code to collect a new one from our pick-up kiosks, which you can find in our Queenstown and Wānaka locations or on-mountain. No queuing necessary. Plus, you’ll be locking in the best price possible, and securing your ski trip, as days are subject to ‘sell-out’. Book your lift pass online here, or read more about our capacity management 


Parking made easy 

Does the idea of parking worry you out before you’ve even left the house? Well, don’t worry about a thing. Instead of driving to the very top of the mountain road, peel off at Valley View Car Park and secure a spot with ease. With 200 additional parking spaces this year and a pick-up kiosk to collect your pass, you can slip right onto the chairlift without batting an eye. Simply take the intermediate blue run – ‘Goldrush’ back to your car at the end of the day. 

And for those who need their morning coffee before they ski, we hear you loud and clear. That’s why Little Meg, a wee gem of a café, is conveniently located there to fuel you up before you hit the slopes, open from 8am.

Tick off the home of skiing in Wānaka 

Calling all intermediate+ skiers and snowboarders. Have you tried out the home of skiing in Wānaka – Treble Cone? Known for its jaw-dropping views, long (and importantly – uncrowded) groomed runs, and club-field atmosphere, it’s one to tick off the list and the perfect place to mix things up if you feel like taking things up a notch. 

A new pass feature this year is our ‘Treble Cone Add-On Day’. All that means is if you’re booking onto a Cardrona multi-day pass, you can add on a day at Treble Cone at a great price, so you can try out some of the best skiing and riding the region has to offer! Simply select the option when you’re in the checkout process online. 

Take a nap, or look at the view 

You can do so much instead of driving! So, leave it to us. Catch the free Cardrona Mountain Road shuttles from the bottom Pine Trees Car Park, or even book your seat on one of our town busses, leaving from Queenstown or Wānaka. It’ll drop you right at the top of Cardrona outside our Base Building, and totally levels up your experience on snow. Simply relax, let us take the wheel, and watch the mountain views roll on by. Book a bus. 

Easy peasy rentals squeezy 

One of the biggest time savers is collecting any rental gear you need before you head up to the ski area. Head to Après (50 Cardrona Valley Road, Wānaka). It’s a game changer in rentals because you can collect all your gear the day before you plan to ski and ride. And while our team sorts you out, you can relax with a cup of coffee and a fresh scone, or maybe a craft beer and a woodfired pizza depending on what time of the day it is. It’s the most laid-back rental experience you can have. If you’re Queenstown-based, head to our Queenstown location for your rentals instead.  

Don’t forget to update your details online before renting gear for a smooth process upon arrival! Login to your account online or check your confirmation booking for a link to update them. You’ll be making your quick process even faster!  

If you’re missing gloves, beanies, or after gear to keep yourself, you can hit up the Cardrona Corner, our merch and gear shop, which will give you all the winter inspo. Find them at Après, up the mountain, and online

Get faster, faster 

Ski and snowboard lessons are the most underrated tools during winter, and we reckon anyone, no matter how advanced, can benefit from some tuition from our expert instructors, so level up your skiing and riding with lessons! 

Whether you’ve never set foot on snow, are keen to advance beyond intermediate, or want to tackle some new terrain, lessons are an absolute game changer, and save you heaps of time trying to figure it all out yourself. Guest services can sort you out with lessons, simply email, or learn more about lessons and packages. 

So, feeling more ready to hit the slopes? Follow these time-saving tips for an awesome Winter '24 at Cardrona, and Treble Cone too! We’ll see you on the mountain

About the Author

Eleanor Stephens