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New Zealand's Biggest Ski Area

Yup, you heard right… we’re gonna be skiing & snowboarding in Soho Basin!

It’s been a long time coming, & we’re super stoked to announce a partnership between Cardrona Alpine Resort & John Darby that means a combined Cardrona-Soho Ski Area is coming! It will be the largest single ski area in New Zealand.

If you don’t know, Soho Basin is the land directly behind the existing Cardrona Alpine Resort – you’re looking right at it as you ski down Queenstown Return. It’s pretty amazing terrain: think Captain’s on steroids! Some really amazing steep stuff, lots of different aspects, great snow, & an epic view of the Southern Alps & the Wakatipu Basin.

We know you all will have heaps of questions, so we’ve done our best to answer them here. If you’ve got any other questions, just send us a message or leave a comment on social media & we’ll answer as soon as we can!

When will we be skiing in Soho?

There is a LOT that needs to happen before lifts are installed in Soho. In terms of other facilities, there’s a tonne of preparation – terrain work, safety planning, snowmaking, utilities, more dining options… the list goes on!

We’re really focused on preparing the Cardrona side for the increase in capacity that we know we’ll need as soon as Soho goes live – we’re 3 years into a 5 year plan to get ready! We’re looking at a couple more years to finish the Cardrona developments before lift development begins in Soho. The Soho Basin team will continue to run cat skiing on that side of the mountain until lifts go in so you can get your fix & check out the terrain!

Ohhh… is THIS why you put in the Chondola?!

The Soho development was one of the key reasons we replaced the old McDougall’s Quad – we needed a fast access lift to get you all over the mountain. There were definitely other factors too, like making it easy for first timers & sightseers to get to the top of the mountain, & just the fact that the old McDougall’s was pretty slow…

All our developments over the past couple of years have been to give all of you more room to move & eat, in preparation for more terrain!

Just how much terrain are we talking?

Currently we’re sitting at 345ha of skiable terrain at Cardrona. With Soho Basin (& the rest of our developments on the Cardrona side), we’ll be skiing more than double that at 900ha of skiable terrain – that makes Cardrona-Soho the biggest ski area in New Zealand by a country mile!

What about summer?

Watch this space – we’re currently looking at how all these developments will impact our summer operations… we know for sure that they’re gonna make the summer experience up here even more epic!

About the Author

Jen Houltham


Jen is Cardrona's resident word nerd. She's out & about on the mountain most days; a big fan of carving groomed runs, powder hunting & laps through Lil' Bucks!