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Cardrona is continuing to manage daily capacity and improve the on-mountain experience. Here’s all you need to know about the changes and why we've made them!

Last year, Cardrona became the first ski area in New Zealand to actively manage a mountain’s daily capacity to ensure your best experience, and we saw a 36% reduction in lift queue wait times on the busiest days and an improved on-mountain experience. So, this coming season, we’re continuing to do the same with our capacity. Here’s all you need to know about our in-season lift passes and how capacity affects them!

How are we managing capacity?

This season we will continue to closely monitor guest numbers and manage the number of in-season day passes and multi-day passes available to buy. This daily allowance of passes reflects the average number of other pass types we expect to be skiing that day, such as season pass holders.

Once we reach our daily capacity, there will be no more day passes available and we’ll let you know through our website and social media channels that we are sold out. Sometimes we can sell out of day and multi-day passes even before that day has arrived because you can buy these passes online ahead of time, so we encourage you to lock in your desired days as early as possible, particularly in our peak season, June 29 - July 21, 2024.

How do I get a day or multi-day pass?

If you’re after a day or multi-day pass this season, you’ll need to choose which mountain(s) and which day(s) you’d like to visit. For multi-day passes specifically, you’ll get a “window” to use your pass in. For instance, if there’s poor weather, or you need a rest day, you’ll have some leeway with when you can use your pass. Think a 2-day multi-pass gives you a 3-day window to use those two days in, and so on. You can read all about the multi-day windows here. Single-day passes will lock you into a specific mountain and a specific day.

Prices for all our in-season passes will also change depending on demand. Your best chance to score a great price is buying online, early. You’ll find that the highest prices will be last-minute purchases made from the Ticket Office on-mountain.

Other passes still available

For skiers and snowboarders looking for the most flexibility, the Flexi 5-Day Pass can be used on any day of the season, at either mountain. And new for this year – skiers and snowboarders who want a taste of Treble Cone can add on a day there with their Cardrona multi-day pass. The Flexi 5-Day Pass will only be available online or in our town ticketing locations – you won’t be able to purchase them in the mountains, and they will sell out on June 14, 2024.

How do we work out capacity?

We looked at our busiest times on the mountain over the last few years to see how many of you visit us and using what pass types. This means we can make an informed estimate, based on previous seasons’ numbers, of how many season pass, multi-day, and single day pass holders will visit on any given day this coming winter. We’re using these numbers so we can work out a balance between pre-season pass sales and in-season pass sales.

It works out!

We’re serious about making our experience better. For Cardrona, our goal is to reduce the number of skiers/snowboarders by around 1000 on our busiest days, compared to the peak days in 2020-2022.

There will still be some busy days on the mountains. If it’s a bluebird powder day and we have more season pass and Earlybird Multi-Day pass holders than average, it will still be busy. Occasionally we may have more people on the mountain than what we’re aiming for.

Winter ’24 let’s go!

As with any big change, we still expect some teething issues. But with one season already under our belt, we hope this season will be even smoother than the last. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback, and please remember our staff are doing their absolute best to make sure you’re having a great time.

Thanks in advance for your support in making this season the best experience possible at Cardrona and Treble Cone.

About the Author

Eleanor Stephens