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The Insider’s Guide to Cardrona

Check out our tips to make the most out of your time here – this is the Insider's Guide to Cardrona!

Use the drop off zone

Score ultimate brownie points with your friends & fam by dropping everyone off right by the Base buildings. Park in one of the carparks, take the shuttle up if necessary & collect your “Team Player” medal… you’re a legend.


Need a hand?

Our Mountain Hosts float around the Base Area & their only job is to make your day easier. Look out for them in yellow pants & blue jackets – they’ll point you in the right direction & even help you carry your equipment. The Hosts are besties with our mascots, Pengi & Frosty – spot them for a photo, high five or snowball fight!


Park at Valley View

Last winter our new Valley View carpark was a hit with locals, so we added more spaces this year! Park up, grab a coffee at Little Meg & use the 10mins you’ve saved on the drive to visualize the turns you’ll be making very soon. Lift queues at Valley View occur about as often as a solar eclipse, so be sure to get a few runs down our lowest basin. Make sure you can ride a blue run before heading up Valley View – if you need more time on green trails, head up to Base.


Watch the best in the world

When you’re heading up Whitestar, watch the world’s best skiers & snowboarders ride Big Bucks Park. Don’t miss the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ in late August, & the Jossi Wells Invitational the week after… the athletes always put on a show!


Take a photo on Queenstown Return/Skyline

The best views on the mountain can be seen either from the top of Captain’s on Queenstown Return or the top of McDougall’s on Skyline. Snap a selfie or include all the crew with the Southern Alps & Lake Wakatipu as the backdrop – you can even see Mt Cook from up there!


Ski in for lunch

Because walking is overrated – ski in for lunch. You can ski in to five of the eight Cardrona Cafés: Noodle Bar (off Skyline), Captain’s Café (bottom of Captain’s Basin), Little Meg (bottom of Valley View) Vista Bar (top of McDougall’s) & The Lounge (slope-side next to the Archway).


Jump on an afternoon group lesson

If your morning on the slopes didn’t go exactly as you imagined it, join an afternoon group lesson! Let one of our instructors show you their secret spots on the mountain, help you stomp that new trick, or get you turning more comfortably. Afternoon lessons are cheaper & generally quieter!


Demo a Burton snowboard

If you’re thinking of getting a new snowboard, try before you buy... Cardrona is a Burton Demo Centre – pop into the General Store to check out all the new season gear so you can buy a board you know you’ll love!


Get sorted before you go

Head into one of our offices in Queenstown or Wanaka the day before you head up the mountain. You’ll be able to pick up lift passes, pre-pay for rental & safety equipment, book lessons & accommodation – it’s the perfect idea if you want first tracks!


Read our Heart of Gold Zine online or pick one up from the mountain FREE for more of our stories!

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