How to get to Cardrona from Queenstown & Wanaka – all your winter transport options here...
Getting to Cardrona is easy, no matter where you’re staying! Located in the heart of the Southern Alps, we’re a short drive from Wanaka, Queenstown & Arrowtown. Let us drive you – with regular daily buses from Queenstown, Wanaka, & Arrowtown, we can get you right to the front door & onto the snow faster!
Cardrona is just a short hop over the Crown Range from Queenstown Airport, so it’s super easy to pick up your rental car& drive straight here!
Cardrona is located in a high alpine environment, with weather that can change quickly. We are located at the top of a 14km long, unsealed access road, so please take care & keep to the left to maintain 2-way traffic the whole way.
Both the Crown Range road & the Cardrona mountain road can be affected by snowfall, so it’s best to always carry chains & know how to use them. If you don’t have your own chains, you can hire them on the Cardrona mountain road. Our friendly chain crew can also fit your own chains for you if you don’t know how!
Cardrona is an easy drive from NZ’s most famous resort towns – Queenstown & Wanaka. These 2 lakeside destinations are surrounded by breath-taking alpine scenery & offer a dizzying array of activities, sights & sounds. If you’re looking for the ultimate holiday destination, this is it!
The Cardrona mountain road is 14km long & unsealed. Please take care on the drive up as conditions can change in different spots on the mountain. Keep to the left & maintain 2-way traffic the whole way. Turn your headlights on so traffic coming the other way can see you!
If you're not comfortable driving yourself all the way to the top, we offer a shuttle service from the Pine Trees (the big carpark 1km from the bottom of the road that has no Pine Trees in it).
When does the Pine Trees Shuttle run?
Our Pine Trees shuttle runs from the big carpark 1km from the bottom of the access road – tickets are $10 Adults / $5 Kids return. You can get tickets from the office at the carpark (and they have EFTPOS!). Check out the timetable – the times with an asterisk next to them only run in July & August. Shuttle times are approximate & are subject to change.
*run in July and August only. **not running from September 23 onwards.
Where & how do I fit chains?
As a start point, it always pays to check before you pack your car if chains are required on our Snow Report. It's updated from around 6am daily, & it'll let you know whether you're fine to put all your gear in the boot on top of your chains, or whether you'll need to have them handy. It'll also let you know if chains are required on all vehicles, or just on 2WDs.
Our friendly chain crew will be positioned on the access road in the spot where you'll need to fit chains. Pull over to the side of the road where they are – even if you think the road looks sweet to drive, always put chains on where directed because they know where the safest spot to do it is, & also what the road conditions are like further ahead.
If you've never fitted chains before, check out this super helpful video we made to show you a few different types:
The chain crew can also help you put your chains on if you get stuck – they'll help you out for free!
Do you hire chains?
Yes we do! You can hire chains for the day from the chain crew on the road in the morning for $30. At the end of the day you can drop them at the bottom of the road in the marked container.
Do you have a drop off zone?
We sure do! If you're coming all the way to the top of the mountain road, you’re most welcome to use our drop-off zone to drop the rest of the family & all your gear right at the front door – just let our awesome Carpark Crew know you’re heading up to use that zone. If you’re parked at one of our lower carparks, we offer a free shuttle service to get you back up to the Base Area.
Where do I park?
If you’re driving yourself & you’ve already picked up your rental gear (or you have your own), head to our offices in either Queenstown or Wanaka to suss your lift passes so you can park at the bottom of Valley View Quad. It saves 10mins driving time & theLittle Meg Caféis right there for your early morning caffeine hit! Please note thatValley View Quadis best for intermediate & above skiers & snowboarders – if you’re just learning, or need to pick up passes & rental gear, head right up to Base.
Once you get to the top of the mountain road, our legendary Carpark team will show you where to park. Please follow their instructions – we offer a free shuttle up to the Base Area so don't worry if you're parked in one of our lower carparks!
Buses From Queenstown
We offer a Cardrona bus service from Queenstown, with heaps of pickup points throughout town to get you up the mountain. You can pick up passes & rental gear from Cardrona Queenstown (37 Camp St) the night before!
Queenstown Bus Service
Return Transport & Lift Pass
*can be added on to any lift pass or package at time of purchase Late departure runs till September 22 & early departure runs till October 13
Queenstown Bus Timetable
Blue Peaks (Upper Stanley St)
Colonial Village / Pounamu
Oaks Shores / The Rees
Holiday Inn / Sherwood
Mantra Marina / Z Station
Frankton Bus Shelter
Crown Range Turn-off
Cardrona’s Wanaka Bus Service
The Wanaka bus service has a four pickup points around town – pick up all your gear & passes from Cardrona Corner (20 Helwick St) the day before so you can get off the bus & go straight to the lifts! Please check the timetable below the map for departure information.
Wanaka Bus Service
*can be added on to any lift pass or package at time of purchase Bus service runs until October 13
Wanaka Bus Timetable
WANAKA private transfers
Hassle-free & environmentally conscious private transfers from your Wanaka accommodation to Cardrona. We take care of the little things so you don't have to. Contact our reservations team to book now.