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New Zealand ski holidays

7 day Wanaka and Cardrona First-timers Ski Holiday

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Spend a week in Wanaka next winter on this fantastic beginners ski holiday! Enjoy staying in a beautiful 3 bedroom luxury apartment and relax after your long days on the snow. Head to Cardrona ski field for 3 days of skiing with 2 lessons, clothing hire and rental equipment included - you'll be zooming down the mountains in now time. On your days off head to Puzzling World and check out the famous Great Maze and Illusion Rooms!

  This Ski New Zealand package starts at (per person, based on quad share)
  7 days / 6 nights arriving Queenstown, departing Queenstown
  Accommodation on this package is: Luxury apartments (Customisable? YES )
  3 full days Skiing at a Wanaka ski resort
  6 days rental car, inc. insurance, unlimited kms, snow chains and ski racks
  Ski pack: includes everything you need to have a great winter holiday - see here

7 day Wanaka and Cardrona First-timers Ski Holiday - at a glance (See detailed itinerary)  

Day 1: Welcome to the South Island, collect your car drive the short trip to Wanaka
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 2: Head to Cardrona Ski Resort for an intro to skiing or boarding
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 3: Continue to develop those impressive snow skills you've been working on
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 4: Take a rest day today and check out some of Wanaka's quirky attractions
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 5: Your final day on the slopes can be spent skiing together
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 6: A day to enjoy some of the other activities on offer in Wanaka
Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Day 7: Return to Queenstown and depart for home

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7 day Wanaka and Cardrona First-timers Ski Holiday - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Welcome to the South Island, collect your car drive the short trip to Wanaka

Your itinerary, lift passes, car and accommodation bookings

As well as getting everything you need to have a great trip sent to you electronically (yes we are really clever like that!), a super dooper tour pack containing everything you need will be waiting for you at your accommodation. In short - we take care of the paperwork!

Collect your Ski New Zealand rental car

Ski New Zealand rental cars are all specially equipped with ski racks and chains (for grip in the snow - not evening entertainment!). We have a superb range of cars from all the top companies and with a range of insurance options and inclusions that will suit you perfectly.

Take the short drive from Queenstown to Wanaka

Head out of Queenstown and over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Wanaka. Take it easy as this road can be a little 'interesting' in winter. There are plenty of signs advising the road conditions and there is a slightly longer but lower altitude route via Cromwell. If you do take the Crown Range route then you should time your trip to stop at the Cardrona Hotel for 'sustenance'. This 'world famous in New Zealand' landmark will have some great food and a welcoming log fire.

Arrive into Wanaka and collect your Flexi-Pass or Cardrona card

Welcome to Wanaka for your winter ski or snowboarding holiday.  It’s not just the skiing that makes Wanaka a fantastic winter destination, there’s also the spectacular scenery, amazing adventures and endless activities to keep you entertained when you’re not on the slopes.  After each action packed day, you’ll also find a superb variety of cafes and restaurants to relax and refuel at.

Today we recommend you visit the Cardrona Alpine Resort Wanaka Office located at the corner of Helwick and Dunmore Streets and collect your Flexi-Pass or Cardrona card.  This will save you heaps of time tomorrow as you’ll avoid the morning queues and can head straight to the mountain with more time to ski and ride.  When you visit the Cardrona Wanaka Office please take your Ski New Zealand itinerary with you as the staff will need the reference number off this.  Each person in your group receives their own card and must collect their own card as your photo will be taken at the time of issue.  All your lift passes, rental equipment, lessons etc will be loaded onto your card.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape. Check in and out is at The Moorings Motel reception, 17 Lakeside Drive.

Day 2: Head to Cardrona Ski Resort for an intro to skiing or boarding

Cardrona First Timer Package

Cardrona is perfect for first timer skiers and boarders with easy learner lift and wide open beginner trails with beautiful views. Package includes rental of ski or snowboard equipment, learner's area ski lift pass, two group lessons with a professional instructor.  Your 2 hour morning lesson teaches the basics, including how to master sliding, stopping and turning safely and effectively on gentle slopes.  The 2 hour afternoon lesson is to further develop your skills and to support you as you explore more terrain.

Cardrona Kids Club First Timer all Inclusive Package

Cardrona's kids ski and snowboard lessons are the best way to ensure your children safely learn to enjoy the thrills and challenges of skiing and snowboarding in the mountains. Accompanied by a Cardrona specialist instructor, your child will be part of a supportive group environment aimed at developing their confidence and ability on the slopes as well learning hazard awareness and safe skiing etiquette. The Kids Club First Timers group will spend the day on the learners slopes and enjoy two fun group lessons totalling 4 hours to help get them on their way.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape. Check in and out is at The Moorings Motel reception, 17 Lakeside Drive.

Day 3: Continue to develop those impressive snow skills you've been working on

Cardrona Single Lesson, Lift Pass and Rental Package

If you have skied or snowboarded for more than one day and can 'stop and change direction', then this package is for you. You'll have access to the entire mountain with an all mountain lift pass, the benefit of a 2 hour group lesson and rental equipment. This package is coordinated to build a solid foundation so that you can make progress quickly. And rest assured you'll quickly remember the movements even if you only ever skied once, many years ago.

Cardrona Kids Club Ski and Snowboard School Full Day

Cardrona's ski and snowboard lessons are the best way to ensure your children safely learn to enjoy the thrills and challenges of skiing and snowboarding in the mountains. Accompanied by a Cardrona specialist instructor, your child will be part of a supportive group environment aimed at developing their confidence and ability on the slopes as well learning hazard awareness and safe skiing etiquette. The kids groups explore all over the mountain, as well as hitting the specially built terrain areas. Cardrona has a range of ski and snowboard lesson programmes designed to cater to all abilities, ensuring a fun day out for all.  Each day your kids will take part in two group lessons totalling 4 hours and lunch and snacks are provided.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape. Check in and out is at The Moorings Motel reception, 17 Lakeside Drive.

Day 4: Take a rest day today and check out some of Wanaka's quirky attractions

Explore the winter wonderland of Wanaka

Wanaka is situated in the ideal position for those who love powder days.  Set on the shores of Lake Wanaka, this alpine village boasts a warm laid back atmosphere, with a range of cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy your après ski chill out session.  While visiting Wanaka you’ll have two of the Southern Hemisphere’s best ski fields just a short drive away.  Treble Cone which has been voted the best ski field in New Zealand for two years running and family friendly Cardrona Ski Resort, perfect for first timers.  When you’re not hitting the slopes there are plenty of other activities in Wanaka to keep you entertained, including miles of scenic walking and biking tracks, vineyards to visit and for inside activities for the kids check out the weird and wacky Puzzling World, the Transport and Toy Museum or the indoor climbing wall, great for burning off excess energy.

Stuart Landsborough's Puzzling world

Stuart Landsborough’s remarkable Puzzling World is home to the original Great Maze as well as numerous illusion rooms which will leave you scratching your head in wonder.  This is a great destination for those days when the weather doesn’t play ball or you need to rest the legs and still keep the kids entertained.  Great for all ages this is a must for your winter holiday in Wanaka.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape. Check in and out is at The Moorings Motel reception, 17 Lakeside Drive.

Day 5: Your final day on the slopes can be spent skiing together

Cardrona ski field 1 day lift pass

Cardrona ski field is located between Wanaka and Queenstown so it's handy to both alpine resorts. Set over 345 hectares with 20% beginner, 55% intermediate and 25% advanced there are runs to suit all abilities. Cardrona offers parks and pipes of different levels for those that enjoy jumps and freestyle snow fun. If you're bringing the family, Cardrona offers the best facilities for kids with a nursery for 3 months to 3yrs, ski kindy for 3-4 yrs and kids ski school for 5yr+. There's also ski school for the big kids no matter their skill level. With onsite full ski and snowboard gear rental available you don't have to worry about packing gear and when you need to rest the legs or fuel your fire, there are 5 cafes on the mountain so you'll find whatever you're craving.

Cardrona Rental Equipment

Make life simpler and hire your rental equipment and clothing for Cardrona ski field up the mountain. Cardrona has a huge range of the latest ski and snowboard gear for a great day out. Rent skis and snowboards including twin tips, Burton Learn to Ride snowboards, Performance skis and beginner skis at Cardrona. Hire up the mountain and have the option of dropping off in Wanaka or Queenstown at the end of your ski holiday. Best of all your hired boots and skis can be changed at any time throughout the day if necessary.

Cardrona Rental Equipment

Make life simpler and hire your clothing for Cardrona ski field up the mountain. Cardrona has a huge range of the latest ski and snowboard gear for a great day out. Hire up the mountain and have the option of dropping off in Wanaka or Queenstown at the end of your ski holiday. Best of all your hired gear can be changed at any time throughout the day if necessary.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape. Check in and out is at The Moorings Motel reception, 17 Lakeside Drive.

Day 6: A day to enjoy some of the other activities on offer in Wanaka

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Explore the magical Mou Waho Island at the heart of Lake Wanaka

Located just a short 35 minute cruise from Wanaka is the idyllic nature reserve of Mou Waho Island.  On landing at the island your enthusiastic local guide will take you on a unique one hour walking tour, along the way you’ll discover the picturesque lake on top of the island.  Here you’ll stop for a relaxing tea and snack break while enjoying the delightful birdsong and breath-taking views.  If you’re lucky the rare flightless Buff Weka might join you for tea, these curious birds love visitors.  To top off your Wanaka experience you’ll leave part of yourself behind on this magical island, as you plant your own native tree to help with island conservation.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Vintage Tiger Moth flight - Freedom of Romance with Classic Flights

Step back in time where to when pilots were larger than life, and heroes to all those who lifted their eyes skyward to the sound of an old tiger moth flying overhead. Take a scenic flight around Wanaka in a Vintage Aircraft and experience the excitement of the early flyers and their flying machines; the smell of oil and aviation fuel, combined with the aroma of fresh leather. As you don the old-style leather flying helmet, complete with flying goggles and silk scarf, experience the anticipation of being taken back in time to the nostalgia of this by-gone era. The exhilaration of the open cockpit and the wind in your face – discover the freedom and romance of a vintage scenic flight from Wanaka, one of the most spectacular scenic locations in New Zealand. Not for the faint-hearted! The flight will include a landing at a remote location at one of the high country stations overlooking Lake Wanaka or Lake Hawea. Enjoy a lunch or dinner with a bottle of our favourite Central Otago wine, followed by a return flight back to Wanaka Airport. Experience the thrill of a formation flight with another tiger moth, taking in some of the most majestic scenery in the south.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Matukituki River Jet Boat ride and wilderness walk

For a taste of the wilderness that lies right on Wanaka’s doorstep, take a ride with Wanaka River Journeys up the Matukituki River and deep into Mt Aspiring National Park.  Begin with the jet boat adventure on the glacier fed braided river, including a few wild spins and sliding turns.  There’s also quiet time to enjoy this special location and the wildlife that resides here.  Once you’re miles from civilisation the boat pulls up at an ancient beech forest where you take a 50 minute guided walk into a natural New Zealand few visitors get to see.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wild Hills 4WD Safari with Ridgeline Adventures

Experience the rugged beauty and solitude of the spectacular high country, bordering a World Heritage Area with this exclusive 4WD journey exploring the private farm tracks on an historic Wanaka sheep, cattle and deer station. From the site of Nehenehe, an ancient Maori settlement abandoned in the 1830’s, to the ruins of one of Wanaka’s first European settler’s farmhouses (1880’s). This journey offers an unique insight into Wanaka’s rich history, heritage and modern-day farming life. This trip is a photographers dream.

Your Accommodation: Lakeshore Springs Apartments

Lakeshore Spings offers exclusive luxury apartment accommodation on the shores of Lake Wanaka. Superbly appointed with lake and mountain views this is the ideal base for your Wanaka escape. Check in and out is at The Moorings Motel reception, 17 Lakeside Drive.

Day 7: Return to Queenstown and depart for home

Wanaka to Queenstown

Leaving Wanaka you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown.

Take one last spin around Queenstown before returning your car to the airport.

If time allows sneak in a few more Queenstown sights or maybe take an early morning ride on the Skyline gondola before returning your rental car to the airport and catching your flight home.

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