Cardrona Beginners Package
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Cardrona Beginners Package

Spend 3 days at Cardrona, the best family learner's field in the region, you'll go from zero to hero in no time, and 7 days in Wanaka township in a quality Motel located right in the center of town. There is free time for you to explore Wanakas other attractions, you won't want to leave but definitely a reason to come back.

Tour summary and feature

South Island Ski including Car Hire

This suggested tour costs from NZD$2,461 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Queenstown, finishes in Queenstown

7 days/6 nights

Motels

 Rental car included

 Viewed 33 times in the last 7 days

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Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to the South Island, collect your car and drive the short trip to Wanaka. Accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

Day 2: Head to Cardrona Ski Resort to begin your lessons for your new favourite sport. Accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

Day 3: Continue to develop those impressive snow skills you've been working on. Accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

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

Day 5: Your last day up the mountain, great ski, followed by food and beverages on the deck is a must. Accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

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

Day 7: Return to Queenstown and depart for home.

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 1
Collect your Ski New Zealand rental car

Ski New Zealand have a superb range of cars from all the top companies and with a range of insurance options and inclusions like ski racks, and snow chains 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 lift pass

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 x Treble Cone Wanaka Office (located at 50 Cardrona Valley Road, Wanaka) and collect your lift pass.  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. 

Your accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

The Moorings motel and luxury apartments are an easy 5 minute walk along the Lake Wanaka waterfront to Wanaka’s dining and shopping area. Choose from the Studios which overlook the lake and mountains or for families and friends the spacious apartments are the way to go.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 37 miles : 0.9 hours

Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 2
Cardrona - First Timer Day Package

Cardrona is perfect for first timers with easy learner lifts and wide open beginner trails with beautiful views. This package includes rental equipment, a learner's area ski lift pass, and 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 Rental Clothing & Accessories

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.

Reduce the pace on one of Wanaka's self-guided short walks

If you have had enough of those tight boots or just want to explore more of the local area, these short walks come highly recommended by the whole Ski New Zealand team:
Waterfall Creek Track

A must when you visit Wanaka, the track starts from the west end of Roys Bay and soon reaches Wānaka Station Park, a beautiful picnic area, on the left. The track then winds along the lake's western shores for superb views and a great photo opportunity at the famous “Wānaka Tree”. The trail then passes Edgewater and Rippon Vineyard – where a cellar door and wine tastings are available – and on to Waterfall Creek with views of Ruby Island.
Distance: 2.5km Completion Time: 1 hour
Outlet Track
This is a local favourite as it is an easy walk suitable for all ages and abilities. It begins from Wanaka town centre and takes you around picturesque Lake Wanaka to the outlet to the Clutha River and on to Albert Town. This track can also be explored by bike.
Distance: 3 km one way. Completion Time: 1 hour one way.
Mount Iron Track
This very popular, close-to-Wanaka-town loop walk suits all ages and abilities and offers great views of Lake Hawea from the summit.
Distance: 4.5 km. Completion Time: 1.5 hours.
Diamond Lake and Rocky Mountain Tracks
These two excellent walks in the Diamond Lake Conservation Area give wonderful views of the surrounding alps and Lake Wanaka.
Distance: 2km - 7 km depending on the trail. Completion Time: 45 minutes - 3 hours depending on the trail.

Your accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

The Moorings motel and luxury apartments are an easy 5 minute walk along the Lake Wanaka waterfront to Wanaka’s dining and shopping area. Choose from the Studios which overlook the lake and mountains or for families and friends the spacious apartments are the way to go.
Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 3
Cardrona Full Day Lift, 2 Group Lessons and Rental Package

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

Cardrona Hotel Dinner - Suggested Activity

If you feel like spoiling yourself and learning about the area's history we recommend taking yourself out for lunch or dinner at The Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand's oldest and most iconic hotels which sits between Queenstown and Wanaka on the stunning Crown Range Road. Nestled in a beautiful mountain valley, the town of Cardrona boasts a rich and vibrant history: settled in the 1860s as hundreds of hopeful prospectors flooded into the valley chasing gold, the Cardrona Hotel was one of four hotels quickly established to offer accommodation, food, livery services and a coaching-stop for miners and travellers. With the short-lived gold mining boom beginning to wind down in the late 1800s, the area quietened down, with the Cardrona Hotel eventually becoming the sole remaining hotel in the valley. In more recent times the township of Cardrona has seen a resurgence in visitors, people clamouring to get a taste of old the old town feel, stopping in for a pint or delicious meal and a few fantastic photo opportunities in the quaint village that harkens back to a time of hope, gold and good fortune.

Your accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

The Moorings motel and luxury apartments are an easy 5 minute walk along the Lake Wanaka waterfront to Wanaka’s dining and shopping area. Choose from the Studios which overlook the lake and mountains or for families and friends the spacious apartments are the way to go.
Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 4
Explore the winter wonderland of Wanaka

Explore what else Wanaka has to offer, including a range of cafes, bars, and restaurants to enjoy, miles of scenic walking and biking tracks, vineyards and distilleries to visit, and if you are looking for something indoors experience Puzzling World, Transport and Toy Museum or the Base Indoor Climbing Wall. If you still want to be skiing and your legs can handle it then book heli-skiing as it's one of the most breathtaking places to do it in the world.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - 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 scratc...

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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.

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SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wanaka Wine Tours Classic Wine Tour

The Classic Full Day Wine Tour is a small group tour (maximum 8) that explores the scenery, history, food and wines of Central Otago. Enjoy an unhurri...

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The Classic Full Day Wine Tour is a small group tour (maximum 8) that explores the scenery, history, food and wines of Central Otago. Enjoy an unhurried amble through six of the region's finest wineries, pausing only to admire the ever-present views. Savour the unique atmosphere of the arts, crafts and history of Old Cromwell Town and share the unforgettable indulgence of a gourmet platter lunch.

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Your accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

The Moorings motel and luxury apartments are an easy 5 minute walk along the Lake Wanaka waterfront to Wanaka’s dining and shopping area. Choose from the Studios which overlook the lake and mountains or for families and friends the spacious apartments are the way to go.
Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 5
Cardrona Ski Field Day Lift Pass and Rental Package

Cardrona is New Zealand's fun and family-friendly ski resort with the most reliable snow conditions in the region. Its high elevation and southerly aspect mean dry natural snow is plentiful, which is further enhanced by snowmaking facilities. Cardrona is the perfect place for beginners and intermediates, with NZ's only combined gondola chairlift, easy-to-use surface lifts, specialised beginner packages and plenty of wide open trails spread over three basins. If you're up for a challenge, you'll find it in Arcadia, with secret powder stashes, chutes and cliff drops. Cardrona is home to the NZ Park & Pipe Team & offers the most extensive terrain park facilities in the Southern Hemisphere with four terrain parks, two half pipes and a gravity-cross course. Boasting eight distinctly different cafes, fully licensed kids' centres, on-mountain accommodation, retail; ski & snowboard lessons; and a fully equipped rental department, Cardrona is pure gold.

Cinema Paradiso - Suggested Activity

Feel like a relaxing night, take yourself to the movies, Cinema Paradiso is not your average cinema. A classic movie theatre with comfy old sofas, an old Morris Minor car, and a cafe & bar serving delicious meals before, during, or after the movie. A great option for days when the weather is not so great up the ski field, especially for families! Paradiso provides a novel experience - they even have a half-time intermission where you can get homemade ice cream, a hot chocolate, or a freshly baked cookie! Tickets can be purchased at your own expense at the cinema prior to the session or up to a few days before the movie you wish to see. The seating is unallocated, so if you arrive early you get the pick of the couches, chairs, and cinema seating.

Your accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

The Moorings motel and luxury apartments are an easy 5 minute walk along the Lake Wanaka waterfront to Wanaka’s dining and shopping area. Choose from the Studios which overlook the lake and mountains or for families and friends the spacious apartments are the way to go.
Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 6
Another Free Day to Experience Wanaka

Spend the day in town shopping or eating at one of the outstanding cafes or restaurants, pick either a cruise, or adventure activity, or set your taste buds alight with a winery tour. Make sure you take some time to go see our famous Wanaka tree.

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 lo...

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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.

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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 t...

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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.

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Your accommodation: The Moorings Wanaka

The Moorings motel and luxury apartments are an easy 5 minute walk along the Lake Wanaka waterfront to Wanaka’s dining and shopping area. Choose from the Studios which overlook the lake and mountains or for families and friends the spacious apartments are the way to go.
Cardrona Beginners Package - Day 7
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.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Queenstown Skyline Gondola to Bob's Peak

For a different perspective of Queenstown take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. The Queenstown Skyline Gondola (or cable car as it&...

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For a different perspective of Queenstown take the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak. The Queenstown Skyline Gondola (or cable car as it’s also known) is the steepest in the Southern Hemisphere so you very quickly reach heights that offer spectacular 220 degree views. At the top you’ll have access to viewing platforms for great views of Queenstown and your favourite mountains, there’s also a café to enjoy a drink while soaking up the surrounds.

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Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 65 kms / 41 miles : 1.1 hours

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