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Skiing and Snowboarding Itinerary

Wanaka is the perfect base to enjoy Australasia's largest skiable terrain.

Wide open ski trails, challenging steeps, parks and pipes‚ backcountry heli trips and over 50km of cross country trails.

Here's a suggested five-day ski and snowboard itinerary, best enjoyed from mid-June to early September.

And don't forget to take a look at our range of transport shuttles, rental carsaccommodationcafes and restaurants and other activities that you can do to add to make your own personalized itinerary.

Five-day Ski Itinerary PDF download

Days 1 & 2: Cardrona Alpine Resort

By car from Wanaka: 35 mins | 34 km

The wide, gentle slopes of Cardrona are an ideal place to find your ski legs at the beginning of your holiday. 

  • Take a lesson to refresh your skills
  • Check out the world-class terrain park and half pipes
  • Apres-ski drinks at the iconic Cardrona Hotel are a must-do 

A child takes a snowboard lesson at Cardrona Alpine Resort in Wanaka

Day 3: Treble Cone Ski Area

By car from Wanaka: 22 mins | 21.5 km

Treble Cone is famous for its long un-crowded groomed runs, legendary off-piste terrain and unrivalled views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps.

  • Hike to the summit for fresh tracks
  • Lunch at the café for great views, but watch out for the cheeky kea!
  • Take a lesson to fine tune your off-piste skills
  • For beginner skiers and snowboarders, Treble Cone provides FREE lift access to the ‘Nice n’ Easy’ surface lifts

A skier at Treble Cone Ski Area in Wanaka, New Zealand

Day 4 – Rest Day / Non Ski Day

An opportunity to give the legs a rest and a chance to experience some of the other great activities in Wanaka, either on or off the mountain.

  • Visit Snow Farm for more on-snow activities: cross-country skiing, tubing, toboggining, fat tyre biking, husky sled dog rides, or snowshoe into a back-country hut.
  • Go for a scenic flight from Wanaka over the glaciers to Milford Sound
  • Take the kids to Puzzling World or visit the iconic Cinema Paradiso – don’t miss the freshly baked cookies.

Cross-country skiers at Snow Farm in Wanaka, New Zealand

Day 5 - Heli-skiing

Heli-skiing is not just for the pros! Any confident, intermediate skier can heli-ski. Spend the day lapping untracked powder with a helicopter picking you up at the end of each run!

Heliskiing in Wanaka, New Zealand

FAQ's:

When’s the best time to visit?

The winter season starts in mid-June and continues to early October. August usually offers the most consistent snow conditions and September typically provides the most stable weather with great spring skiing conditions. 

What should I wear?

On the mountain, layers of clothes work best with an outer shell of ski jacket & pants, hat / helmet, gloves and goggles or sunglasses. Around town ski-wear is usual for après-ski drinks at the end of the day. Wanaka is a relaxed, laid back town where casual attire is the norm – no need to get dressed up for dinner, unless you want to! 

How long should I stay?

With a vast ski area there’s more than enough terrain to keep the most avid skiers & snowboarders happy for a two-week holiday, as well as plenty of off-mountain activities for non-ski days. 

How do I get around?

Treble Cone & Cardrona are both 35-40 mins drive from Wanaka and there are regular door to door shuttle bus services to the mountains. The ski area access roads are maintained / cleared daily, but if you plan to drive yourself you will need to carry snow chains and know how to fit them, although there is a chain fitting service at Cardrona. There are shuttle buses from the base car park at both Cardrona and Treble Cone if you don't want to drive up the mountains.