Cardrona

Forged upon gold, Cardrona is an historic village with a range of activities and attractions to explore

The historic village of Cardrona is just 20-minutes from Wanaka. Situated on the famous Crown Range Road, the highest paved highway in the country, Cardrona Valley connects Wanaka and Queenstown and is part of a popular loop drive from Wanaka, through the Kawarau Gorge, Central Otago Wine region, and back to Wanaka. Either in a vehicle or on a road bike, this loop is a stunning and diverse monument to the natural beauty of New Zealand. 

Retaining its vintage charm the iconic Cardrona Hotel at the heart of the village is one of the most photographed buildings in New Zealand. Originally built to quench the thirsts of gold miners, both European and Chinese in the early 1860’s, the hotel still serves patrons today all year-round and is a particular favourite for après ski in winter. 

Home to two of Wanaka’s popular ski fields, the Cardrona Valley is well-established internationally as a skiing and snowboarding mecca. Popular with families and beginners right up to international athletes, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm attract enthusiastic skiers and snowboarders every winter. 

Snow Farm also offers tobogganing, tubing, fat tyre bikes, snow shoeing, dog sledding and overnight back country hut stays. And if you’re one of the very lucky, you may get the opportunity to try your hand at snow and ice driving in a brand new Audi! 

A year-round destination, the Cardrona valley boasts a variety of high country mountain bike trails and walks. From rugged 4WD farm tracks to fluid downhill single tracks Cardrona and the Pisa Ranges attract heli-biking and die-hard mountain bikers nearly all year-round.

Explore the high country on a horse trek or quad bike. Ride deep into the heart of a working high country station and see the remnants of gold mines.

And when you leave, leave a piece of you behind on the infamous Cardrona Bra Fence!

Discover the best of our region by following the scenic highlights photo tour.

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Flights to Wanaka

Getting to Wanaka is easy. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive to Wanaka from the closest international airport, where you will find all major rental car companies and scheduled bus services that provide transport to Wanaka throughout the day.

Queenstown Airport is serviced daily from all major New Zealand airports as well as over 40 flights a week direct from Australia.

How to get to Wanaka

Driving to Wanaka

Driving on the South Island roads of New Zealand is a great way to experience the region, with relatively quiet roads and some of the most amazing scenery right outside the window.

Major car and campervan hire companies are all located at Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown airports. There are also a number of rental car companies based in Wanaka.

How to get to Wanaka

Explore the Region

Wanaka is unique and captivating; it inspires you to discover, and gives you the freedom to explore.

Located in the stunning alps of the South Island, New Zealand, visitors from around the world are drawn to the Wanaka region by its outstanding beauty.

Explore Wanaka

  1. New Zealand
  2. Auckland 1 h 50 min
  3. Wellington 1 h 20 min
  4. Christchurch 55 min
  5. Queenstown Airport 1 h 4 min
  6. Australia
  7. Brisbane 3 h 50 min
  8. Gold Coast 3 h 30 min
  9. Sydney 3 h 15 min
  10. Melbourne 3 h 35 min
  11. Tokyo 10 h 30 min
  12. Los Angeles 12 h 5 min
  13. Beijing 16 h 10 min
  1. Christchurch 5 h 14 min
  2. Ashburton 3 h 56 min
  3. Geraldine 3 h 19 min
  4. Tekapo 2 h 17 min
  5. Mt Cook 2 h 6 min
  6. Twizel 1 h 39 min
  7. Omarama 1 h 21 min
  8. Franz Josef 3 h 32 min
  9. Fox Glacier 3 h 6 min
  10. Haast 1 h 43 min
  11. Cromwell 39 min
  12. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  13. Milford Sound 4 h 34 min
  14. Te Anau 2 h 52 min
  15. Dunedin 2 h 52 min
  1. Makarora 50 min
  2. Lake Hawea 1 h 7 min
  3. Wanaka Airport 11 min
  4. Luggate 13 min
  5. Tarras 27 min
  6. Cromwell 39 min
  7. Cardrona 18 min
  8. Arrowtown 53 min
  9. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  10. Matukituki Valley 51 min
  11. Raspberry Creek 1 h 6 min