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 Wānaka. Situated on the famous Crown Range Road, the highest paved highway in the country, Cardrona Valley connects Wānaka and Queenstown and is part of a popular loop drive from Wānaka, through the Kawarau Gorge, Central Otago Wine region, and back to Wānaka. 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. 

Discover the secrets to Cardrona's artisan spirits at The Cardrona Distillery. Sourcing water from the subterranean snow melt from Mount Cardrona to make great hand-crafted Whisky, Gin, Vodka and Liqueurs means a stop for a tour and tasting are a must. 

Home to two of Wānaka’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. Stay a night or two and discover this region.

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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Driving to Wanaka Explore the Region

Driving to Wānaka

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 Wānaka.

How to get to Wānaka

Explore the Region

Wānaka 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 Wānaka region by its outstanding beauty.

Explore Wānaka

  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Christchurch 5 h 14 min
  3. Ashburton 3 h 56 min
  4. Geraldine 3 h 19 min
  5. Tekapo 2 h 17 min
  6. Mt Cook 2 h 6 min
  7. Twizel 1 h 39 min
  8. Omarama 1 h 21 min
  9. Franz Josef 3 h 32 min
  10. Fox Glacier 3 h 6 min
  11. Haast 1 h 43 min
  12. Cromwell 39 min
  13. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  14. Milford Sound 4 h 34 min
  15. Te Anau 2 h 52 min
  16. Dunedin 2 h 52 min
  1. Mount Aspiring
    National Park
    54 min
  2. Coronet Peak
  3. The Remarkables
  4. Cardrona
  5. Treble Cone
  6. Snow Farm
  7. Heli Skiing
  8. Heli Skiing
  9. Makarora 50 min
  10. Lake Hawea 1 h 7 min
  11. Wanaka Airport 11 min
  12. Luggate 13 min
  13. Tarras 27 min
  14. Cromwell 39 min
  15. Arrowtown 53 min
  16. Queenstown 1 h 4 min
  17. Queenstown Airport 59 min
  18. Matukituki Valley 51 min
  19. Raspberry Creek 1 h 6 min

Flights to Wānaka

Getting to Wānaka is easy - click on your city to see how close you are to Wānaka. It’s a short, scenic 60-minute drive to Wānaka from the closest international airport, where you will find all major rental car companies and scheduled bus services that provide transport to Wānaka throughout the day.

How to get to Wanaka