Learn to Ski & Snowboard in Wānaka

Everything you need to know about skiing in Wānaka

The Wānaka region is the ideal place to learn to ski or snowboard. Whether you are four or forty, as a beginner you’re going to have a great time, and you'll wish you’d started earlier!

So, what do you need to know? How can you plan your trip?

What to wear?

  • The weather on mountain can change dramatically, so it's best to be prepared. Wear layers, the innermost should be light thermal underwear – merino is a great way to stay comfortable and warm. Take a wind and waterproof jacket, gloves, scarf, beanie, glasses or goggles, and suntan lotion, is a good idea also. Remember that kids get a lot colder up the mountain than adults, so make sure they are dressed for the conditions.

Where can I get gear?

  • Skis, boots, poles, or snowboard and boots can be rented from the mountains rental facilities or in Wānaka town itself. High quality, new gear is available from hire shops.

How to get there? 

  • Many people self-drive their rental car up the mountain, a 30-40 minute drive from Wānaka, for this you will need to ensure your rental comes with snow chains. There are also excellent twice daily shuttle services from Wānaka that will pick up and drop off at your accommodation.

Which mountain should I go to?

  • Cardrona Alpine Resort:
    Downhill skiing & snowboarding plus terrain park
    25% Beginner, 25% Intermediate, 30% Advanced & 20% Expert
    Highest Lifted Point: 1860m
    Base Area Elevation: 1260m 
    Vertical Drop: 600m
    Average Annual Snowfall: 2.9m – snow-making supplements natural snow in the Main, Captain’s, Arcadia & Valley View basins.
  • Treble Cone Ski Area:
    Downhill skiing & snowboarding
    10% Beginner, 45% Intermediate & 45% Advanced 
    Highest Lifted Point: 1960m
    Base Area Elevation: 1260m 
    Vertical Drop: 700m
    Average Annual Snowfall: 5.5m – snow-making supplements natural snow
  • Snow Farm:
    Cross country skiing & snow shoeing
    40% Beginner, 20% Intermediate & 40% Advanced 
    55km of trails groomed for both skating and classic.
    24km of Snow Shoe trail.
    Snow Fun Zone including 150m tubing/sledding hill.
  • Soho Basin:
    Private ski area offering a personalised day out for low-intermediate to advanced skiers and boarders
    264 hectares and 500+ vertical metres of pristine high-country terrain
    No chairlifts just state-of-the-art snow-cats
    Gourmet three-course lunch paired with Amisfield wines provided

I'm on mountain now what?

  • Get yourself a learn to ski or board package - there are a variety choose from. 1 to 3 day packages include everything you will need to get started, lift pass, lessons and rentals. If you want to do this ahead of time, you can also purchase these before you head to the mountain at the Wānaka i-SITE Centre, or from the Cardrona and Treble Cone town offices.