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The snow has arrived to the mountain ranges of the Southern Alps and we are so ready to start sliding.

If you’re looking for a cruisey downhill resort day, both Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone Ski Area have awesome options for trails, whether it’s your first day or your ten thousandth.

So, skis waxed? Helmet on? Our guide to trails for every skier? Check, check, check – now you’re good to go.

For the first timer or beginner

If you’re heading westward to Treble Cone for the day, you’re best to start out on Easy Rider. This beautifully groomed zig-zag trail is rated a green circle and is one of the most fun beginner trails in Wānaka. And because it’s on a cat track and switchbacks the whole way down the mountain, it’s not steep at all! Think of it like a switchback on a hiking track – that’s pretty mellow! This trail can get busy, so just be aware of your surroundings as you make your way down. And when you start feeling more confident, don’t be afraid to give the side-hits a go!

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At Cardrona, Skyline is great for beginners. This is another green-rated trail, which doubles as a cat track. It’s not as ‘zig-zaggy’ as Easy Rider at Treble Cone, but it wraps around the perimeter of the resort boundaries so it’s pretty meandering. Plus, you get great views over Queenstown. Not many intermediate or advanced riders venture out this way, so it’s a perfect learning area, with few crowds.

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For the intermediate

Alright, so you’ve had a few days each season on the plank(s) and now you’re wanting to step it up a little. 

At Treble Cone, Main Street is great for intermediate snowboarders or skiers. It’s nicely groomed and not as busy. Pro tip: take lots of ‘social stops’ on this trail and take in the view!

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Over to Cardrona, Paradise over in Captain’s Basin is so fun for the intermediates. Admittedly, it’s a little further off the beaten track – but that just means that it’s fairly ‘undiscovered territory’ with fewer people! Keep your eyes peeled for lots of fun little nooks and crannies just off the trail to explore.

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Advanced & experts

You’re just ticking mountains off your bucket list now. And obviously the ski fields of the South Island are high on your list.

While you’re here, you couldn’t go without dropping into the Saddle at Treble Cone. This is where a lot of our expert locals gravitate. Bullet is SUPER fun and definitely a favourite. It’s essentially a natural half pipe that widens into a bowl as you move through it. Off the side, there’s lots of fun pops and jumps, before opening up into wide off-piste skiing.

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At Cardrona, if you get a big snow day, head over to Arcadia Chutes and choose-your-own-adventure. Just remember that this area does need a lot of snow to open!

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Big mountain & park

Treble Cone is often seen as the go-to for those wanting to test their freeride chops. Diverse terrain, powder pockets and cliff drops – it’s all here.

If you’re wanting some word-class park action, head to Cardrona, home of the Southern Hemisphere’s most extensive terrain park and pipe facilities. From beginners to X-Games pros, get epic park laps that suit whatever level you’re at.

Want to know more about Winter in Wānaka? Click here.

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