Skiing in NZ (Queenstwon area) - how, where, when?

Mar 31st, 2010, 06:06 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 195
Skiing in NZ (Queenstwon area) - how, where, when?

Planning a skiing holiday to QT for July this year. We are beginners, and have two kids aged 10 and 5 who also ski a bit. Any tips more than welcome - from which month is better to go, where to stay/ski (beginner slopes,skiing lessons, etc). And, what can we do there apart from skiing with two young kids?

Initial thoughts are to fly into Christchurch and drive to QT with may be one overnight stop at Mt. Cook or such. Spend about10-12 days in the QT area and perhaps take a train/overniter back, spend 2-3 days in CC before flying out.

Thanks in advance!
tongsa is offline  
Mar 31st, 2010, 09:15 PM
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Queenstown makes a perfect base - easy access to the slopes and loads to do in town after a day of skiing, as well as plenty to see and do in the vicinity on non ski days (Milford Sound, Glenorchy, Arrowtown)

You might look into Wanaka too:
Melnq8 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:47 AM
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No trains between QT and Chch. You can fly, though.

I haven't seen much mention here on Fodors re ski vacations in Queenstown/Wanaka. You might post on some of the other travel boards such as Tripadvisor where you might get a local with some first hand experience, since ski trips have their own special set of issues (transport to the slopes in particular).

Cardrona caters to beginners and children so I might start with their website and go from their.
mlgb is offline  
Apr 1st, 2010, 10:48 AM
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PS you won't want to sign on for Treble Cone just yet!!!
mlgb is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2010, 08:48 PM
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thanks for the tips. will work on this now... cardrona looks good; and treble cone definitely out! might hire a car and drive. p.s. just how cold is cold? the QT website was a bit vague!
tongsa is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2010, 01:39 AM
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Average low around freezing.

If you decide to drive it's probably better to stay on the Wanaka side since the road up from Arrowtown has some nasty switchbacks. Parking at either end may be an issue. I know when I've done other ski vacations we always try to pick somewhere we can either walk to the shuttle or the lifts. I would ask potential lodging owners if they've got winter parking and how easy it is to drive.
mlgb is offline  
Apr 5th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Not sure where you are from tongsa - but I'm in Brisbane and Qantas do direct flights to Queenstown. There is a large group of us heading over in August. Some are flying direct and some are flying into Christchurch and driving over to Queenstown, which I've been told is a lovely drive.

There are some great packages out there at the moment that include accomodation, car hire, ski hire, ski lessons & lift passes, that include Coronet Peak, Cardrona and somewhere else that just eludes me at the moment.

Some of our group will continue on after our 7 nights in Queenstown for a bit of touring.

This might be an occasion where a specialist ski travel agent may be useful as far as price goes. We chose to use an agent this time - though I largely do all my own bookings for my travels - it's just that they can package up those skiing extras so reasonably well priced.
stormbird is offline  
Apr 7th, 2010, 05:36 PM
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To be honest, other than checking here - my first port of call - have not done much work. Dates are tentative - 2nd/3rd week of July; a friend has an apartment/house in QT that has been offered to us so might take that. Will be looking into ski package deals as advised.

Thanks, Fodorites!
tongsa is offline  
Apr 8th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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If you've got free lodging then you'll probably do better with a lift/equipment/lesson package. When I as a beginner it we did the morning lesson-afternoon ski thing. You'll probably find packages that throw in the lift pass for free if you take a lesson.
mlgb is offline  
Apr 8th, 2010, 12:26 PM
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As a Queenstowner maybe I can offer some advice!
School holidays - 1st two weeks of July are manic on the mountains with lots of Australian visitors and locals - after the schools go back things settle down so the 3rd week should be great.
All mountains in the area offer ski schools and excellent child minding facilities that include ski lessons and activities for the children. Maybe visit website for more info.
Temperatures are as mentioned above - a good frost in the morning and up to 8 celsius during the day - that's in town - on the mountain it is considerably colder so good warm clothing is essential - the good thing is that you can hire this rather than buying clothes you will probably never wear again.
As Queenstown is a winter destination that has skiing rather than a ski resort there is so much to do if you dont feel like skiing- the websites mentioned by melnq8 will give some ideas. Apart from that Queenstown is a great destination that I'm sure you and the family will love
gbh is offline  
Apr 8th, 2010, 07:19 PM
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thanks so much! done - 23rd July, it is to tackle the rest!
tongsa is offline  

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