Skiing at the Remarkables & Coronet Peak, New Zealand
There are not many things the Kiwis’ are better at than the Australians, but skiing (and Rugby) is definitely one of them. There really is only one place to go skiing if you’re from down under, and that is of course in New Zealand! With picture perfect views at every turn, what’s not to love about the ski season in New Zealand?
Where to ski in New Zealand?
We chose to fly in to Queenstown, located on the South Island. This is probably the most popular spot in NZ to base yourself for an awesome ski holiday.
There are so many mountains to choose from. Which one do I pick?
Because it was our first time in NZ, we decided to opt for the most popular ski fields, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. These are the most popular because they happen to be the closest to Queenstown. You can also pick up a lift pass that services both mountains and bus transfers so it’s pretty simple.
The Remarkables: We spent the first 4 days at The Remarkables simply because they had better snow coverage at the time. There are quite a few decent runs here, from beginner to advanced and back country. They do have the fun zone where you can do some jumps and muck around a bit. But once you have done it all, several times it is time for a change.
You can grab a bit to eat up the mountain. It was pretty cold so we thought we would get a nice warm pizza. By the time we picked it up out of the oven and got it back to the table – it was basically frozen again!
The Remarkables does have the most incredible viewing area, if you’re ok walking up a bit of a hill in ski boots!!
This is our trusty mate Luke (aka thewelltravelledrider) laughing at Jenna struggling to climb the mountain in her boots while scared of heights!
But, it is worth it for this view.
If you’re wanting to go all the way up to the top, you need to walk up this…
But, the reward is this…
The Remarkables is around a 45 minute bus ride from Queenstown.
Coronet Peak: Also knows as Concrete Peak, you really need to visit after there has been a big dump of snow as it doesn’t take very long for it to get a bit icy. The resort is however very well equipped and the artificial snow will soon be pumping.
We looked at the forecast and spoke with the bus drivers to get their recommendation and given they were predicting a big dump of snow, we decided to head to Coronet Peak. We were not disappointed. In fact, if you love moguls you’ll be spoiled for choice, you should definitely pack some Ibuprofen because your knees may need it! Jenna certainly did 😉
The runs were fantastic, the snow was incredible and overall I feel it has a better vibe than The Remarkables. We felt there were more challenging runs that were suitable for intermediate skiers, particularly after the fresh dump of powder, it made the runs even more enjoyable (and challenging!). Coronet Peak is the closest ski field to Queenstown, only around a 30 minute bus ride away.
Given their proximity to Queenstown, it is no doubt that the ski fields are busy. It is best to avoid school holidays if you can because I would hate to imagine the queues for the chairlifts in school holidays.
Pre-purchasing your lift pass
We decided to pre-purchase our lift passes online prior to arriving in NZ. We did this through NZ Ski. The card was loaded for both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak and you can also use it for Mt Hutt as well. Click here for up to date prices.
How to get to and from the mountains?
You have two options. Hire a car and drive yourself, or book yourself on the bus transfers. We decided on the bus option purely because Jenna didn’t want the stress of driving up, having to put chains on the tyres etc. There are benefits of both, for example if you drive up you can go at any time and leave at any time. If you decide to take the bus, you are stuck with their set pick up and drop off times but on the plus it is a no stress journey to the mountain.
It is nice not having to be responsible for putting chains on the tyres and leaving it up to those who know what they are doing!
We booked our bus transfers through Kiwi Discovery. We also chose the hotel pick up/drop off option which was slightly more expensive but given our hotel was slightly out of town (only about a 7 – 10 minute walk) we didn’t feel like carrying skis and boots etc into the pick up spot would be enjoyable! For the most part, the transfers were great. There was one particular morning where the bus didn’t pick us up due to miscommunication on pick up point (Kiwi Discovery are the only bus to NOT go down the driveway of our Hotel, St Moritz. So we waited down at the foyer, watching all of the other busses come in and out only to find out that our company didn’t come down! They were able to send a driver to us and we re-joined the bus at a later stop.
Where to stay in Queenstown
We stayed at Hotel St Mortiz. For a full review on the hotel, click here.
Where to eat in Queenstown
If you’re wondering where to eat while you’re in Queenstown, click here for our recommendations.
What to do in Queenstown
If you have some spare time and want a break from skiing, click here for ideas on what you can do.
Skiing in the Northern Hemisphere?
“The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” – Anna Quindlen