Cardrona hotel and ski resort guide

Where to stay when you're headed to the powder wonderland that is the Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort.

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The Cardrona Alpine Resort is known for dry snow and wide slopes with something on offer for everyone. Located in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and situated between Queenstown and Wanaka, Cardrona is ideally located close to both the adventure capital of the island and the natural beauty of Lake Wanaka.

Wanaka is closest and easiest to access from Cardrona, with a driving distance of just 35 minutes, while you can get to Queenstown in an hour by car or bus.

Cardrona is where you’ll find the only ski field in the country that offers the Chondola, a combination of chair lifts and gondolas with a ratio of four chairs to one gondola.

Where to stay in Cardrona

You’ve got three main choices if you want to be near the snow in Cardrona:

    • Cardrona Mountain: Firstly, you can stay on the mountain and be a minute’s walk away from the lifts. There are no grocery stores up here and your meal options are limited, so this is best suited to the keenest of skiers and those willing to BYO supplies.
    • Cardrona Village: This is a short drive from the ski fields. You’ll find a small handful of accommodation options to choose from here, plus the historical Cardrona Hotel where you can relax and have a drink after your day on the snow.
    • Wanaka: This lakeside town is an easy 35-minute drive from Cardrona and you have the added benefit of being based in a more lively town if your holiday is not going to be all about the snow.

Top 6 Cardrona hotels

Cardrona Alpine Apartments

Cardrona Alpine Apartments from HotelsCombined

Address: Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona

    A rarity amongst ski resorts in New Zealand, these on-mountain apartments will have you only a minute’s walk from the lifts and are ideal for any diehard ski fans. Cardrona Alpine Apartments are self-catering with full kitchen facilities, and there’s also a café open for dinner service.
      • Features: Free Wi-Fi, luggage storage, laundry facilities
      • Closest lift: McDougall’s Express Chondola
      • Does it have ski-in/ski-out? Yes
      • Why we love it: The proximity to the lifts is a godsend

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      Cardrona Valley Lodge

      Cardrona Valley Lodge from HotelsCombined

      Address: 2206 Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona

        A luxury lodge in the Cardrona Valley and just a stone's throw from the famous Cardrona Hotel. ​Transfers are offered to Cardrona Ski Field and there are two large open fires to keep you cosy and warm when you get back.
          • Features: Free Wi-Fi, breakfast, hot tub, laundry service, ski drying room
          • Closest lift: Valley View Quad
          • Does it have ski-in/ski-out? No
          • Why we love it: It's homey and well-priced

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          Cardrona Hotel

          Cardrona Hotel from HotelsCombined

          Address: 2312 Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona

            Blending historic charm with modern comforts in a truly unique package, the Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand’s most iconic hotels. Don’t be fooled by its rustic facade. Inside you’ll find a stunning beer garden, a restaurant for that much-needed pub fare at the end of the day and charming hotel rooms.
              • Features: Bar and restaurant, laundry facilities, spa pool, ski drying room
              • Closest lift: Valley View Quad
              • Does it have ski-in/ski-out? No
              • Why we love it: It's an icon of the nation

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              Waiorau Homestead

              Waiorau Homestead from HotelsCombined

              Address: 2127B Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona

                Located in a picturesque rural setting with 10 acres of beautiful stream boundary grounds, the Homestead has stunning views of the mountains. When you’re not on the ski fields, you can fill your time in the private guest lounge or the outdoor spa, in front of the fireplace or playing a game of petanque.
                  • Features: Outdoor hot tub, outdoor fireplace, swimming pool, petanque court
                  • Closest lift: Valley View Quad
                  • Does it have ski-in/ski-out? No
                  • Why we love it: The views are to die for

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                  Edgewater Wanaka

                  Edgewater Wanaka from HotelsCombined

                  Address: Sargood Drive, Wanaka

                    For something a little more feature-rich, head towards the only accommodation directly on the beautiful Lake Wanaka, Edgewater. With a stay here you can complement an arduous day on the snow with a treatment at the day spa or a detox in the sauna.
                      • Features: Spa pools and sauna, all-weather tennis courts, 9-hole putting green, kid’s playground, petanque court, day spa
                      • Closest lift: Valley View Quad
                      • Does it have ski-in/ski-out? No
                      • Why we love it: This is the ultimate luxe stay. Go on, treat yo'self.

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                      Wanaka Homestead Lodge and Cottages

                      Wanaka Homestead Lodge and Cottages from HotelsCombined

                      Address: 1 Homestead Close, Wanaka

                        Whether you’re travelling solo or with a big group, there’s space for the whole crew at the Wanaka Homestead Lodge and Cottages. Choose from a cottage with self-catering accommodation available for up to seven or get cosy with a bed and breakfast stay in the lodge.
                          • Features: Outdoor hot tub, free Wi-Fi, laundry services, drying room, mountain bikes, BBQ
                          • Closest lift: Valley View Quad
                          • Does it have ski-in/ski-out? No
                          • Why we love it: It's well equipped to take in large groups.

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                          Which Cardrona hotels are ski-in/ski-out?

                          Hotel name Ski-in/ski-out
                          Cardrona Alpine Apartments Yes
                          Cardrona Valley Lodge No
                          Cardrona Hotel No
                          Waiorau Homestead No
                          Edgewater Wanaka No
                          Wanaka Homestead Lodge and Cottages No

                          Cardrona map

                          Plan out your day on the slopes using this Cardrona trail map:

                          Cardrona Trail Map

                          What you need to know

                          • Number of chair lifts: 5
                          • Number of runs: 38
                          • Number of magic carpets: 2

                          Cardrona lift pass prices

                          Tickets are available in day, multi-day and season ski pass options. The cheapest per day rate of $105 is available with a five-day or more pass. If you plan to spend more than 10 days in Cardrona, purchasing a season pass is your best option.

                          2019 season pass pricing

                          There are two passes you can choose from:

                          • Saver: Avoid the peak July school holiday period and save for the rest of the season. This pass is not valid from 1 July to 19 July 2019.
                          • Unlimited: Ski or ride on any day of the winter season.
                          Pass Cost
                          Adult Saver $899
                          Adult Unlimited $1,050
                          Senior Saver $499
                          Senior Unlimited $599
                          Child Saver $359
                          Child Unlimited $450
                          Student Saver $699
                          Student Unlimited $799

                          Cardrona mountain facts

                          • Ski season dates 2019: 1 June to 20 October 2019
                          • Chair lift opening hours: 8.30am–4:00pm
                          • Snow report: Check out the Snow Report for an accurate and detailed look at recent snowfalls and conditions
                          • Trail breakdown: 25% of trails are for beginners, 25% are for intermediates, 30% are for advanced skiers and 20% are for experts
                          • Number of terrain parks: 4
                          • Longest run: 4km
                          • Skiable terrain: 345 hectares

                          Ski schools available in Cardrona

                          There are ski and snowboard lessons available for all levels in both group as well as private sessions at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Some programs include packages with gear and lift passes included, and children’s lessons can also include a day at the Kid’s Snow Sports Club.

                          Program Who can participate? What is involved?
                          Childcare and Snow Sports School Children under the age of 5 Get them started young with their first skiing experience in private or group classes with kids the same age and level.
                          Kids Group Lessons Children between the ages of 6 and 12 A fun way to learn to ski or snowboard with instructors that will help your kids gain valuable skills and fall in love with snow sports. Choose from single group lessons or full day lessons.
                          Adventure Programmes Children between the ages of 5 and 14 These run every week of the season for four consecutive days (Monday to Thursday). The Adventure Programme is packed with fun activities and kids get the same instructor every day. A great way to encourage improvement and a fun learning environment.
                          First Timers Adults or children who are skiing or snowboarding for the first time Packages start from one day to three days and include Beginners’ Area lift passes and rental equipment. Separate child and adult lessons start and finish at the same time so you can learn while your kids do.
                          Adult group lessons Skiers of all levels and abilities Sharpen your skills with your choice of single group lessons or a full day of instruction in a group to best suited your ability.
                          Private lessons Anyone can participate in private lessons Accelerate your learning with private lessons. Learn to ski or snowboard by mastering the basics or develop new skills.

                          Ski and equipment hire in Cardrona resorts

                          Make your holiday just that much easier by renting your clothing and equipment on the mountain. Or save some cash and use the nearest ski and snowboard rental outlet to your accommodation.

                          You can hire clothing and equipment at:

                          Latest Cardrona ski resort deals and ski packages

                          Contiki Contiki

                          Up to 15% off Europe ski and snowboard trips

                          Valid for travel on select 2020 dates for bookings made by 27 February 2020. T&Cs apply.

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                          Groupon Groupon

                          Extra 15% off first Groupon purchase

                          Valid on all dates including holidays like Christmas for restaurants, spas, getaways, things to do and more. T&Cs apply.

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