Cardrona Announces New Lift and New Terrain for Winter 2025
Mountainwatch | Press Release
Wanaka, NZ, Dec 14, 2023: Skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand is about to get a whole lot bigger. Cardrona Alpine Resort’s is officially adding Soho Basin to their ski area, with work commencing on a six-seater high-speed chairlift this coming summer.
In a long-awaited announcement, the iconic Kiwi ski area can now confirm that skiers and snowboarders will be exploring a lift-accessed Soho Basin in Winter 2025.
At 150ha, Soho Basin’s skiable terrain is the equivalent of 150 rugby fields. It increases Cardrona’s lift-accessed skiable terrain by 24%, taking the resort from 465ha to 615ha – which will make it the biggest commercial ski area in New Zealand.
Foundations for the Soho Basin Express, a Doppelmayr six-seater chairlift, will be started in February, with the towers and stations installed the following summer between December 2024 and May 2025. The lift is due to be completed in time for the 2025 winter season.
“New skiable terrain in New Zealand is incredibly rare, and we’re so stoked to finally be able to give people the news they want – Soho Basin is officially happening.” says GM of Cardrona and Treble Cone Experiences, Laura Hedley.
“Soho Basin opens up a whole new world and experience for skiers and snowboarders at Cardrona. We can’t wait to ride Soho and share it with all of you – it’s just so good!” she says.
To support the additional guest capacity the Soho Basin Express will attract, Cardrona is upgrading other facilities over the next couple of years. This summer, the Valley View carpark will be extended, and the on-mountain Rentals department will be upgraded.
“It doesn’t stop there – we’ll be upgrading our snowmaking, food and beverage, retail, and other carparking offerings to make sure we continue to deliver a great experience at Cardrona with the addition of Soho Basin,” says Hedley.
Cardrona’s newest offering will open up an area similar in size to, and directly behind, Captain’s Basin. Soho Basin is the massive area directly below the resort’s existing “Queenstown Return” trail. It will have a mix of playful intermediate terrain alongside more technical, advanced lines – plenty for confident skiers and snowboarders to explore.
The Soho Basin Express installation is part of a multi-year commitment to development at Cardrona that has included a total redesign of the resort’s base buildings using existing infrastructure, the McDougall’s Chondola, and the first steps into Soho in 2021 with the Willow’s Quad chairlift.
“After a challenging few years, it’s so exciting to continue along our vision for Cardrona to be a truly world-class ski and snowboard destination, right here in New Zealand,” says Hedley.
Before work begins on the new lift, Cardrona will undertake steps to look after the landscape, flora and fauna in Soho Basin. We’ll keep keen skiers and snowboarders up with process on the Soho Basin Express installation and other developments.