Handy information about Wanaka - MountainWatch Travel


Handy information about Wanaka

Located in the spectacular Southern Alps of New Zealand, Wanaka is the perfect base to enjoy the best skiing in New Zealand.

Three diverse ski areas Cardrona, Treble Cone and Snow Farm all located within a 40-minute drive from the town centre, as well as access to cat skiing at Soho Basin and the largest heli-ski terrain in the Southern Hemisphere.

With parks‚ pipes‚ wide open runs, challenging steeps, powder stashes and New Zealand’s only cross country ski area, Wanaka has everything for all abilities from first-timer skiers through to seasoned pros.

Wanaka is a popular area with families and couples as they look to get away from the younger, more boisterous groups that stay in Queenstown. Wanaka is a more sedate town but still displays a friendly apre-ski vibe.

Between Cardrona and Treble Cone resort they provide almost 900 hectares of terrain which is also much less crowded than Queenstown resorts.

Views Over Lake Wanaka

Getting Around

Wanaka is best accessed by flying into Queenstown Airport. From Queenstown airport, it’s an approximate 1 hour drive to Wanaka.

To make your way to Wanaka we recommend hiring a car to give you the most flexibility, however you can also get there on a shuttle bus. Conveniently you can pick up your hire vehicle at the airport and drop it back there for your flight home. Having a car offers convenient access to the slopes at your leisure. The roads up to the resorts are windy and exhilarating. Parking at the resorts is not usually an issue but it can be crowded on weekends, school and public holidays, and after a big dump.

The town of Wanaka itself is quite compact and easy to get around by foot.

From Wanaka the nearest mountains of Cardrona and Treble Cone are about 35 minutes away, so you can drive here or if you don’t have a car there are mountain transfers available.

Driving to Cardrona – The Cardrona mountain road is 14km long and unsealed, therefore it is a requirement that you carry snow chains and know how to use them. If you are not comfortable driving the whole way up the mountain, you can park at the Pine Trees Carpark and take the shuttle which operates on the half hour, $10 per adult and $5 per child return. Please check the website for shuttle bus schedules.

-If you don’t fancy carrying 3 sets of skis and 2 kids you’re welcome to use the Drop Off Zone, just let the Carpark Crew know and they will let you through.

Cardrona Transfers – If you prefer to sit back and relax there is a bus service from Wanaka to Cardrona from 3rd July – 27th September. There are 4 scheduled stops at Edgewater Hotel, Ramada Resort, Cardrona Corner and Oakridge Resort. You will be required to pre-book at least 24 hours in advance.

Driving to Treble Cone – The Treble Cone access road is 7kms winding road which is well maintained during the winter however you are required to carry snow chains and know how to fit them.

-If you don’t want the hair raising drive the Treble Cone Shuttle is a regular bus to help you get up/down the access road making it easy to park your car and get dropped off at the base building. Shuttles are $10pp return and timetables can be found online.

Treble Cone Transfers – The Wanaka Treble Cone Express is a non stop service from the centre of town. You will be required to pre-book a seat at least 24 hours prior online or at Treble Cone/Cardrona office in Wanaka. Please check the website for schedules.

Driving to the resorts

Snow Reports

You can keep up to date on resort operations on Facebook or Twitter, listen to local Radio Station (92.2FM) or call the Met Service weather information on 0900 WEATHER.

Cardrona Powder Day

Things to do around Wanaka

Have a rest day or just looking to mix it up on your snow adventure! Check out our blog ‘Exploring in and around Wanaka‘ for some great ideas on things to do off the slopes.

And don’t forget Queenstown is just an hour up the road if you have a car. Check out our blog ‘Queenstown – So Much More Than a Ski Destination‘ for some enthralling activities.

That Wanaka Tree

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? Speak to one of our ski travel specialists today!