Located in the South Island of New Zealand, Wanaka might be the “little cousin” of Queenstown, but in fact it boasts the largest skiable terrain in Australasia, with some of the best ski resorts. Cardrona will soon be the countries largest area at around 900 hectares, with Treble Cone (and its stunning views) checking in at around 550 hectares. Add the cross-country skiing destination of Snow Farm, and you have simply a ton of choices of where to ski and ride.
Size of course isn’t everything, and again, you’ll pretty much find it all in Wanaka. Aside from being huge (once they complete their lift expansion) Cardrona is well known for its beginner and intermediate slopes, and wide range of facilities and service. Overlooking Lake Wanaka, literally, Treble Cone surely has the most stunning views of any ski area in the country (followed closely by Ohau). It’s less suited to beginners and lower intermediates, but stronger skiers will not only love the views, but some great varied terrain.
Wanaka is also a great base for heliskiing with several operators offering just huge amounts of back country skiing. You can be sure you’ll never cross another track (if you don’t want to).
Finally, Wanaka? It’s not Queenstown, and for many that is a good thing! It’s in a stunning location on the lake, around 60 minutes’ drive from Queenstown, and it’s definitely more relaxed and laid back, popular with Kiwis, as well as international visitors. But, there’s still no shortage of bars, restaurants and activities, it’s a must visit at some point in your skiing career!