Cardrona Alpine Resort

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About Cardrona Alpine Resort, Cardrona

Cardrona Alpine Resort is an alpine resort in New Zealand's South Island. The ski field ranges from 1,260m to 1,860m. The distribution of slopes is 25% beginner, 25% intermediate, 30% advanced and 20% expert. There are 2 detachable quad chairlifts and 2 fixed-grip quad chairlifts, 3 surface conveyor learner lifts and 1 platter lift to service the halfpipes and big air jump. Snowmaking supplements the 2.9m average annual snowfall. Freestyle Snowboarding and skiing are well catered for with 2 half pipes and 4 terrain parks. There is also a "high performance centre" which trains more advanced skiers and snowboarders. Families with infants and young children can use child care facilities provided in the Cardrona Nursey and Ski Kindy. The resort is located near Wanaka, 5 hours drive from Christchurch, and 50 minutes drive from Queenstown. On-mountain accommodation is provided in the form of 15 self-contained apartments. There was a tradition, that at the bottom of the mountain, women leave their old bra on the Cardrona Bra Fence before leaving town. Cardrona Alpine Resort was founded by Cardrona Valley locals John and Mary Lee. It opened for its first winter in 1980. There was so much snow in the first winter that the mountain was only able to open for 3 weeks, around many days of clearing the resort road with a bulldozer. John Lee was not a skier, so built Cardrona's base area in the middle of the resort at 1670m - something very rare for a ski field. The resort was bought by the Vealls of Melbourne in 1989. This was also the year Cardrona built New Zealand's first international halfpipe. The old Captain's chairlift (replaced by the Captain's Express) was reinstalled, as the Valley View Quad, below the existing Whitestar Express before the 2010 winter. The main purpose of this lift was to allow construction of a competition grade downhill run, by increasing the lifted vertical available to the resort. General trails are available though. Due to insufficient snow cover this lift did not open for the 2010 season. Stage 2 of the plan was set for the 2011 winter and added snowmaking. The lift has opened every winter from 2011 onwards. In 2013, New Zealand company Real Journeys purchased Cardrona Alpine Resort.

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Overview of Cardrona Alpine Resort

Walking past the city of Cardrona, you will come across Cardrona Alpine Resort. Cardrona Alpine Resort is not the prime point of interest of Cardrona. Although, you can pay a quick visit to it if you are around.

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Address: Cardrona Valley Rd, Cardrona 9381, New Zealand

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Share your experience - Rate Cardrona Alpine Resort, Cardrona

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  • We stayed in their accommodation. It was fantastic. They had a drying room complete with a washer and dryer and a kitchen which was great for lunch or dinner. Food is expensive on the mountain as it is at any ski resort so it was nice to have the option to eat in and we didn't have to deal with the drive up every day that we wanted to ski. Highly recommend it and will be doing it again next time.

  • My partner and I had come to visit New Zealand for the first time to enjoy the snow. We had been suggested to come to Cardrona and could not have been happier with our 2 days spent here. I had never been to the snow before and was absolutely blown away with how amazing the snow fields are here. Plenty of space, not too crowded, and I also had a fantastic and very helpful ski lesson to help me get my bearings before heading out myself. Will definitely be returning!

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  • We had a private lesson with Vermont-native Russ and it made for a great day. Russ, thank you so much for your patience and graciousness in our tardiness! The resort itself - great facilities, quick lines (unless you want a gondola) and passionate lift operators that don't neglect a slow line! The runs were beautiful and busy but well managed - I'm a beginner and I didn't run into anyone. Access was easy - we had a hire car, two wheel drive and chains but the drive was easy. If you have a pass and equipment you don't need to go all the way to the top - just access a lower lift (you may not need chains this way).

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  • Very well run operation. I went there as a total novice. The learners slope was easy to get on and the standard of the instruction was clear. A bit out of the way but the bus ride was very scenic. Reasonable food options.

  • One of our favorite resorts. Friendly supportive staff. Good snow making. Grooming well done. Good fun on and off piste. Food is nice if occasionally a little overpriced.

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