Where to ski and board in Queenstown this season
Local adventurer and snow lover, Sophie Piearcey, shares her thoughts on where the best spots to ski and board in Queenstown are this season.
Flights are booked, bags are packed and you are en route to Queenstown for a ski holiday. Excellent choice friends! With the season starting late June and running through till October you have got plenty of time to make your winter holiday great. Queenstown is a wintery paradise, snow-capped mountains, a plethora of activity and two ski areas easily accessible from downtown Queenstown make visiting in winter an absolute dream.
Let’s break down the best places to ski and board here in Queenstown this season and why you should make room for both in your winter itinerary… plus, I’ll throw in some extra golden nuggets for you to note down to fill your days off because no winter holiday to Queenstown is complete without a little après fun too.
Here's what you can expect from a trip to THE best place on earth (bias I know, but trust me on this one).
Coronet Peak is possibly one of the most scenic ski fields I have ever laid eyes on. Perfectly perched above Queenstown boasting views of the valley below, Lake Wakatipu, and even over to sister mountain, The Remarkables. Don’t get me started on the view over the back bowls. We may be here all day. Just think snow-capped mountains, snow-capped mountains, and more… you guessed it.
Coronet Peak is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Queenstown making it the most accessible mountain in the resort. Perfect for a little first tracks action before work or even an afternoon in the snow. You can drive or take the Express Ski Bus from the town centre, making it even easier for you to get to the sweet spots.
If you are a beginner there is an epic learners conveyor, space to learn your turns and easy green runs to ease you into riding lifts. If you want to up your game, get on the blue runs and explore the whole mountain. There is so much terrain here and a run for everyone, skier and boarders alike.
Coronet Peak is also home to night skiing. You heard me right, this is a completely different experience. Skip the après in town and stay up the mountain. The base building will lead you home along with floodlights illuminating the runs. Get ready for epic sunsets, epic live music, and the chance to stay up the mountain just a little longer.
The Remarkables is where we started our boarding here in Queenstown, so I have a sweet little soft spot for this mountain. Insane runs, incredible terrain, and brand-new shiny lifts getting you to where you want to be in no time. If you are not keen on the drive up the hill, park at the bottom and jump on the Ski Bus. Home to a HUGE base building complete with rentals, café, and bars, you need to wake up, layer up, and get yourself up to one of the best ski areas in New Zealand. The Sugar Bowl chair lift started spinning in 2020 opening up SO much new terrain. With the Burton Stash, big park, and the chance to hike to higher runs like 'toilet bowl' plus some nice on-piste getting you back down to the base, this mountain is truly epic. Like Coronet Peak, this field also has a great learners area and booking lessons is easy as 1,2,3.
Shadow Basin leads you to that view. You know THAT Queenstown view we all want to see. Looking straight through the mountain and down onto Lake Wakatipu, it’s a sweet reward for a short little hike. You don’t even need to ski or board to see this view. Visitors can travel here on foot after a short ride on the Shadow Basin chair lift. This run will take you to some of the widest runs on the mountain, 'Homeward Bound' and 'Outward Bound' plus if you are brave (and experienced) enough you can tackle the 'Alta Chutes' ending with a sweet glide over a frozen Lake Alta.
Have I convinced you to come to ski Queenstown yet?