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Ski Trip out of Queenstown

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Sydney, Australia
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Ski Trip out of Queenstown

Hi Guys,

I was after advice to help me plan a one week skii trip based in Queenstown (or possibly Arrowtown or Wanaka) late Sep.

The trip is for a family of four; one advanced, two intermediate teenagers and a beginner.

I was planning on flying in to Queenstown and... well it seems to me I have two choices:

(a) hire a car stay, probably, around Queenstown drive in for meals in the evening, and drive up to the snow fields, -or-

(b) stay in Queenstown, and rely on shuttle buses to take us up to the slopes each day.

1) So how much do the buses cost? (Per person, return). Is it the same for The Remarkables, Coronet Peak & Cadrona? (Treble Cones got to be more expensive, right?)

2) If I hired a car how likely am I to need chains? (I mainly ski in NSW where I've carried chains for twenty years and used them, I think, three times -- I get the impression that NZ is different and that you would have to fit the chains every day -- is that right?). Any recomendations for Car hire companies in Queenstown?

3) Any other considerations I should factor in?

4) How many of Queenstown's other activities are a realistic proposition in Winter? I'm guessing not jet boating, but what about day trip to Milford Sound (boat cruises?).

5) Any advice Queenstown vs Wanaka? I'm too old for bar-hopping and clubbing and the kids are too young, so I'm not too fussed about Queenstown's apres-ski and night life.

Thanks in advance for any insights...

Wellington, NZ
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for Wellington
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1. Re: Ski Trip out of Queenstown

Buses to the Remarkables and Coronet Peak cost $15 return per person. There are shuttles that run to Cardona, but as that's further afield, it's more expensive. We went on buses while we were there - Coronet Peak would be easy to drive up to but the Remarks is scary and I wouldn't want to do it even in the summer. Best to leave it to the professionals in their 4wd modifed trucks in my view.

If you don't have chains, that's when you'd need them.

We went jet boating in August. Absolutely freezing. A day trip to Milford is completely doable - go on a tour (we did). The luge is also loads of fun.

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2. Re: Ski Trip out of Queenstown


I'll answer your questions based on our experiences over many years skiing in NZ with Queenstown as a base. We always hire an AWD and have only fitted chains twice however CHAINS ARE REQUIRED TO BE CARRIED!

1. Don't know never used a shuttle.

2. You must carry chains and when you hire get a "ski pack" which includes chains and racks.

3. Coronet Peak is 20 mins from town. The Remarks 40min but less crowded and more sheltered. Make sure you have a place with parking if you rent a car and close to the CBD. Queenstown is steep im many parts and black ice makes walking interesting on slopes and stairs.

4. All of them.

5. Queenstown has many more apres ski options during the day if the weather goes pear shaped. Wanak is smaller and more laid back.

You will never ski in Oz again!


Edited: 8:08 pm, January 04, 2013
Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Ski Trip out of Queenstown

We have two kids and we fly into Queenstown, pick up a Rav 4 from the airport (booked through a travel agent we always have chains thrown in for free - but have only had to use them at Mt Hutt) and then stay at the Novotel. The Novotel is convenient to everything - we only need to drive the 20min up the mountain to Coronet Peak, we can walk around town from the hotel.

4. Re: Ski Trip out of Queenstown

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