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Relaxing first time stay advice, Wanaka or Queenstwon

London, United...
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Relaxing first time stay advice, Wanaka or Queenstwon

My husband and I are planning on going skiing/boarding in mid July for 8 nights.

We are looking for somewhere relaxing but would love to be able to walk out at night to restaurants.

For the skiing/boarding my husband is a beginner and I'm intermediate.

We understand that it is school holidays too!

What woud be the best ski/boarding area to visit and which town, I've been searching online, but there's too many choices!

Any advice would be greatly received.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Relaxing first time stay advice, Wanaka or Queenstwon

Well, I would say Wanaka but someone from Queenstown will be along shortly to say Queenstown. In Wanaka, you would be best at Cardrona, at least to start with. If you stay in town, everything in Wanaka is walking distance. Wanaka has less of a nightlife than Queenstown but still many good restaurants and some good bars.

Both towns will be busy if you are coming during the school holidays.

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2. Re: Relaxing first time stay advice, Wanaka or Queenstwon

My family has stayed in Wanaka for a winter holiday for the last two years and love it. You can dirve to Queenstown for the day if you want to do any of the activities there. We stayed for 11 days last year and found heaps to do around Wanaka and surrounding towns for our family (including 4 teenage boys). Three days skiing/boarding was enough for us and we hiked, mountain biked, explored gold mining ruins, etc the rest of the time as well as a bit of relaxation. There are also wineries around the place if you don't have children to amuse. There are enough restaurants, pubs, cafe's etc to provide variety and also a little bit of shopping but you can also go to Queenstown if you want that - it's a lot busier there (more like a city). There are a couple of ski resorts to choose - we only went to Cardrona because it was supposed to be better for beginners and it was fine for us. On both occasions we chose accommodation that was within walking distance of the main centre but there is a lot that isn't so you might need to choose that carefully.

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3. Re: Relaxing first time stay advice, Wanaka or Queenstwon


We visit regularly for the skiing and this year we are staying at Wanaka instead of Queenstown for the first time in about ten years. Reason being this time there is just the two of us, no children or grandchildren.

Queenstown has a lot more activities available than Wanaka which is why we have always stayed there as a group so those tired of the slopes had plenty to do. Wanaka still has plenty of apres ski alternatives but not to the extent of Queenstown.

Slope wise The Remarkables (40 minutes from Queenstown) or Cardrona (about 30 mins from Wanaka) would well suit your mix of skill levels. For advanced intermediate, confident on all blue and some black, Treble Cone out of Wanaka is a must.

Whatever you choose you will enjoy.


4. Re: Relaxing first time stay advice, Wanaka or Queenstwon

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