When winter hits and you’re after a slick ski resort with guaranteed snow cover, race up the hill to Coronet Peak.
This icon of a ski resort has been running since 1947 (a long time for us here in New Zealand!) and is the most popular ski resort and ski field in the South Island. Whether you ski or snowboard, this stunning Queenstown field is a must-do if you're hitting the slopes in the South Island.
Where: The closest ski field to Queenstown. A short 25 minute bus ride and you’ll be jumping on the lifts and making fresh tracks.
Terrain: 25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% expert
Altitude: 1649m – 1187m
Average annual snowfall: 2.1m
Coronet Peak is the ideal all-round resort. Aside from breath-taking views of Lake Wakatipu and an awesome mountain-top ice bar, there is some awesome skiing to be had. Renowned for its fun, cruisy blue runs, a well set up beginners’ area and some gnarly black and off-piste terrain, all levels are covered at Coronet Peak.
A massive snow-making system means that even without tons of natural snow the pistes at generally stay in great condition all season long. If you’re looking to up the action on a Friday or Saturday night Coronet Peak offers night-time skiing from 4pm – 9pm for a high-adrenaline night out.
A dedicated beginners’ area means you can get your snow-plough or front edge going without the fear of being wiped out by everyone else hurtling down the slopes at 100km/h. Nice wide slopes serviced by magic carpets, plus the Big Easy – a gentle green run, make for a great set-up for those who are just getting going. Even better the beginners’ area has been expanded for the 2016 season, all the more space to get your snow-plough on!
It’s no surprise Coronet Peak is an intermediate favourite; long, wide runs like the M1 mean good times on perfectly groomed pistes. The resort’s efficient, high–speed lift system plus 45% intermediate terrain will see you carving up the slopes all day long. Hop on the six man Greengates Express chairlift or four man Coronet Express then take your pick of slopes to shred.
ADVANCED – EXPERT
Make a beeline for the summit if you’re searching for steeps or powder. From here you’ll find the Back Bowls and Exchange Drop. Be prepared for some steep turns if you’re heading down the Back Bowls, though definitely worth it when the snow conditions are good. Explore around the boundary of the resort and you’ll find some good off-piste trails to hit.
Coronet Peak’s rolling terrain and gullies make for a ski area with fun natural features across the entire resort. There’s also a dedicated terrain park and halfpipe, either side of the Million Dollar run.