While Coronet Peak is most well known for its ski fields it makes a lovely drive in other times as well. The aspect over Wharehaunui from the main lodge area is amazing and the drive along the range affords some wonderful views.
Queenstown's most popular mountains resort is just around 25 minutes' drive from this superb city!
Hence, we truly enjoyed ourselves despite not really skiing its slopes! The kids were too young and not ready then so were contented to fill our senses with the beauty of fine powderlike snow and soak in the cold and freezing atmosphere there!
Picturesque beauty abounds here so keep your eyes open for all those glorious snow and mountains!
Beginners to expert skiers are all catered for here. As usual, my favorite spot, a cafe for our freezing bodies are always on hand to serve yummy hot drinks and food. We must have tasted all the meat pies and hot chocolate in every cafe in most of Queenstown's attractions.
First and foremost Coronet Peak is known as the South Island’s most popular ski resort, opened in 1947 as NZ’s first real ski destination. In 2008 they opened a stylish new base building. As in other resorts, they have sophisticated snow making machines, and you can do night skiing. There are highspeed chairlifts, lots of trails for all skill levels, several eateries, a heated deck for sunbathing, ski rental and repair facilities, a snowsports school and a children’s crèche.
The ski season starts in early June and goes until October if the weather allows. As Coronet Peak is only 1649 metres high, the snow base often is not very thick, so the season can end rather abruptly in adverse weather conditions. Snow reports from October show you this: Whereas the snow base at Coronet Peak was 25cm, it was 110cm at the Remarkables and 160cm up north at Mt. Hutt where the season ended on 30 Oct although the snow conditions were still perfect.
The snow ratings are 20% beginner, 45% intermediate and 35% advanced. Lifts include 1 quad, 1 triple chair, 1 double chair, T-Bar, handle-tow. A magic carpet carries skiers up the Big Easy beginner’s slope. The highest lifts ends just about 10 metres below the summit.
You can drive up the tar-sealed zig-zag road yourself but there are also ski shuttles available from Queenstown (which is 18 km south of Coronet Peak), so you do not have to worry about transportation and driving conditions, and if you have the right gear. The use of the road is free of charge.
A day lift-pass cost just under NZ$ 100 in winter 2008, for a week it cost $ 600.
Links for winter sports:
Phone (03) 442 4620
In summer Coronet Peak has a Mountainbike Park for which you have to pay. This time, it opens on 7 January 2009 and runs until 1 March. It is open from 11.30am to 7.30pm (Tuesday to Sunday, weather permitting; closed on Mondays).
A season pass costs $249 for adults and $199 for youth. ($100 loyalty discount for holders of a 2008 winter season pass.) Multi-day passes and one day multi-ride passes ($40/30) are also available. You get them at the café on the mountain.
As the road is sealed you can get up to the top in summer easily in your own car and enjoy the views, and go for a walk. Less than half-way up is the turn-off to famous Skippers Canyon.
If your looking for a city that caters to the adrenaline junkie, Queenstown is it. Me, I'm a snowboarder. I went to the Remarkables and Coronet Peak, and liked them both, but the runs at Coronet are worth going everday. Alot of blue runs, some black and green. I could go there every year...and just might.
Coronet Peak is the most well known, for tourists anyway, skiing location in NZ. It can be beautiful and it can be terrible as per most mountains but the days that I was there it was fantastic. Lovely skiing with fresh snow and friendly people serving and working the lifts.
I found Coronet Peak skifields to be quite good and cheaper than what I experience in Australia's Mount Buller.
The skifields have no resorts and thus you need to stay at Queenstown or the towns around. It also means there is less people and less pollution and erosion on the slopes.
Generally the snow is quite good and their snow-making machine works well.
I saw people of all ages and nationalities happily skiing or blading down the slopes There are those who are there to have lessons too.
This is a great view of The Remarkables from the popular ski area Coronet's Peak.
It is quite stunning really so the picture, I think doesn't quite capture it. Nevertheless I can't get over the sheer majesty of the area.
Coronet Peak is a popular ski area and the nearest one to Queenstown. It is quite good as I found out and skiiing in Queenstown seems to be better than in Australia and less expensive.
Remember you need snow chains to go up the Coronet Peak in winter. We had a devil-of-a-time trying to fit it on the tyres but some vehicles especially those off-road SUVs just don't bother. No checks from authorities.
If you are driving a rental car, ask for the snow chains. Some agencies will not give unless requested. Some will charge you a little extra.
This is another perspective of the view from Coronet Peak. The range is remarkable and on a clear sunny day (even in winter), you can see so far.
The view we saw at this ledge was 180 degrees.
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