Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hakuba, Japan for the 2011/12 season
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A few of my opinions re NZ snow trips:
- Powder is hit and miss, most likely a miss (unless you go heli skiing)
- Snow quality at the resorts is better than Aus in general but not by much, still ice central
- Terrain is quite good at most of the resorts
- Unless you get some fresh snow it will be icy
- Generally the resorts are quite exposed and prone to white outs in bad weather
- Expect dodgy roads to get to most of the resort with no barriers
- All resorts are above tree line
The Remarkables = Pretty good terrain, best park (excluding Snow Park) can be icy though on occasion, probably the best quality snow and has a lot potential play areas, and hikes to drop in back in bounds. Not very big
Cardrona = More of a wide resort, a few nice chutes if snow allows for it, generally pretty good and on par with remarkables in terms of terrain type and . Bigger than remarkables. Park not as good as remarkables
Coronet Peak = aka Concrete Peak, no park, esentially just a lot of icy cruisers all over the mountain, no real hits or things to play on. I would say least favourite. The few times ive been snow actually resembled ice granules. Paved road to the top is a bonus.
Treble Cone = Havent been, aparently the best terrain out the other nearby resorts, again needs fresh snow to make the most of it
I strongly suggest you hire a car, all resorts are a 20-60min drive from Queenstown, i can only image it being a massive PITA to catch the respective buses.
Queenstown is an awesome town with a great vibe, good bars with lots of little cool places and Ferburger which you need to try. The scenery is spectacular both in town and at all resorts, looking back into the valleys.
When heading down dont expect "epic" powder days (you might get lucky), massive long runs resorts. This isnt going to be like a trip to Canada, the US or Japan.