The Southern Lakes ski fields are superb. One in particular has wonderful, safe, open terrain that puts it in a category of the best family ski fields in the world.

Cardrona is a top shelf skiing and boarding experience, and everyone can have a great time here. Introduce a beginner to these smooth rolling slopes and after several days of lessons, they will be able to enjoy skiing the whole mountain, including the ‘Grand Traverse’ across all three gently undulating basins.

The field is remarkably versatile. It has an established reputation as family-orientated, and also has steep runs that attract expert skiers. The Arcadia Basin offers some serious chute skiing and boarding straight off the double chair lift. Over 20 national and international skiing and snowboarding events are held here each year.

Cardrona has a June to October season, and its snow ratings are 25% beginner, 55% intermediate and 20% advanced. Lifting capacity over its 320 hectares of skiable slopes is a massive 6,500 people per hour, provided by 2 quad chairs, 1 double chair, 3 magic carpets and 1 platter lift for learners. Full ski, snowboard and clothing hire is available on the mountain.

The field is 25 km from Wanaka and 57 km from Queenstown. The 12 km access road is unsealed. Shuttle buses run from both towns during the season. The base facilities at Cardrona are world-class, with three cafeterias, child care, rental/workshop centre, snow shop and on-snow apartments. The slopes contain New Zealand’s leading superpark of four half-pipes, a 900 metre parallel terrain park and rail playground, plus a permanent Gravitycross course.

The Cardrona Alpine Resort bills itself as higher, dryer and ‘naturally better’. The higher altitude means good snow falls, and fresh powder days are quite frequent. The field is also synonymous with quality and high standards.

For families, individual skiers and boarders Cardrona delivers so much that words can’t do it justice. It simply ‘rocks!’