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23 Feb 2018

How To Book Your Queenstown Ski Holiday

Feeling hot and bothered? Want to cool down. Right. Now. Well, you can. Soon! It's not long until Coronet Peak and The Remarkables Ski Fields in Queenstown will be open! So if you’re wondering when to go skiing, how to book, what to bring, then keep reading for these top tips to get your snow fix…

The best time of year to go skiing/snowboarding is…
Our ski fields open early in June, weather dependent. At Coronet Peak and The Remarkables in Queenstown, the season runs from June to early October, as it does at our sister field, Mt Hutt in Canterbury, voted New Zealand’s best ski field 2015, ’16 and ‘17.

To secure the best deals, we recommend purchasing earlybird passes now to enjoy the best discounts. Book now and you also lock in your accommodation for the most competitive rates.

Spring skiing from September to early October is a great time to get on the slopes too, as it’s a bit warmer. You will also get good deals on lift passes and accommodation.

Where to go skiing/snowboarding:
We think The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are the best ski fields in this part of New Zealand. Not only are they both very close to downtown Queenstown, but they offer excellent piste and off-piste conditions, great hospitality and awesome terrain.

Click here to read more about finding your freedom at The Remarkables, or click here to read more about having good times at Coronet Peak.

When in the season is the best time to go:
It really depends on the conditions, and what you enjoy. Our state-of-the-art snowmaking network at both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ensures that the natural stuff is kept topped up across all of our main trails.

The greatest snowfall is traditionally from late July until early September. If you prefer the warmer weather, we usually expect great spring skiing and from mid-September onwards. It’s an ideal time to learn to ski/board.

Suggestion: Our busier periods tend to be during New Zealand and Australian school holidays, so we do recommend booking any date-specific products in advance if you’re visiting during this time. If you’re visiting with the kids during the school holidays, make sure you keep up to date with our on mountain events via our daily snow reports and Facebook pages. 

Events: There several major events in the area during the season such as the Queenstown Winter Festival, Winter Games and our scheduled events. To keep up to date, check out the Coronet Peak Facebook Page or The Remarkables Facebook Page

How to get to Coronet Peak or The Remarkables ski fields.
Coronet Peak is 25 minutes from central Queenstown, while The Remarkables is around 40 minutes. Both are well serviced by the popular town-to-mountain ski buses that leave downtown Queenstown. If you are taking your own transport, we advise four-wheel drive, and you should always carry chains (ask your rental agent to include these if you’re renting). Coronet Peak is tar-sealed all the way, while The Remarkables is ¾ tar sealed.

Flying in? The centrally-located international Queenstown Airport has excellent domestic and international flight schedules, and is about 20 minutes from downtown Queenstown. Thanks to Coronet Peak’s twilight and night skiing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings from late June to end September you can fly into Queenstown in the late afternoon and be on the ski field about 30 minutes after landing!

What about off the slopes?
Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are on the doorstep of Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital with its numerous bars and restaurants. In the ski season there is a buzzing après scene, so the fun keeps going long after you’ve hung up your poles.

Soak in the on-mountain hospitality on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday nights, when Coronet Peak lights up for twilight and night skiing. Warm up by the burning braziers on the deck, with a mulled wine, pizza to share and DJs spinning tunes in the background.

How and where to buy a pass?
Buy your ski pass to Coronet Peak and The Remarkables here, now. Earlybird rates, available until April 5, offer the best available discounts for your next ski holiday, whether you’re planning to visit us for many days or just a few.For example, an earlybird 6-day adult lift pass is NZ$405 versus NZ$570, which effectively gives you a free day ski/boarding, compared to paying the full one-day adult price. Even the earlybird 4-day lift pass offers a 29% saving when booking now (before April 5).

Your lift pass uses the MyPass system that stores all your information digitally on your card including your personal details, run stats, as well as rental equipment . You can even load mountain credit on to your MyPass card.

Buy your pass and products online, and pick up your MyPass before (during pre-season opening hours) or during the season. Buy your MyPass card, or collect your pre-paid MyPass cardat our Snow Centre or at guest services at either Coronet Peak or The Remarkables. A lift pass for the The Remarkables gives you all-mountain access to Coronet Peak, and vice versa. Nifty, right?! The Snow Centre is on 9 Duke street, downtown Queenstown, and opens early in May. This is also the departure location for ski buses to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak. The only products that need to be booked for any specific date are private lessons and Skiwiland and school day care.

How does your lift pass work on the mountain?

Ski fields have carpet conveyor lifts and chair lifts dotted across the mountain, providing access to different trails. Your lift pass - the Mypass card - is for the chair lifts and conveyors, providing you access to the trails on the mountain.

The standard pass provides all-mountain access, but a learner pass is also available for access to the lower mountains. That means that while you are learning you don’t have to pay for the advanced terrain that you may not access this time around. You do not need a pass to drive to the base building, use the parking or enter the base building. The pass is only for when you want to use the conveyors or chair lifts to ski the mountain.

What to consider when booking your visit:
Timing! IF you're visiting during school holiday's it is best to pre-book any date or time specific activities. Also, if you plan to ski for more than a couple of days, consider a multi-day pass for great value skiing. There are great discounts on 4 and 6-day passes as well as the 3 Peak season pass (when buying before the season – the earlybird special ends April 5). The 3 Peak Pass pass is a full season pass to Queenstown's two mountains The Remarkables and Coronet Peal as well as New Zealand's best ski resort Mt Hutt in Canterbury (about 4.5 hours’ drive from Queenstown).

Consider your ability too. If you need a lesson whether you’re a novice, need a refresher or are looking to advance to the park, talk to us about our range or excellent coaching or lesson packages.
It’s really hard to predict long-term snowfall and coverage, so trying to book to the conditions is nearly impossible. As Coronet Peak and The Remarkables have extensive snow-making capability to increase coverage in season, and your pass automatically includes both these Queenstown mountains, you have greater guarantee of getting on the slopes no matter how much snow has fallen. We recommend visiting our website daily to get the latest snow report.

What to bring?
Yourselves! You can rent gear from us on the mountains or at the Snow Centre in central Queenstown. Coronet Peak and The Remarkables offer the best in performance gear in an easy-to-use, quick rental system, all of which can be bought in town or in our retail stores. Due to hygiene reasons we don’t rent gloves, goggles or hats – we do have helmets to rent.

Pack warmly as well. It gets cold in the ski season! But also bring sunblock. Yes, you heard it. It’s often still very sunny even though it’s cold. You are also welcome to bring your own gear up to the mountain and storage lockers are available up the mountain.

Where to stay?
Coronet Peak and The Remarkables are that close to Queenstown that they don’t have lodges situated on the field. Coronet Peak is about 25 minutes from the many accommodation options in downtown Queenstown. The Remarkables is 45 minutes from downtown Queenstown via Frankton where the airport is located along with a number of hotels and other accommodation options.

Downtown Queenstown has plenty of hotels, backpackers and high-end apartments. You can also stay in locals’ homes through holiday booking sites such as AirBnB or BachCare. To secure the most competitive rates, we recommend booking accommodation as early as possible.

How to ‘book’ lessons
Once you’ve paid for your lessons, you might wonder how you’re going to book in your preferred dates. The good news is you don’t have to! Our group products don’t need to be booked in advance. In fact, we don’t take advanced bookings at all. You will only need to secure dates if you’ve booked a private lesson or into our Skiwiland day care. Our group lesson products, for both kids and adults, are sold without scheduled dates to make it easier for you. You just need to make sure you’re at the dedicated, on snow, lesson meeting point for the correct time where your instructor will meet with you and help you organise your day! You can choose to visit on any operational day of the season, and if you’ve purchased multiple days of lessons, these do not have to be used consecutively. You or your children are able to meet with your instructor and hit the slopes in three easy steps:

Step 1
If you’ve already paid online, you’ll need to collect your tickets. If you’ve yet to purchase and have decided on the day that you’d like a lesson, no problem! With either scenario you’ll need to head to one of our Guest Services locations and they’ll take care of everything for you. If you don’t have these already, you will be issued the following:

  • Mypass card. This is your lift pass and keeps all your information on file including any rental equipment you may have purchased. If it’s your first time collecting your mypass cards you and anyone else in your group will need to have your picture taken, so make sure anyone who is new to the mountain comes with you. Please be aware that there is a $5 refundable deposit for each mypass card.
  • Lesson tickets. You will be issued tickets for however many group lessons you have purchased, which means you only need to queue up once! Make sure you keep your tickets safe, as these are proof of purchase and your instructor will ask to see these when you meet for your lesson.
  • You can find Guest Services at each of our mountain locations, or if you’d prefer to get your tickets before arriving on the mountain, you can visit our Snow Centres located in Queenstown. The Queenstown Snow Centre, The Station Building, Duke Street, is open during winter hours from 7am-7pm.

Step 2
Meet for your lessons! Each of our Ski Areas has a dedicated meeting point for all Snowsports lessons. These are located in the base area and are clearly marked with flags. When you collect your tickets you will be pointed in the right direction by one of our Guest Services team. You will also see plenty of friendly faces in red jackets; these are our instructors who will be waiting to meet with you. When you arrive they will ask to see your ticket and discuss with you your ability level, how much you’ve skied or snowboarded before and what you’re looking to gain from your lesson. They’ll then help you find your group and get you ready for your day.
Make sure you’re aware of lesson meeting times if it’s your first time to the mountain. And, if you’re collecting your tickets or renting equipment, we recommend you leave yourself enough time to pick up your tickets and have any rental equipment fitted out that you might need. Sometimes getting the right pair of ski boots to fit can take some time!
Meeting times are as follows:

  • Kea Club – 10am and 1.30pm
  • Adult Group Lessons – 10.20am and 2pm

Step 3
Enjoy your day! You’ve now got everything you need and you’re now on your way to becoming a pro skier or snowboarder with your instructor! If you’d like to book in for any more lessons, it’s as easy as visiting any of our Guest Services locations, where our team will be happy to help you. We recommend popping in, in the afternoon when it’s quieter so you can skip the morning queues and spend more time practicing you turns on the slopes!

Have any more questions? Get in touch.