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A snowboarder’s New Zealand experience would not be complete without visiting Cardrona. This township, located on the Crown Range Road, a route between Queenstown and Wanaka, has a lot to offer for people seeking adventure in the snow. The core of these activities in the South Island is in Cardrona Alpine Resort. It first opened its gates in the winter of 1980 and has been expanding ever since; with the opening of the “Pringles” area in 2020 as its most recent venture.
Cardrona has a base area elevation of 1670m (5479ft) and a 600m (1969ft) vertical rise. Snowboarders of all ages can enjoy a total of 345 hectares (853 acres) of terrain that caters to riders of all levels. It is 25% beginner, 25% intermediate, 30% advanced, and 20% expert. It gets 2.9 meters (114 inches) of snow per year, supplemented by snowmaking. Cardrona is only 35 mins from Wanaka, while the drive may take longer to about 70 mins for visitors from Queenstown. Whichever way, the drive is guaranteed with breathtaking scenery and panorama around. The Crowd Ranges usually close in times of bad weather, so it is imperative to check the news ahead. If that happens, visitors can still get to Cardrona via Cromwell.
Snowboarders can choose to avail of Cardy’s (as locals call it) half-day, full-day, or multi-day passes. They can buy them in different areas: at 20 Helwick Street in Wanaka, at 37 Camp Street in Queenstown, or on-mountain. Kids under six and people over 75 years old are free to enjoy riding around. Beginners can use the resort’s conveyors on top of learners’ passes to ensure that they make the most of their learning experience. For the more daring, Cardy has a great combination of terrain parks, halfpipes, and a 22ft Olympic Superpipe that kicks the adrenaline in all the right places. Grabbing a bite around the resort would not require much effort with its easily-accessible food facilities. In terms of accommodation, guests can choose to stay on-mountain or they can check out the township as well as the neighboring towns of Wanaka and Queenstown.