Snow's up - Queenstown wakes to first major snowfall for 2021

Queenstown has been transformed into a winter wonderland with the first major snowfall blanketing the mountains surrounding the alpine town.

Cardrona Alpine Resort - 18 May 2021
The snowfall provides a glimpse of the winter season to come so it’s time for Kiwi and Australian snow fans to start getting ready to visit Queenstown for their snow adventures and ski holidays. 

In anticipation of opening next month, the Southern Lakes ski areas are in their final stages of preparations. Cardrona Alpine Resort is scheduled to open on 12 June, followed by Coronet Peak on 19 June, while The Remarkables and Treble Cone are both set to open on 26 June. 

After a few dustings of snow over the past month, the latest winter blast has dumped 10cm of snow at Coronet Peak and 18cm at The Remarkables overnight with more to come. Snowmaking is cranking up, and NZSki CEO Paul Anderson says they’re “getting set for a great start to the season.” 

Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone Ski Area GM Bridget Legnavsky is also happy. “The first snow in May is always exciting for us. As well as having snow under our feet, the ground is cooling so we can look to start snowmaking when conditions allow. It’s a good sign of things to come,” she said.

Queenstown is the southern hemisphere’s leading four-season resort offering world-class skiing and an unrivalled range of winter experiences on and off the ski fields. Destination Queenstown interim chief executive Ann Lockhart says “businesses and ski areas are looking forward to welcoming Kiwis and Australians for this magical season, and seeing them hitting the slopes and immersing themselves in everything our spectacular region has to offer.”

Scheduled Southern Lakes ski field opening dates:
  • Cardrona - 12 June
  • Coronet Peak - 19 June
  • The Remarkables - 26 June
  • Treble Cone - 26 June

About Southern Lakes Ski Stations

Coronet Peak is Queenstown’s closest ski area, a 20-minute drive from downtown. World-class facilities, superb conditions and spectacular rollercoaster terrain make Coronet Peak an exciting destination for snow lovers of any ability. Experience magnificent views, a stunning base building, fantastic on-mountain facilities and state-of-the-art snowmaking. Coronet Peak has an epic line up of events for winter 2021 including Night Ski, which will be running every Wednesday, Friday and select Saturday nights from 23 June - 27 August, and the famous Dog Derby in August. This winter, a new Montana Twister ski tuning robot is on hand to ensure rental equipment and personal gear is in the very best condition. The base building also has a new ‘self-serve’ area for those who want to bring a picnic up the mountain. Shuttle and bus options available. Scheduled to open 19 June.

The Remarkables is a true alpine experience, just a 45-minute drive from central Queenstown and is perfect for the whole family, from beginners to advanced skiers and boarders. This winter, the new Sugar Bowl Express chairlift is fully operational for the 2021 season, making it faster and easier to access two brand new trails from the top of Sugar Bowl Express: Nakahi and Serpentine. The Sugar Bowl development has also widened and lengthened the trails, providing more terrain to explore this winter. Additional car parking capacity has been added to the base of the mountain access road for the 2021 season. Shuttle and bus options are also available. Scheduled to open 26 June.

Cardrona Alpine Resort has a laid-back and friendly vibe, deep snow cover, wide open slopes, serious half pipes, steep chutes and an extensive terrain park for freestylers, great family facilities, and on-mountain accommodation. This winter, skiers and boarders will have access to an incredible amount of new terrain with the new Willows Quad chair opening up an extra 65 hectares of snow. Cardrona is an hour’s drive from Queenstown. For those who would prefer not to drive up the mountain, there is a new free mountain shuttle taking guests from the Pines carpark to the base building. Shuttle and bus options are available too. Cardrona is scheduled to open 12 June. 

Treble Cone is the South Island’s biggest ski area and a favourite for advanced skiers and snowboarders with the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes, two large basins, great off-piste terrain and stunning views. This season, Treble Cone will have increased snowmaking capabilities on lower Easy Rider/Triple Treat and permanent toilet facilities have been added to the Saddle Basin. The ski area is an hour and a half’s drive or a short 15-minute flight from Queenstown, and a free mountain shuttle is available from the base of the Treble Cone access road. Scheduled to open 26 June.

For more information on Queenstown’s incredible winter offering see

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