Planning for first ski trip to NZ

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by mannyk, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us
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    Hi all. I have a big birthday coming up in late July, myself and 2 sons are looking at doing a quick 5 day trip. There seems to be a lot of ski packages around inc lift tickets which look OK.
    I plan all my own trips to Japan, but not sure how to go about a trip to NZ.
    Gold coast into CHCH and then to Queenstown thinking 3 to 4 days skiing, intermediate skiers. Groomers. Looking at Monday to Friday.
    Just looking for advice, thanks.
     
  2. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    I'd fly into Queenstown from Queensland.
    Stay in Wanaka .
    Hire a 4wd with ski package.
     
  3. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    You'll like Cardrona the most.
     
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  4. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them
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    Links ?
     
  5. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
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    If you plan your own Japan trips then NZ should be easy. 5 days is pretty short, but doable I guess. Get flights into Queenstown and work it out from there. As Donzah suggested Cardrona would probably best suit. Cardrona is accessible from Queensown or Wanaka but closer to Wanaka. But given your short duration if may be easy to stay in Queenstown which also gives you thee option of checking out Coronet and Remarks. Also decide whether you want to rent a car or use the shuttle buses.
     
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  6. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger Addicted

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    Everyone overlooks Arrowtown! Seriously, check out Arrowtown as its a nicer little place than Wanaka, and way less busy than Queenstown, and there are some bargain houses to be found on bookabach. And its convenient for either Cardrona or Coronet Peak.
     
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  7. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Would be interesting going up the Crown after a decent snowfall (if heading to Cardies)
    I guess if you're self catering its ten/fifteen mins to Pak n Save.
     
  8. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Pretty much every hire car company offers a deal.
    Will be 4wd, chains and racks.
     
  9. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger Addicted

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    Wouldn't be much different the last few KM of the trip from Wanaka though would it? And Arrowtown has some small supermarkets, although yeah you're better off shopping at either Wanaka or Q'town. I dunno, just remember having an awesome stay in Arrowtown last year, and the three bedroom house in a quiet street 1km from the main street was cheap and comfy.
     
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  10. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Oh heaps different . The road up is switchback central with bodgy AF chain bays. Leaching banks and ice.
    Plus its in the shade.
    Brrr.
    Road from Wanaka to Cardrona base (ie Hotel) is a doddle.

    In Fairness i've only been to Arrowtown in summer and it was a tourist hell hole of double parked buses and massive jam.
    I'm sure its nothing like that in Winter.

    I wouldn't grocery shop in Wanaka. Unless they've built a new Countdown. NW is a crappy supermarket with shite parking.
     
  11. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Are there direct flights from the Gold Coast, I think you may have to take 2 flights via Syd or Melb?
    I would drive to Brisbane, park in long term parking for a week, take direct flight to Queenstown. (We have done that most years over the last 20 - driving from the Sunshine Coast).
    Virgin have direct flights from Brisbane to Queenstown for just over $500pp return at the moment.
    Hire a car at Queenstown airport for around $30 per day from companies such as Apex, Omega, Gorentals. etc.
    Stock up on supplies at the New World supermarket next to the airport.
    Stay in self contained accommodation for around $2k for a week.
    Ski Coronet, Remarkables in Queenstown, and drive to Cardrona (on a clear day so you can drive the crown range road with ease).
     
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  12. craighelo

    craighelo One of Us

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    [QUOTE="Stock up on supplies at the New World supermarket next to the airport.
    ease).[/QUOTE]
    Pak'n'Save at Five Mile is substantially cheaper and has much more selection
     
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  13. KL.

    KL. One of Us

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    you could...
    - fly gc to ch (christchurch), hire a car, and ski mt hut, ohau, dobson, BR, CB, and/or any of the other mackenzie or canterbury ski fields close by (there a quite a few). stay at methven and/or other places near the ski fields.

    - fly gc to akl (auckland), hire a car, and ski turoa and/or papa (same lift ticket). stay at papa village, national park, ohakune, and other places nearby. these can have bad weather that lasts for 3 - 7 days and usually means little or no skiing during the bad weather period.

    - fly bne to qt (queenstown), hire a car, and ski coronet, remarks, cardy, tc. stay at queenstown, arrowtown, wanaka, albert town and other places nearby.

    usually, alot of driving involved with NZ skiing.
     
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  14. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us

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    @mannyk I like the idea from @Donzah - fly to Queenstown and rent SUV 4WD/AWD to stsy in Wanaka and ski Cardrona given just a short trip and intermediate levels. What I suggest is skip breakfast in Wanaka and be out of town by 7:30 at the latest and you should get a park right near the Cardrona base building about 8am, then spoil yourself and sons with breakfast in the restaurant there finishing about when lifts start running.
     
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  15. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger Addicted

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    Good call, beat the bulk of the traffic too. And the coffee isn't terrible.
     
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  16. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    New World is peasant

    Pak n Save for win
    plus you've missed the shit QT traffic
     
  17. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    FreshChoice on Gorge road is the go to for peasant greatness.
    My $30 a day peasant hire car fits perfectly in with luxurious undercover parking. :D
     
  18. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us

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    The only breakfast dish there I found lacking was the scrambled eggs, a bit too oily for my liking.
     
  19. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    ???????
    From airport car hire pickup such as Apex to New World Supermarket is a couple of hundred metres..................no shit traffic.
     
  20. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger Addicted

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    Stay for the awesome displays of #parkingishard from confused tourists.

     
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  21. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    I've seen some horrendous Jams around that part of the world. Moreso in summer with the Fiordland traffic.

    Anyways Pak N save > Countdown > New World
     
  22. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    But it's only bread, milk, cereal, bacon, eggs, sandwich fillings, fruit and beer for a week. :D
     
  23. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    ahh Ok... add wine and dinners to that list for us.
     
  24. dan72

    dan72 Hard Yards

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    We scored self contained accomodation last year around Frankton for $150-$200, also had similar price options around Lake Hayes, shopped at New World, Coutdown and PaknSave, all easy to get to.
     
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  25. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty
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    Given the short stay could even consider staying on the mountain at Cardrona.
     
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  26. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Maybe no more after the new bridge was built.
     
  27. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Depends on the time of day, it will take you about 50 minutes first thing in the morning..
     
  28. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us
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    Option 1 from KL above is worth consideration ie fly into Christchurch, hire car and drive to Qtown via Lake Tekapo and Wanaka. Some interesting ski fields on the way (Dobson, Roundhill, Ohau) and a fun way to see a bit of the superb South Island. Ski Cardrona, then Coronet and/or Remarks, fly out of Qt.
     
  29. dan72

    dan72 Hard Yards

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    Have drivien this route the last 2 seasons, such an awesome drive...bit busy over a 5 day trip, but well worth it.
     
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  30. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Yep, we've don't it a few times, fantastic drive/mountains to skl along the way......really need 2 weeks IMO.
     
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  31. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Its worth it in Summer. Reckon i've done it 40-50 times. Never gets old
    Winter . Fly to QT IMO
     
  32. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum
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    For a short stay driving to and from Christchurch eats most of a day each way. Some good scenery on the way but.
     
  33. dan72

    dan72 Hard Yards

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    I live in no mountains, hot, always seems like summertime Perth, so doing it in winter is amazing for me. I would like to experience flying into QT though, looks fun.
     
  34. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    Yeah fair play.
    Its a drive i've done after tea in summer. Thanks to the long twilight.
    However winter is different animal I reckon. It deserves a bit of respect and slow pace.

    My old man took three days to drive from Wanaka to Chch one early winter.
    The snow was that hectic.
     
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  35. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us
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    Thank you all for your thoughts... If the price is right Id prefer to fly into QT out of Bris, Im pretty sure you can fly direct from GC to C CH. I like the idea of hire car seeing theres 3 of us. And will do some research on all the info. Self contained sounds good for us. We haven't skied together since they where young boys at Perisher. Their both near 30yrs now. So looking for a fun trip with a few days skiing, dinking, eating.
    I have been to NZ in summer many years ago and visited QT, flew into C CH. so have driven to QT but that was a long time ago... Any tips on lift tickets, also one son will need to hire
    Its 5 days because wife doesn't think we'd last any longer together..lol
     
  36. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Modified.........
    I would drive to Brisbane, park in long term parking for a week, take direct flight to Queenstown.
    Virgin have direct flights from Brisbane to Queenstown for just over $500pp return at the moment. Get on it, will go up to $800+.
    Hire a car at Queenstown airport for around $30 per day from companies such as Apex, Omega, Gorentals. etc.
    Stock up on supplies at your supermarket of choice near the airport.
    Stay in self contained accommodation for around $2k for a week.
    Ski Coronet, Remarkables in Queenstown, and drive to Cardrona (on a clear day so you can drive the crown range road with ease). :D
    Queenstown has a sh&t load of rentals. Look online for best deal.
    For your short stay you will pay day rates at the window.
    P.S. There has been a hire car company that has offered 1 person free skiing over 6 days car rental over recent years (1 person pays full window price, 2nd is free ) but that was for Treble Cone which is not really suited.
     
  37. hpsauce

    hpsauce A Local
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    If thats the case then defo dont drive from Christchurch! Fly direct in/out of queenstown.
     
  38. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    I live on the Goldy and visit NZ four or five times a year.

    Jetstar do a direct GC - QT flight # JQ193.

    If only 5 days then stay in Wanaka or QT. Hire a car.
    If staying in QT:- ski The Remarkables & Coronet Peak. Both NZ Ski owned so you can cover both resorts with one ticket. Suss them out on their websites.
    If staying in Wanaka:- ski Cardona or Treble Cone. You'll need the variety, even at intermediate level Cardona can get stifling. You'll need separate tickets, so plan that if staying there.

    My bias is Wanaka but love QT as well.
     
  39. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    It was surprisingly quite scary doing this road in good condition. Especially with tour buses up your backside. Very sketchy due to ice and shade.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  40. Pippenn_2K

    Pippenn_2K Hard Yards

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    Queenstown Early bird prices end on the 5 April so be quick
     
  41. mannyk

    mannyk One of Us
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    Hi, "stifling" please explain?
     
  42. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    After a coupla dayz you'll want to ski somewhere else (it's not big).
    Stay in Queenstown with car, 3 resorts to choose from (all within your ability with lots of pistes) and within 1 hours drive.
    Coronet 20 mins, Remarkables 40 mins, Cardrona under the hour (normally).
    Plenty of places to eat out at night and have a beer etc with your sons.......great time.
     
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  43. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty
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    5 day ski trip.
    You could lose half of that to weather in NZ.
    If you're not flexible especially.
     
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  44. Draizuh

    Draizuh One of Us

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    Good fun when its on!
     
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  45. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Hi MannyK, sounds like a great trip but you’ll wish you had 10 or even 15 days from a ski / holiday perspective.

    If you like good good and a fairly laid back vibe, Arrowtown is definitely the place to stay. Atwn gets a few tourist buses in the middle of the day but fairly quiet of an evening but more than enough food choices for ~ 5 nights.

    QT is pretty busy downtown even at night - great for 20 y old dudes but a bit tiring after a few days - to me (many) at least after quite a few trips to the area.

    For a bigger town I prefer Wanaka over QT - less nightlife but still plenty of eating choice for 5. W also gets much more sun midwinter than QT as it faces north to the Lake - its actually quite a big thing on longer (relaxed) trips.

    Optimising skiing on a 5 day could be tricky - its hard skiing day #1 as you lose 2 hrs, so arriving QT APT around 2pm we have a car by 3:30, and shop in Nearby Frankton for 4:30 and by 5 in AT or W by 6.

    For inters (blues): Cardrona wins for our family - lots of stuff from wide and mellow to narrower & challenging. Plus a few greens and blacks depending on your mood, snow conds & so forth. But if you decide to mainly ski at Cardi I’d urge you to stay at W to cut the driving. If you do that you could sample Treble Cone for a day. Its a lot harder than Cards & others but has some good challenging skiing up top - with great views - if the snow is fresh. But if its foggy or icy - as Inter skiers I’d steer you away from TC. Skiing TC by braille is tricky & not my cuppa.

    From W you could ski Coronet Peak for a longinsh alt day to Cards. Just be up early or be happy to have a shorter day - which in a laid back family trip aint bad either - plus Crown Road is nicer (less chance of ice) after it has warmed up a tad. CP is a short easy asecent on bitumen too!

    Fwiw: Hire an SUV unless you’re out to really scrimp. You wont fit chains v often with an SUV - this is doubly important if stay in QT or AT and ski Cardi - on v snowy days you may have to fit chains for both the Crown Rd Summit, then remove, then fit again up go Cardi. Not fun! So a RAV4 or Liberty will make it much more a holiday.

    Btw: from W, I’d probably chose CP over Remarks if youre optimising ski time. Remarks is visually stunning - great to go just as a winter tourust- but will take a longer to drive and can make for a big day.

    Of course from AT, CP esp. & Rems become very doable - in fact, if you like late start CP can be a nice easy afternoon ski from AT! & so a nice alternative to a mid trip - non ski day.

    Skiwise Both CP and rems have lots to offer in terms of Blue runs. From AT or even QT, I’d mix and match and maybe add a longer Cardi day in for variety. So perhaps use weather & your energy levels to dictate location.

    Day #5(?) - last day could be interesting. Its quite hard to ski on your last day - with most flights leaving by mid pm. I’d suggest chilling and enjoy a good brunch in your fav. cafe. (Provisions on the main drag in Arrowtown is good & friendly - no connection but have enjoyed & stayed close by several times). W too has some great cafes for long brunch / lunch/ arvo tea.

    Quite excited for you MannyK. You’ll have a ball!

    And yes, book flights & accom soon!!
     
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  46. DPS Driver

    DPS Driver One of Us

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    What Zimbooo said, it's not big and can get a bit repetitive after a couple of days. Variety is the spice of life.

    Don't get too fazed by the Crown Range comments, I've driven the road hundreds of times. It's not that much of an issue. If it's unsafe they'll close it. For five days you'll have enough to do in QT with the Remarks and CP.
     
  47. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty
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    What the actual **** planet are you on? Everything "fresh" at pak n save is third rate, at best. Pak n Save owners don't make their money by selling quality product cheap. If you want decent meat and produce, then New World is the go. This is the fundamental structure of Foodstuffs. New World >>> Pak n Save. Countdown is somewhere in between (different outfit), bit shitter than New World, better than Pak n Save.
     
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  48. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty
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    Arrowtown is a pleasant spot for sure. Everything you need, sans the Wanaka trust fund bruhs.
     
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  49. ShavedBadger

    ShavedBadger Addicted

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    If you do choose Arrowtown, definitely check this place out for dinner one night if you have time: http://theforkandtap.co.nz

    We landed in Q'Town just before 8pm, called them as soon as we were clear of customs and asked if the kitchen would still be open for dinner if we rolled in just before 9pm and they were more than accommodating. On top of that, the food and service were top notch, and this Dad and his wife and kids felt warmly welcomed and well fed.
     
  50. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    @mannyk ........... Coronet Peak / The Remarkables are currently selling a multi day ticket at earlybird prices which is a good saver.
    EARLYBIRD SALE FINISHES TODAY.
    https://www.coronetpeak.co.nz/lift-passes/#category&Multi-day_Pass
    You can decide each day which mountain you go to and you have 12 days to use up the days you purchase.
    eg: 4 day multi day pass = $299NZ or 5 days $349NZ. If you purchased 1 day at a time they charge $129NZ per day.
    So the multi day pass at this earlybird price saves a good chunk of cash.
     
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