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Rookies Skiing for first time in New Zealand Help

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Jodes, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. Jodes

    Jodes First Runs

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    Taking my family (youngest 14, oldest 47) to NZ skiing for first time ever to NZ. Day 1 is September 24th 2018. I have no idea about which snow fields would be best for 5 beginners that late in the season. I need to book accommodation ASAP. I am looking at skiing Coronet Peak but have been told may not be enough snow that late in the season. 3/5 (the kids) will pick it up very quickly as they are very athletic. Not so sure about us adults but will give it a red hot go. Would be very thankful of any suggestions in terms of ski fields and accommodation.
     
  2. soza

    soza One of Us

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    I'd say Hutt with it been late season, base yourself in Methven. They had all lifts rolling until mid October last year. Worth grabbing a cheap season pass if your looking to do more than 5 days. Not the best mountain for beginners and gets really busy at weekends, also tends to close a lot due to winds and poor visibility but late September should be no issue. Depending on the amount of snow we get you may also get to experience some of the other Canterbury fields.
     
  3. Peanut

    Peanut One of Us

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    If you're looking to base yourself in Queenstown, I'd suggest going to the Remarkables. It's at a higher elevation than Coronet Peak, so more likely to have snow. I'm pretty sure they had lifts open well into October last year. We were there in July last year (I'm a teacher, so limited to travelling during the school holidays) and had a great time. My boys were 6 and 8 at the time, and both well catered for in terms of lessons, even the 6 year old who has autism and insisted on learning to snowboard rather than skiing like the rest of the family. We stuck with Remarks because of the accessibility to adaptive snow instructors for the 6 year old, but I was told by someone I know before we went that Remarks is better for beginners. Having done some more research since, I'm not sure that's actually the case. However, we can't access the adaptive program at CP, so Remarks it is for us when we go back again this year.

    We stayed at Sherwood, which is a little bit out of the centre of Queenstown, but it's only a 5 min bus ride into town, and the buses come past every 15 min or so. Sherwood isn't the fanciest, but it's clean and comfortable, and we were able to get a room with a kitchenette when we stayed there. We saved a bundle being able to cook meals for ourselves. The room didn't have a TV, but we were able to access 5GB of free wifi per device per day. The kids were watching Netflix on their iPads of an evening, but hubby and I were more interested in using the sauna. There was also a campfire set up between the reception building and the restaurant. The kids were offered free marshmallows to toast over the fire, and us grown ups ended up meeting some really cool people there.

    The bus network is actually pretty good in Queenstown, and from the research I've done recently online, they've changed the routes and ticketing system up a bit. Now you can purchase a Go card on the bus for $5, preload it with $10 minimum, and it costs $2 per trip anywhere on the network. You do need to have cash to purchase on the bus. Hubby wasn't comfortable with hiring a car and driving up the mountain, so we ended up riding the Snowline express each day. It was $20 per person per day, although last season they had a special where if you were going for 5 days, it only cost $72 per person, so the system automatically gave us 5 days when I booked because it was cheaper than 4. I would suggest if you don't like heights, to snag a seat on the right side of the bus going up the mountain.

    If you have any more questions, let me know.
     
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  4. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    As you can't stay on any of the mountains, accommodation in either Queenstown or Wanaka gives you access to a few mountains from which you can choose, depending on snow conditions at the time. Or, stay in Methven and commit to Mt Hutt.

    Not an expert here, but I would think that as it is very late in the season, there should be no need to book accommodation until much closer to it, unless there's some other compelling reason to book early.
     
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  5. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why on earth do you say you need to book accommodation ASAP?? I wouldn’t be booking anywhere now for late September. Conditions could be garbage.
     
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  6. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Not as much of a concern for a beginner. As long as there is something to learn on and preferably not bulletproof.
     
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  7. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Better terrain for beginners at Cardrona. Further from Qtown but a less intimidating journey up the mountain than Remarks. Wanaka is worth considering as a base. A little further North, Lake Tekapo is a great place to stay and the local ski field, Roundhill has very suitable terrain for beginners and superb views.
     
  8. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Late September will be Iffey snow wise....
    It is the school holidays later that week.
    Personally I'd stay Wanaka.....

    Or I really wanted to guarantee snow. I'd stay in Ohakune on the North Island and ski Turoa. Much better option for reliable snow for that time of year.
     
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  9. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    I was going to suggest that too.
    Ruapehu worth considering for that time of year
     
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  10. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Third vote for Ruapehu on the North Island option for late September. Normally plenty of snow.
    Really good beginners area ( and pretty sheltered) at the Whakapapa base for first couple of days to get going.
    Then onto Turoa for cruisy intermediate slopes once getting the hang of it.

    Hire a car. 2wd will be fine. Hire chains if/as required, but generally not needed.
    Stay in Ohakune ( or Raetihi - checkout bookabach.co.nz)
    Easy drive up to Whakapapa (55km- 40mins) and Turoa from Ohakune- sealed roads and not steep / sketchy like most South Island ski fields .
    On weekends, arrive early ~ 8am to get a good car park and avoid traffic.
    Several day trip options if / when bad weather and not skiing.
    *NZ school hols start 29/9
     
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  11. soza

    soza One of Us

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    Yeah Tekapo would be a great option with both Roundhill and Dobson close at hand with good beginners runs and less people. Only problem is they shut up shop early even if they still have heaps of snow due to lack of paying customers. I think Roundhill closed on the 18th Sept and Dobson the week after last year.
     
  12. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    TC also closes end of Sept right?
    Perhaps still open on the OPs dates
     
  13. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've skied CP late Sept and it was awful. Skied Cardrona late Sept last year and it was a lot better. The Cardrona car park is the same altitude as the top lifted point at CP. I'd be staying in Wanaka, learning at Cardrona and then graduating to Treble Cone for the last few days. If conditions are bad, being so late in the season, Cardrona is probably going to be better than the Queenstown resorts.
     
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  14. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  15. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I took this pic of Coronet Peak on or about 25th Sept last year...yuk !

     
  16. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I took these at Ruapehu in October last year
    Whakapapa 19 Oct

    Turoa 21 October
     
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  17. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    and Cardrona on or about 27th Sept last year. Not brilliant, but perfectly acceptable for beginners. Don't forget that Mt Ruapehu gets all that bad weather, so you need to factor that into the equation. You're going to get more ski days at Cardrona than Whakapapa or Turoa.

     
  18. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Grew up near Rua .
    Spring weather is fine.Stable. Snowpack is deep.
    Far better option and far more interesting spring skiing than Cardies
     
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  19. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Agree about the snow but Ohakune is so shit bro.
     
  20. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You don't like big carrots?
    It's Shit loads better than it used to be...
    Every time I go back.... Better

    Waiouru never changes. .. . Such a cold place.
    I'd struggle to think of a colder more dreary town
     
  21. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Yep, havn''t been for 8 years. It would not be a place I would tell learner international skiers with kids to flock to as there was stuff all to do after (which helps make a great first trip) IMO. Learners just want something to slide on.
     
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  22. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Perhaps 'interesting' might be elaborated upon in the context that the original post referenced 5 beginners.
     
  23. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Better snow. Larger area. Better views and a way better access road..
    Spring in otago is still a punish driving up the hill.
    As opposed to Rua.
     
  24. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    ^^^
    Good info to help make an informed decision.
     
  25. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Look I love Wanaka.
    However I do think the North island ski resorts don't register on the radar for Aussies. Which is a injustice.
    They are seriously big. Far bigger than any others in N Z.
    Ruapehu is a awesome mountain. It's so frikken large. The whole plateau. . Into taupo.. Rangipo desert. It's quite amazing landscape.
     
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  26. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I skied there late Sept 09. Wasn't a great late season for Whaka, hottest temp I've ever skied in, but Turoa was great with a lot better cover. There was at least one day I couldn't ski due to the wind. One huge isolated exposed mountain...But yeah, if you're going to ski there late season is the go...and as Zimboo alluded to, if you're factoring in an apre experience, then Queenstown or Wanaka is going to be appreciably better.
     
  27. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah Turoa. Being south facing holds colder snow. But whakapapa gets good snow off the nw winds...
    National park is pretty quiet. .lol.

    Ohakune isn't that bad... Few nice restaurants bars etc. Good coffee.
    Leaves Mansfield.. Bright etc in its dust.
     
  28. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    But can you ski hard there till 10am on a Epic Pass. LOL
     
  29. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Staying the **** at home. Ski Pass: Gold

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    Whakapapa sounds like it'd be on the money for the OP. From the Ruapehu website:

    Whakapapa is home to New Zealand's premiere (sic) beginners' area, Happy Valley. It's a big complete learner’s area in its own valley away from the worry of faster skiers/boarders putting you off. It has its own cafe, rental complex and ski school meeting area. The gentle slope is nice and long, giving you plenty of time to really get the hang of your new sport and there is a slow-moving chairlift that takes you to the top of the slope while giving your legs a rest between runs.​

    Season is scheduled to last to 22 October this year.

    I've just added Ruapehu to my bucket list. Gonna need a bigger bucket :D
     
  30. GlenH

    GlenH One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    For my money, having skiied a lot at Mt Ruapehu, Mackenzie and the Wanaka fields I'd be suggesting staying in Wanaka and focusing on Cardrona.

    It's a great field for beginners then you can progress to Treble Cone. Wanaka is also a picturesque town with plenty of dining options and nice walks / shopping on down days.

    Cardrona seems to try harder late in the season, subject to the snow depth of course.

    TC closes late September, due to lambing I believe.

    Roundhill and Mt Dobson will most likely be closed by the time you get there.

    I love Mt Ruapehu as a mountain but it can serve up dreadful weather, not much fun for beginners.
     
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  31. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You get a good feel for the awesomeness and susceptibility to bad weather of Mt Ruapehu by looking out the left side of the plane on a good day on the flight from Auckland to Queenstown. It flies close to the coast when close to Mt Egmont, with Ruapehu off in the distance. This is taken from the north west with Ruapehu on the right.

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well, seems to have narrowed down to Nth Island - Ruapehu, staying in Ohakune,
    and South Island - Cardrona, staying in Wanaka.

    Better, easier roads - Ruapehu
    Chances of better weather - Cardrona
    Chances of better snow - Ruapehu
    Best beginners area - tie ?
    Apres? It's NZ lol. Thought late Sept probably much of a muchness
    O/P doesn't mention it as a requirement though..
     
  33. Dumph

    Dumph Hard Yards

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    Cardrona
     
  34. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Might just want to pause for a bit to see if the OP actually responds. Just the 1 post so far.
     
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  35. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Loving this photo.
    I skied there first time last October. Going back again this year
     
  36. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Egmont ?
    Jesus that's a old name
     
  37. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Think it was still called Egmont when I took that Auck-Q flight in 1999...oh hang on, official name change to Taranaki in 1986. Probably still calling it Egmont when I first went to NZ in 1988.

    From Wikipedia

    "It appeared as Mount Egmont on maps until 29 May 1986, when the Minister of Lands ruled that "Mount Taranaki" would be an alternative and equal official name. The Egmont name still applies to the national park that surrounds the peak and geologists still refer to the peak as the Egmont Volcano."
     
  38. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Here's a photo of Taranaki/Egmont above the clouds taken when I was skiing Turoa.

     
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  39. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    not quite for Rookies ...
    [​IMG]
     
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  40. chunky

    chunky Old n' Crusty

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    Some volcanic activity off to the left?
     
  41. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ngauruhoe venting
     
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  42. dr80

    dr80 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Isn't Ngauruhoe the cone in the centre?
     
  43. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    Yes it is. The most conical one.
     
  44. Donzah

    Donzah Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah it is. .Tongariro I meant
     
  45. sourmash

    sourmash One of Us

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    Not quite correct. Cardrona has 14 apartments from memory on mountain but do tend to be booked out way in advance. Going late season you might have a shot. Beats dragging the family up there multiple days and being able to pull into the apartment in bad weather is great. From memory you have every other night that the cafe would open up for dinner and other nights you self cater - see https://www.cardrona.com/winter/plan/accommodation/

    BTW, Cardrona is a great learners/intermediate mountain.
     
  46. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    Go to Queenstown
    Ski some different places over the course of the trip, basing it on conditions that week
    Eat out every night, QTN has seven gazillion places to go
    Marvel at the view
    Get buses to the resorts
    Enjoy life
     
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  47. LMB

    LMB Old but definitely not Crusty! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Great life philosophy. :thumbs:
     
  48. Summit

    Summit Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yeah, first timers from Oz probably shouldn't drive to NZ resorts. Sure, Qtn for the views, restaurants and apre, but it's a bit of a haul to the best resort in the area to learn in late Sept...Cardrona, and if they want a change of scenery late in the week once they can ski down the mountain...TC or the Remarkables ? TC for me (as long as it's still open) which brings Wanaka right into play.
     
  49. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    It’s more...
    QTN is lively and lovely
    It’s set up so you can hire in town and bus to resorts
    You don’t need to hire a car and all that faff (although NZ car hire is a shit tonne better than here)
    Once they have a feel for what they like they can mix it up.
     
  50. Secretcookie

    Secretcookie Addicted

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    September is fine for skiing in Queenstown expect a mixed bag though...,above photo of a scrub fire on sep 4th last year after a hot spell, 5 days later 10cm into town lots up the hills followed few days later by a bigger dump. Either way you’ll have fun everyone seems to here!