Coronet Peak is the local's mountain. Queenstown and Arrowtown residents sneak up here pre work for a quick schuss on the best variety of terrain for all levels in the South Island of New Zealand. The mountain is opening a new extended beginners area for 07.
It's lower altitude means it can get hard packed and icy but the mountain has an extensive snow making network meaning coverage is guaranteed. The US Ski team use CP to train during their off season.
The transition from beginners to intermediate and advanced terrain is easy and those wanting a challenge will enjoy the back bowl but be prepared to hike.
There's a day lodge at the top of the tarred access road and the base of the ski field and the mountain is definitely family friendly as this is where most of the locals kids learn to ski. Night skiing is also open on a Saturday night.
A twenty to twenty five minute easy drive from Queenstown with views across to the Remarkables.
Stay in one of Queenstown's 270 acccommodation options. When the lift closes head to the intimate bars of Queenstown in the back cobbled lanes with open fires. There are over 120 licensed establishments in one square kilometre.