Snow Making, Lots of runs, great base station. Easy access from Queenstown
Very Busy, slow lifts, large queues for lifts
We decided to have a skiing / snowboarding holiday in New Zealand and decided on Queenstown as our destination. We flu to Christchurch and drove the 7 long hours across the Southern Alps to reach Queenstown. The drive in its self was a challenge with snow blizzards and black ice on the roads. We had to stop a few times to fit wheel chains to the car, but it added to the adventure.
Queenstown itself is an excellent town to stay; our group stayed in the Oak Shores Apartments looking onto Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range. The bars and nighlife is excellent.
Ski resorts in New Zealand are different to the ones in Europe in the way that you have to drive to the ski fields. Coronet Peak is the closest ski field to Queenstown (about 30 mins drive) and is the easiest to access.
Once at the car park, you are collected by a bus which takes you to the base station. The base station is large and modern consisting of a large bar, ticketing offices, café and restaurant and members lounge.
The resort has one 6 seater express lift, a slow quad chair lift, a twin chain lift and a T-bar (also 2 magic carpets on the nursery slopes)
The wholes area is covered by snow making machines so fresh power was present every morning we visited. The resort is suited to all abilities but the green slopes and nursery were extremely busy with up to a 30 min wait to get on the lifts.
My personal favourite run at Coronet Peak is the Pro Am (Black slope). The run was virtually deserted with loads of wide open space and great snow to create some tracks.
The average wait to get on the lifts was about 15mins so expect a wait.
They also do night skiing on a Friday and Saturday night. This was my best time skiing in New Zealand. Only the Quad and twin chair lifts were open (and the nursery slopes) but the area was very quite which made it a great experience. Around 75% of the runs were open with flood lights illuminating up the runs.
The bar and restaurant were open for drinks and food, and open fires were lit outside on the terraces. You are allowed to take your own alcohol and food so I would recommend you to catch the bus from Queenstown and make the most of it.
Live music was playing on the terrace which made the atmosphere really good. I would also recommend that you catch the chair lift to the summit and wait for the sunset over Queenstown. The views were amazing.
Summary – I really enjoyed Coronet Peak. For a advanced skier, you have loads of great runs to choose from. If you are going to Coronet Peak to learn, I would recommend The Remarkables. Coronet Peak was just too busy.
If you have the chance to go night skiing, Do it!!!!!