We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

KT
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Topic
Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

To save travelling costs, we are thinking of hiring a MPV (for 3 adults and 3 kids) to drive to & fro to Coronets Peak and even to Remarkables for 10 days of skiing. I have never driven on snow before, are the roads there safe?

If it is not a good idea for first timers to drive on snow, what are the cheaper alternatives...as taking a bus seems costly for a family of six. Help!

Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
Level Contributor
3,091 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

I guess everyone has a first time for everything, so from that point of view you will be in the same situation as any other "first timer". Most people, however, will have driven as a passenger before attempting it themselves, and will know what to expect. Personally I would be very wary of "going in cold" with passengers, including kids.

The roads are "safe",inasfar as they are well maintained, however they are steep, with big drop offs, and could be covered in snow and ice. Cars have driven over the edge, and there have been accidents. To my knowlege no one has been killed - yet, but you don't want to be the first.

My advice would be to take the shuttle the first couple of times, and make up you own mind as to whether you think you can handle it.

Of course it could be that there is not much snow, and the roads could be completely clear. In this case you should have no problem.

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
Level Contributor
10,081 posts
226 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

I would recomend checking www.nzski.com which is the controlling website for Coronet Peak, Mt Hutt and the Remarkables. They have daily snow reports and road conditions. I have never been to Mt Hutt, but i wouldnt drive to the REmarks. I did once and once was enough. Coronet Peak should be okay, but that would depend upon weather conditions. If hiring a vehicle for going up the mountain get a 4wd or all wheel drive vehicle. This will ensure greater traction at all times. Chains will need to be carried and go through the exercise of practicing putting them on near your accomodation so you wont be caught out if you need them. Cardrona is another alternative to go skiing.

KT
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Thanks for your suggestions.

If i were to take the shuttle, is it easy to get seats ( 3 kids & 3 adults!) or will i need to "fight" the crowds as I will be going end of July...do i need to book a shuttle in advance?

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
Level Contributor
10,081 posts
226 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Dont make any bookings until you get to Queenstown. There are many buses going to all the skifields, so you should be fine.

I'll be in Queenstown at the end of next week for the winter festival and will be back on line on 1 July. I can update you then on how things are going.

KT
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Great. Looking forward to your feedback. Have a good trip!

kl
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

I am planning a ski trip in Aug and staying in Queenstown for about 8 days. I hear that there these ski valets who can drive you up the slopes, even give you ski lessons, all at your own time. Anyone has a good contact there?

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
Level Contributor
10,081 posts
226 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Nearly all the skifields are now open with the big dumps of snow over the past couple of weeks. Heavy rain in the Queenstown area over the past few days has turned the snow mushy.

Transport to the REmarkables ans Coronet from town is in full swing $25 to either the Remarks or Coronet peak. Full details are on

www skishuttle.co.nz

Sking conditions:

www.nzski.com

There is a shuttle from the base of the REmarks road that charges $10 per head which can be considerable saving for a family who has a car. That would be my preference to the reamarks.

I would be carrying cahins in my car at this time of year and thus you should be able to drive to Coronet Peak if chains are required. The road is pretty good.

When hiring your vehicle make sure that chains are included and also ensure that you know how to fit them. Practice at your accomodation so that you will be prepared in cases of emergency.

The big snow last week caught out lots of people unprepared.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
9,317 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Welcome home Mike, you sure know how to pick the "best" time for a visit to the snow! :)

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
37 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Hi

Our family of 2 adults and 2 children have just returned from Queenstown and we drove to Coronet Peak four times and the Remarkables once in our hire car. We are not familiar with driving on icy roads. The Coronet Peak road isn't so bad, but you have to fit snow chains at the bottom of the mountain. This proved to be a bigger challenge for us than the actual drive up the mountain. The road up to the Remarkables was a bit scarier as the road is mud. However, it wasn't too bad. There were quite a few people driving motorhomes up the mountain roads also. When you have a family, paying the ski shuttle fares on top of the other costs for a day's skiing make it a pretty expensive day out.

Hope this helps. Have fun.

KT
Level Contributor
22 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Snow Driving to Skifields near Queenstown

Thank you for all the advise & tips.

Probably will have to brave the snow and drive a rented MPV or van unless able to find a group package deal on a shuttle bus service...

Really looking forward to our trip next week!