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Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

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Tasmania
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Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

Hi

We are visiting Queenstown in July (unfortunately during schools hols, only time we can all get time off) and have accomodation booked just out of town on Fernhill Rd.

Is it best to just leave all the driving to the ski shuttle bus service or is the driving not too bad? We would be mostly skiing but will want to do some other things as well so a car would be handy then, as first time skiers I'm sure we will need some time off!

Is a 4WD drive essential or is it easy to fit snow chains to standard car?

What is the parking like at Coronet Peak and Remarkables?

And, sorry, one last question, is it easier to just get ski/boot hire at the ski field or easier to get it in Queenstown?

Thanks for any advice or tips, very excited about our first visit to NZ :)

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

If you get it at the mountain, then take the mountain shuttle

If you get a car get in the gear in town

The roads are pretty good so I wouldn't worry too much. I was born and raised in Queenstown and have never put chains on a vehicle in my life.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

Welcome to the forum :)

I think the drive to Coronet Peak fine - the drive up the Remarkables is a bit more challenging - I wouldn't attempt it in the rush hour of early morning with impatient skiers on my tail.

The skifield website posts road conditions each morning.

Chains must be carried in your rental at all times. Sometimes chains must be fitted to all vehicles, more often 4WD doesn't require chains, all others do.

At times you can pay someone (a skint keen skier) $20 or so to fit your chains - it takes them 2 minutes, it could well take you 30 minutes of lying in the mud and snow to sort yours out.

I would take the ski shuttle!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

If you are going to get a car anyway, you could plan on a daily basis. If the signs say "chains required", take the shuttle.

Tasmania
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4. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

Thanks so much for the speedy responses!

I'm being really dumb here, do you need snow chains if you have a 4WD? Hire for a non 4WD is obviously much cheaper so is there any real advantage to paying more?

Is there room on the ski shuttle buses for skis etc, I guess there must be?

I'm sure once we arrive it will sort itself out either way!

Thanks, Sam

New Zealand
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5. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

chains must be carried by ALL vehicles going up the mountains - 4WD included

some days the road signage might say -

chains essential for ALL vehicles - this includes 4WD

some days the signage will read - chains essential for all vehicles except 4WD

It isn't often a 4WD needs chains, but it does happen.

As Zhuhai says - if chains required, simply take the shuttle.

New Zealand
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6. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

ps - whatever you decide to rent, book early. People arrive in Queenstown in July to find no rentals left.

Tasmania
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7. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

Thanks, will look into it now and make a decision.

Oz
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8. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

Hi,

When we stay in Queenstown we always ski the Remarks as they are less crowded and IMHO have better/greater variety of blue runs. Once you "get your legs" head over the Crown Range Road to Cardrona for a day and then try Treble Cone :-).

Vehicle wise a 4x4 is a waste of time, money and fuel, however an AWD could be an advantage. Like the others have said chains must be carried. I have had to fit chains only twice on the road into the Remarks over many, many trips. BTW if you do have to fit chains to a vehicle you fit them to the driven wheels (front wheels on front wheel drive, 4x4 and AWD and rear wheels for rear wheel drive vehicles). Make sure the rental company rep shows you how to fit the chains should you need to. One of my favourite memories is of an Asian tourist trying to fit chains to the dual rear wheels of a motor home. Priceless!!

Cheers,

Edited: 10 June 2014, 02:17
Queenstown, New...
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9. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

I think the comment that if you have to fit chains take the shuttle is good advice. If you are going up in the afternoon it won't be a problem.

Tasmania
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10. Re: Self drive or shuttle bus to ski fields?

Thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it.

Lots of useful advice about the driving and good tip re the Remarkables being a quieter/better option for beginners. Don't think we'll be heading over to Treble Cone just yet though ;)