Using Queenstown As A Base
If you are coming to NZ and you are hunting pow, this is the best place to drop anchor.
Nowhere else in NZ will you find variety in so many mountains to choose from, the closest is Coronet Peak, which is about a 30mns drive from the centre of town, depending on where you are staying. The next furthest out is The Remarkables.
About a 40min drive from town, but once again, depending on where you have dropped anchor.
Next on the hit list is Cardrona which states about a 50min drive. Now this one you can really get caught out on. In peak season, it can be 1.5hr to Cardrona on the way back if you get the traffic. There are some massive bottlenecks that happen when everyone is returning to the town to get on it for the night. If you have the coin, go and do some heli-skiing. Sure it’s pricey, but there is so much untapped terrain in NZ and not enough money or people to have the lift systems like Europe or the US.
I once asked an unnamed skier once what it was like and his reply was this “it’s like cocaine, you have a little bit and all you want is some more” I’m sure it’s just as addictive as well.
You will have to wait for my independent reviews of the mountains, but this is where I rate them:
- The Remarkables
- Coronet Peak
The reason why I need to do separate reviews is you can’t stay on the mountain. Well, there are some apartments at Cardrona, but once you are there it’s not a village in any way, so it’s only for the hardcore people. For me, you need to have some village life, and as they can’t build these resorts, you have to go and stay in Queenstown.
Now let’s talk about the town. It’s widely known as a sausage party town. Google “Queenstown sausage party” and watch the first clip. It will give you a bit of an idea.
In saying that, things have changed over the years and their mix is a lot better. If you are not all about the mountains, there is a lot of parties here, so if you have some non-skiers in the group, they will be fine for a week to keep them busy, and hungover; dependant on what type of person they are, but hopefully they won't get bored. So plan to keep them happy, there are a lot of non-mountain activities to do or get them on the mountain.
The kick off to any night should start at 1876, which is a former courthouse, now bar. Always cheap drinks, so be sure to get your party started here. There is nothing like the après scene of Europe in Queenstown, it’s far from it. The town starts to heat up around 10:30. So depends on the weather or how long you have in town if you are going to have that third Jägerbomb and party on through because it’s there on offer.
The town is quite small, so a 15min walk around and you will be able to suss out where to go and what is going on. If you are up for playing the tables or having a slap, there are two casinos in town, so if you really want to burn some cash, because it’s so cheap to go to the snow, then it’s an option. The final pit stop at any night ends up at Fur Burger. It’s burgers, it’s delicious and they taste so much better if you are drunk.Enjoy Trendsetters.
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