Wanaka lies in the Southern Lakes region and boasts some of the most incredible views you will find anywhere on earth, let alone New Zealand. It’s neighbour Queenstown claims to be the adventure capital of the world, however, Wanaka enjoys being it’s less commercial claim to that title and as such is a great place to base your self, being surrounded by mountains, glaciers and lakes.
Imagine the theme tune from ‘Cheers’, 'Where everybody knows your name' and that is how it feels here, the town is big enough to have plenty of bars and restaurants, but small enough where you will soon become part of the community. From Wanaka you can access Cardrona, Treble Cone and Snow Park, we’ve chosen to give you the lodown on Cardona as this is the pass you get with the classic package. Cardrona lies off the Crown Range road between Wanaka and Queenstown where shuttle buses run frequently so wherever you base yourself you’ll have no trouble getting here.
If you are used to, say, the French Alps, you’ll think that the fact that there is only five lifts a little tame, but that is not the case at all, there is more than enough riding on the driest snow in New Zealand to satisfy any standard of rider. Wanaka also regularly holds national snowboard competitions, such as the New Zealand nationals, which are fun to watch.
BEGINNERS may find it a little overcrowded on weekends and holidays, however, the runs off the Macdougall chair should more than make up for that, these runs are great for getting some confidence to gether before heading off into Wanakas’ three wide basins. INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED riders will find plenty of snow-filled gullies and rocks to drop off, there is plenty of off piste and should you feel like it there is also heliboarding into Cardronas’ famous back bowls. If you watch the classic film Subjekt Haakonsen you’ll see that the awesome end sequence was all shot here, sick.
Of course they have a park, they also have two pipes, one of which is an ISF standard size, and not many places can boast that. In the park you will find plenty of hits and jibs, some of the rails had designs painted on them last year by British rider Dan Lyne, so check them out, they are cool.
Earlier I mentioned a place called Snow Park, well, that is what it is, a resort that is one big snowpark! Members of the Burton team have been basing themselves there since opening, and it the place in the Southern Hemisphere to get your jib on, plenty of lines suitable for everyone, this is a must for any aspiring freestyle.