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Often I feel like the only Aucklander who can’t ski – certainly when I am around those advertising folk at work. It is something I wish I had of learnt when I was a child and with James being an accomplished skier I was determined to take the kids to the southern slopes of Cardrona and get them their first skiing lesson.

The road to Cardrona is accessible to camper vans only from the Wanaka end and not the Queenstown end – which was fine for us as we were going that way anyway.

We get to the bottom of the access road to Cardrona and look up… A steep, gravel, winding road into the mountains with very few guard rails.

“I may just check this one out with Maui” I say cautiously – quick call and they confirm that yes, while not recommended, we can go up there (this may change in future so please do check with your rental company before heading up and make sure you have a confident and accomplished driver – this road is not for the faint hearted in a 6 berth camper).

So up we go – every thing in the camper (including us) shaking and rattling. The kids, peering over the sides of cliff tops as they shook up the hill were getting increasingly nervous when suddenly the cutlery draw flung itself loose of it’s catch (pulling the screws out of the wood) and Krystal, sitting closest to the know dancing knives and forks, started screaming.

I made my way into the back to hold shut the drawer and Krystal (who now refused to sit in the back) made her way to the co-pilot chair.

Once up the hill we found a park relatively easily and enrolled the kids in a 2 hour lesson. It was just over $500 for James to hire ski’s and a lift pass and the 3 kids to get lessons and gear so it wasn’t cheap but for me – it was well worth the money.

By the end of 2 hours all three children could go down the beginner slope by themselves, James had a great time on the slopes, proclaiming it the best ski field he had been on and I had a great time taking photos and drinking Chardonnay in the bar inside.

We didn’t visit the ski fields closer to Queenstown but I hear Cardrona is cheaper and it certainly has a charm to it that for me made it unique – well worth the visit and if you have children who don’t ski, definitely invest in the lessons.

James says…

It f**n rocks. A 9 and a half if you get the full day pass. The snow was awesome – you could carve it up like a steak

James heading off on the slopes

You can check out more here…

How we rated it…

Sophia (6 years old) rates it 10/10

Krystal (8 years old) rates it 10/10

Bella (9 years old) rates it 10/10

James rates it 9/10

Cat rates it 8/10

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