Tucked away in the Southern Alps of the South Island of New Zealand, the ultimate ski or board riding experiences await you. Just imagine carving fresh lines as you are powered uphill using nothing but the wind and then the feeling of floating down the hill as you pop off ridges overlooking some of the most stunning scenery in the world. You will find it difficult to find spots so well suited to snowkiting as Snowfarm.
Snowfarm is the snowkite Mecca of the southern hemisphere. Endless rolling hills, vast amounts of deep untracked powder and consistent winds provide the perfect setting for riding with a kite. Whether you ski, snowboard or do neither yet, NZ Kitsports provide the ultimate backcountry experience. Backcountry alpine huts provide shelter during challenging conditions when you're on a multi-day expedition, powered by your own portable ski lift. Looking for more of a challenge? Travel across the valley to the Cardrona alpine resort for steeper more demanding terrain.
The snowkite season runs from mid-June through to the end of September. Snowfarm's most consistent wind is the prevailing northwesterly, blowing strong enough to ride on 75% of days in the winter. But the beauty of snowfarm is that it is also suitable in most other wind directions. In a southwesterly the wind funnels up through the Crown Range and is more suited to the steep and varying terrain off the back of the Cardrona resort. The temperature reaches an average low of -6°C during mid-winter and average high of 9°C but on most sunny days it realistically feels a lot warmer.
Snowfarm is 34 kilometres from Wanaka and 55 from Queenstown. Christchurch is 4.5 hours by car. From Queenstown head north across the Crown Range, following the signs to Wanaka. Snow farm is located just after the Cardrona village. Hire a car if you have a lot of gear as you need to make your own way up to the base lift at all mountains. Although roads are well maintained you'll need a 4WD or chains. Daily buses travel up the mountain at reasonable prices and hitching is easy in the area.
Accommodation is available at Snowfarm, Snowpark and Cardrona resorts but at a heavier hit to the wallet. Most choose to stay in either Wanaka or Queenstown.
Wanaka and Queenstown are both set-up for tourists, so expect some great options and friendly nightlife.
The Cardrona Alpine Resort offers a range of beginner - advanced level ski and snowboarding slopes. The snow park offers an array of freestyle features based around one main lift for the more highly skilled. Wanaka, 35 minutes from Cardrona, is a picturesque town hugging the shores of the beautiful Lake Wanaka with a relaxed atmosphere and genuine local' laid back Kiwi feel. A spectacular lake, mountain views and numerous cafes and restaurants are perfect apr?s ski entertainment. Wanaka is the perfect place to experience the infectious laid back Kiwi vibe. Queenstown is a vibrant winter playground with a bustling town centre and is highly regarded as the adventure capital of the world, including chances to do virtually any adventure sport you can think of, such as: bungee jumping, sky diving, jet boating, paragliding and climbing to name a few. Cardrona is easily accessible from Queenstown over the Crown Range, taking in New Zealand's highest road through an area rich in gold mining history. The breathtaking views on the journey itself should not be missed.
There are two main airports: Christchurch (CHC) and Queenstown (ZQN).