Only a short drive from picture-perfect Queenstown, Coronet Peak is one of the most exciting ski fields in New Zealand.
Sprawled across a mountain range around 16 kilometres north-east of Queenstown, practically every ski run on Coronet Peak offers stunning views of the South Island town and the emerald-coloured Lake Wakatipu. It’s arguably the easiest ski resort to get to in New Zealand – just 20 minutes from Queenstown along the only sealed road – and, as a consequence, is one of the country’s most popular. Plus the weekend night skiing, party atmosphere and après-ski are just as impressive as the slopes.
Coronet View Deluxe B&B & Apartments (30 Huff Street) offers ensuite B&B rooms and one- to six-bedroom apartments overlooking Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Queenstown. The tastefully furnished bedrooms have either super-king or queen beds with sheepskin-lined electric blankets and all the creature comforts you’d expect. For the best views, book one-bedroom apartment Room 17, which boasts a Coronet Peak backdrop, or the three-bedroom apartment on the top floor, which has a glass conservatory that looks out over Queenstown and The Remarkables.
Ditch the queues and buy yourself a lift-pass, plus book lessons and equipment hire if required, online before you travel. Add the First Tracks option on to any full-day pass for access to the early-morning fresh powder (or freshly groomed runs if it hasn’t snowed overnight) from 8am until 9am before the crowds arrive. Serious skier? Don’t be deterred by Coronet Peak’s family-friendly vibes; this is a suits-all-levels resort. Well-groomed blue runs are an intermediate skier’s fantasy, a sizeable area of the mountain is designated advanced terrain and there’s plenty of off-piste action for thrill-seekers. You can also soak up the atmosphere with night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights from 4pm to 9pm.
Queenstown has a huge choice of off-mountain activities and is frequently called the adrenaline capital of the world. If high-action adventure is your thing, throw yourself off the original bungee-jumping site at Kawarau Bridge Bungy, or brave a jet-boat ride down the Shotover River, where you’ll travel at more than 85 km/h through spectacular narrow canyons. Afterwards, when your appetite’s gone into overdrive, head to Fergburger (42 Shotover Street) to sample the famous burgers. There are plenty of high-end bars and restaurants on offer, too, including Botswana Butchery (17 Marine Parade). Here, you’ll eat beside log fires overlooking Queenstown’s historic precinct and Lake Wakatipu. Even better, the bar has some of the town’s tastiest cocktails – be sure to try their dirty martinis.