Cardona

Discover the enchanting winter wonderland of Cardrona, nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, between Wanaka and Queenstown. This three-day itinerary is designed to immerse you in the best skiing experiences Cardrona has to offer, complemented by cozy accommodations, exquisite dining, and captivating local attractions. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or new to the slopes, Cardrona’s pristine trails and vibrant atmosphere provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable vacation.

Day 1: Arrival and Introduction to Cardrona

Morning: Arrival in Wanaka Begin your adventure by checking into the Edgewater Hotel in Wanaka, offering lakeside accommodation with breathtaking views of the Southern Alps. Kickstart your day with a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel’s Sargoods Restaurant, indulging in local delicacies and preparing for the day ahead.

Afternoon: Explore Wanaka Spend your first afternoon exploring the charming town of Wanaka. Visit the iconic Wanaka Tree, a solitary willow standing in Lake Wanaka, and capture this unique natural landmark. For lunch, head to Big Fig Wanaka, where you can enjoy slow-cooked, hearty meals with a Middle Eastern twist. Afterward, explore the local shops and galleries, or take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront.

Evening: Relaxation and Planning Dine at Bistro Gentil, a gem in Wanaka’s culinary scene, offering French-inspired cuisine with a modern twist. Their menu features fresh, local ingredients, perfectly paired with wines from their self-service wine machines. After dinner, review the trail maps of Cardrona and plan your skiing adventure for the next day.

Day 2: Full-Day Skiing at Cardrona

Morning: Hit the Slopes After an early breakfast, make your way to Cardrona Alpine Resort, renowned for its friendly atmosphere and diverse terrain catering to all levels. Start your day with a lesson at the Cardrona Ski School, ideal for beginners or those looking to refine their skills. Experienced skiers can head straight to the slopes, exploring the wide trails and enjoying the pristine conditions Cardrona is known for.

Lunch: On-Mountain Dining For lunch, visit the Mezz Café located at the base of the mountain. With a wide selection of dishes ranging from hearty burgers to nutritious salads, it’s a great spot to recharge. Enjoy your meal with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Afternoon: Continue Skiing or Snowboarding Spend your afternoon further exploring Cardrona’s slopes. Try your hand at snowboarding, or for those seeking a thrill, visit Cardrona’s terrain parks, which are among the best in the Southern Hemisphere. The resort also offers tubing for a fun, family-friendly activity.

Evening: Après-Ski in Cardrona Return to Wanaka and unwind at the Cardrona Hotel, one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels, for a quintessential après-ski experience. With its historic charm and cozy fireplace, it’s the perfect place to relax after a day on the slopes. Enjoy a casual dinner here, savoring classic pub fare and local brews.

Day 3: Adventure and Departure

Morning: Snow Farm or Leisure Time For those wanting to try something different on their last day, visit the Snow Farm. Just a short drive from Cardrona, it offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, providing a peaceful alternative to downhill skiing. Alternatively, enjoy a leisurely morning in Wanaka, perhaps taking a kayak out on the lake or visiting Puzzling World, a unique attraction with puzzling rooms and a maze.

Lunch: Farewell Meal at The Cow Restaurant Gather for a farewell lunch at The Cow Restaurant in Wanaka, known for its cozy stone and wood interiors. Offering pizzas and pasta with a rustic touch, it’s a great spot to reflect on your adventures and enjoy one last taste of local cuisine.

Afternoon: Departure or Last-minute Explorations Depending on your departure time, you might have a few hours for last-minute explorations. Consider a visit to the Wanaka Lavender Farm to relax among the lavender fields and enjoy their homemade lavender ice cream. It’s a soothing way to conclude your vacation before heading home.

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