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WeTheSkiersI've been 5 times now. I've skied all the big name mountains and I can break it down very accurately.
First off I love NZ, the culture is amazing, everyone is always making jokes about everything and never gets offended. I love it. I worked up at The Remarkables for 2 seasons in the park crew. The Remarks is part of NZ Ski and is right next to Queenstown. If you fly into Queenstown you have a choice of 4 hills close by and you can stay in Wanaka or Queenstown. Wanaka is definitely a more chill town with a good party scene, thats where most pro athletes live and its less touristy. I lived in Queenstown every time and I loved it. Queenstown is bigger than Wanaka and has a lot more to do and see. Also the bar scene has exploded in the last few years with a real estate boom going on right now. If you want to meet a lot of women then Queenstown is the place. The towns are separated by a mountain pass that takes about an hour to drive and there is always buses going back and forth.
Heres the resorts broken down
Its in Queestown and its awful. Its a big hill that is usually ice and full of non skiing tourists. Also the ski patrol there have been compared to the fourth reich because they strictly enforce the speed limits on the hill. If you get caught going to fast they will take your pass (which then stops you from riding its sister mountain the Remarks) and after a week and a verbal apology you can get it back. Their park last season was two rails and a closed 15 ft jump. BUT on a pow, which is rare, coronet turns into a paradise because its many rolling hills turn into the craziest playground. But that only happens once or twice a season.
Its in Queenstown across the valley from Coronet. This place is a great mix of everything. They just built a new lift and base lodge last year which opens more terrain. They have the big mountain NZ qualifiers here every year. They put a lot of effort in to their parks. Last season they had 3 parks with probably 60 or so hits. The large jump line was 3 40ft jumps. So nothing crazy big but a lot of fun. I've never waited more than 2 minutes in line there. On a Pow day this place lights up, and it sits at much higher elevation than coronet so it gets a lot more snow. I am biased because I worked there and had so much fun, I also blew my knee out there on the ski out of skiing the craziest line of my life. haha good times.
Cardona is in between Wanaka and Queenstown. If you are a pro this is where you're going hands down. Since Snowpark died this place has picked up the slack. There was a lot of footage coming out of Perisher in Aus this summer but I was at Cardies and that place was way crazier than Perisher. They have 2 pipes, a very large 4 hit jump line, 3 small jumps, probably 30 or so rails and one very large big air jump. The only down side to cardies is the road is a real bitch if you don't have chains or 4x4 and the lines can be long. But seriously a great place to ski park.
TC is close to Wanaka. I haven't been to TC in 6 years so I can't comment on the changes made but when I was there they didn't have a park but the terrain of the mountain made up for it. TC is known as the big mountain ski resort and it doesn't disappoint. It is tall and steep. If they get a good dumping then expect the road to be pack on the way up.
If you have the time and money there are many other ski fields in the south and north island. Many of them only have one tow rope that you have to turn on and off yourself and you'd probably share the hill with 10 people haha. I also skied with an american fellow who dropped over $300,000 this summer heli skiing everyday and he said it was amazing... no shit.
This is just my opinion after skiing NZ 5 times, some may argue with me about it but I hope this helps you out. I moved to NZ when I was 18, lied and said I was 22, drank my face off, met a lot of girls, skied everyday, had some of the most fun times of my life. I highly recommend going down there as a ski bum.
Writing this made me happy thinking about those days, thanks!