Who thought mountains were just for skiing and boarding? Not Cardrona, Remarks and Coronet Peak! Every winter we are lucky enough to have a great variety of events that take place across the peaks around Queenstown and Wanaka. We thought we would bring together the best of them so you can mark them down in your diaries, get your skis or board (from Snopro of course!) and head up the mountain to check them out...
Winter Games NZ - August 23 - September 8
The Winter Games NZ are back! This event spans over two and a half weeks and brings together some of the best winter sports talents to Queenstown and Wanaka. Although many of the events are across the other mountains, Cardrona is hosting all the free ski and snowboarding. Top tip - keep lapping the Whitestar chairlift as it goes right over the park.
Jossi Wells Invitational - September 9 - September 15
This is event, back for its 4th year, is another awesome freestyle skiing event. Jossi Wells, a Kiwi Olympian, invites all of his friends (who happen to be the best in the business when it comes to freestyle skiing) to throw themselves off a big air jump, slide down some rails and up and down a halfpipe with some more rails thrown in there. Not for the fainthearted this one!
Elevate - July 26 & August 31
Who doesn't like a party on the mountains? Being so close to the centre of Queenstown and offering night skiing, it was a no brainer for Coronet Peak to combine all of these things together. July 26 sees the popular Australian hip-hop band, the Hilltop Hoods, take to the stage. No doubt this will be super popular but the great news is that it is a free event. The act for the August 31 event is yet to be announced but as it is the last of the three-event series, we are hoping for another great name!
Heidi's Hut Dinner - Every Friday and Saturday night in August
This is a really unique, alpine experience. Picture long tables, a crackling fire, great food and a great vibe. The menu, influenced by Northern Italian cuisine, is always delicious and this year will be no exception all washed down with a glass of fizz! Tickets can be booked on the NZ Ski website and prices include return transport from the centre of Queenstown.
Winter Games NZ - August 23 - September 8
As mentioned, Cardrona is hosting plenty of the Winter Games' events, but if speed and technical turns are more your thing, then Coronet would be the place to go for you. Competitions such as the Parallel Slalom, Super Giant Slalom (aka Super-G), Giant Slalom and Slalom. Not only are Coronet holding these skiing events, but they are also the home of the Opening Ceremony on the evening of August 23.
Peak to Peak - September 14
This day is definitely one to remember if you are skiing in Queenstown in mid-September; it is a fun day for spectators and competitors alike. Peak to Peak is an event that starts at the top of The Remarkables. Competitors ski/board to the bottom of the snow, jump on their mountain bikes and ride their way to just pass the Kawarau Bridge. From here, they jump into their kayaks for a long paddle through the Frankton Arm and onto Queenstown Beach. A run from Queenstown to the foot of Coronet follows and then lastly a bike up to the base building of Coronet Peak. All in all - 45 kilometres. We are tired just thinking about it!
Banked Slalom - September 14
This may sound like a serious event but trust us, it isn't! How does skiers and boarders dressed head to toe fancy dress throwing themselves as fast as they can down a tricky banked slalom course? As a spectator or competitor, it sounds like a barrel of laughs so there is no doubt you will find the Snopro Ski Hire team there!
Red Bull Homerun - August 10
For those of you into your motor racing, picture a Le Mans-style dash start. For those of you who have no idea what Le Mans is, picture everyone lined up 10m from their skis/board. The starter gun is fired and everyone all runs at once towards their equipment, straps in and tears down the mountain in a pure sprint.
The North Face Frontier - September 1
As one of only two official Freeride World Tour events, The North Face Frontier is an opportunity for you to watch some of the best freeride skiers out there. They ski or snowboard a chosen off-trail mountain face having never skied it before and are marked on their choice of line, fluidity, control, air and style (aka cool tricks) and technique. It definitely gets the blood pumping even as just a spectator.
Burton Stash - September 9
You may be heading up the Sugar chairlift and look over to your left and wonder, "What are those strange wooden structures in a line over there?" Well, my friends, they are The Stash. The Stash is a 'natural snowboarding park' which essentially means a load of old trees put together into a jump and rail park made up of 23 different features. Another one to check out if you want to see some amazing snowboarding talent expressing themselves!
Dates for your diary:
- July 26 - Elevate with Hilltop Hoods
- Every Friday & Saturday in August - Heidi's Hut Dinner
- August 10 - Red Bull Homerun
- August 23 - Winter Games NZ Opening Ceremony
- August 23 - September 8 - Winter Games NZ Events
- August 31 - Elevate & Final Night Ski
- September 1 - The North Face Frontier
- September 7 - Burton Stash
- September 9-15 - Jossi Wells Invitational
- September 14 - Peak to Peak & Banked Slalom
So there you have it; our pick of the events taking place on the mountains. Don't forget if you want to see some of them you will need to be on skis or snowboards yourselves. So think ski hire, think Snopro; ski hire delivered to your door.