Winter wonderland

Queenstown is the perfect place to get kids snow ready for life.

The alpine resort, surrounded by majestic mountains and set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, is New Zealand’s most famous adventure playground. There is plenty on the menu for thrill-seekers like bungy jumping, quad biking, jetboating, and so much more.

With winter well and truly upon us, Queenstown is also a magical place to embrace the natural wonders of the season. Whether you’re seasoned skiers or snowboarders, or new to snow sports, Queenstown has the scope of slopes to cater to every family group – all set amidst awe-inspiring alpine scenery.

We’re lucky living in the South Island because ski fields are a short drive away, so introducing your kids to snow on a family holiday in Queenstown is the perfect way to set them up for life on the slopes. Book them into first-timer packages with experienced instructors who know how to encourage a life-long love of snow in your little explorers.

Queenstown has four ski areas and an enviously long ski season from June to October. The closest field is just 20 minutes from the town centre. Snowboard and ski gear can be hired from downtown Queenstown, picked up on the mountain, or even delivered to your place of accommodation. Most ski rental shops in the township are open until 9pm during ski season.

ON THE SLOPES
Cardrona Alpine Resort
A fun and family-friendly ski resort, Cardrona is the perfect place for beginners and intermediates. Parents can even drop the kids off at Ski Kindy or at the Kids’ Club for the day.

The Remarkables
A mountain range that’s all about fun, families and freestyle – an easy 40-minute drive from downtown Queenstown. The Remarkables offers terrain and facilities to suit everyone, with the Kea Club offering all-day lessons for kids.

Treble Cone
For beginner skiers and snowboarders, Treble Cone offers a free dedicated lift and protected slope located next to the Base Lodge facilities. Treble Cone is a mountain that welcomes all snow lovers, no matter what level or age you are when stepping onto the mountain.

Coronet Peak
Adored by locals, it’s the premier winter playground in New Zealand’s adventure capital. Coronet Peak offers dedicated kids’ programmes, and learner and novice areas away from the main trails make learning fun and easy.

THINGS TO DO
Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is a non-technical alternative to skiing or snowboarding, enabling greater access to the landscapes beyond the ski fields. Best of all, almost anyone can do it with minimal instruction or practice.

Slimline shoes make navigating snow-covered terrain effortless. No experience is required and all the gear is supplied for a safe and comfortable trip to the mountains.

nzwalks.com/snowshoeing

Shotover Jet
Take a breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons, featuring exhilarating 360° spins. Children over the age of three can ride provided they are 1 metre tall, although, depending on the weather or river conditions, this may be extended to 1.2m. Children aged 10-15 can ride unaccompanied as long as a parent or guardian is on site.

Keep an eye on their website for school holiday specials.

shotoverjet.com

Thrive in your own space
Finding the right accommodation for your family holiday is about balancing the needs and wants of everyone in your party, and finding your ‘happy place’ away from home. Staying in a Bachcare holiday home allows families to explore an exciting new area, with all the comforts of home.

Many of Bachcare’s holiday homes are family friendly to suit every budget. They are fantastic for children – often coming with added extras like toys, board games, or, for the older kids, a pool table or even kayaks to go exploring in! Those homes with games rooms or fenced sections allow the kids to entertain themselves in a safe space, while the rest of the family enjoy the views, spa or a bbq out on the deck.

Bachcare can also provide linen and cleaning services and can often accommodate special requests for babies and toddlers.

It’s the ultimate hassle-free experience, where a family can arrive at their house to find the beds made up and the fire on, and leave without having to clean the property on departure. With nearly 2,000 homes across 165 locations, you are sure to find your holiday ‘happy place’ through Bachcare.

bachcare.co.nz