Treble Cone

New Zealand

With more powder than a talcum factory (well, by Kiwi standards anyway), Treble Cone is a mid-year treat for fans of the fluffy stuff. Oh, and there’s a giant skiing cat.

Scout Loves

  • One of the more advanced mountains in the Queenstown/Wanaka area.
  • The largest ski field on the South Island.
  • Breathtaking views of Lake Wanaka and the Mount Aspiring range from the entire resort.
  • Best chance of some powder skiing with 5.5m of average annual snowfall.
  • Anyone (not just kids) can ski for free on the beginner magic carpet and platter lifts near the base area.

Scout Tips

  • The 7km stretch of dirt road up to the resort is perilous. Take extreme care and don’t rush. A good alternative is to catch one of the shuttles.
  • Treble Cone offers a limited lift pass that allows you to access some great backcountry.
  • A short hike up behind the top of the Saddle Basin lift will treat you to a few turns in fresh powder, long after the rest of the resort is skied out.

Scout Review

If you’re a skier that loves the thrill of the steep and the feeling of floating through powder then Treble Cone is your best option in the Southern Lakes region.

The resort is the largest in the South Island and has some superb terrain.

And while it’s going to satisfy advanced skiers, beginners and intermediates will also have a blast – especially since beginners can ski for free on the magic carpet and platter! Kids will become fast friends with T.C. Cat – the ski school’s mascot, who frequents the slopes on skis. Intermediates get the chance for a real thigh burner with a 4.4km run down from the top of the six-person chairlift all the way down Home Basin.

But back to the advanced/expert skiing and at Treble Cone there’s plenty of it. The Motatapu Chutes area is an expert only playground for skiers and riders accessed via a gate near the top of the Saddle Basin lift (there’s a short walk at the end back to the lift). As always take note of any warning signs (the area is prone to avalanches and take backcountry essentials).

There are other expert-only areas off both the lifts and since the resort is above the treeline, you can drop off almost anywhere you see a great line.

Treble Cone’s position in the Southern Alps means some of the more reliable snow conditions and weather in the region, all while being protected from bitterly cold winds that plague other resorts. However, like most other ski resorts in New Zealand, the snow amounts can vary wildly from year to year and sometimes coverage on the lower half of the mountain can be sparse.

Treble Cone Accommodation

Like most other ski resorts in New Zealand there are no accommodation options at the base of the mountain. Wanaka is a 30-minute drive away and the best option if you’re choosing to ski here a couple of days. Treble Cone can also be done as a day trip from Queenstown (90 minutes each eay) by driving or shuttle bus but the long and tricky drive prevents Queenstown from being a good base option.

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Getting There and Around

Treble Cone is a 30-minute drive from Wanaka. The first part of the drive is a spectacular lakeside drive along an easy, sealed road. The final 7km is up a super steep and winding dirt road. It has been the scene of many accidents, so be careful. Chains should be carried.

A better plan than driving is to catch one of the many shuttles. There are several options for getting to Treble Cone:

Yello! has scheduled and chartered options from Wanaka. A round trip from Wanaka is $35 adult/$28 child.

Kiwi Discovery (one pick-up at 8.45am) operates from Queenstown and Wanaka.

Treble Cone mountain resort also offers two shuttle services (8.45am and 9.30am) from the base of the mountain road, meaning you have to get your own way to the turn off, but let someone else do the 7km road to the resort base area ($12pp return, $35 family).

When To Go

The ski resorts are open from late June until early October. The most reliable snow is in late July and August. The first few weeks of July are busy with New Zealand and Australian school vacationers.

Facts & Figures

Mountain Information   Lifts   Terrain    
Base Elevation 4110ft / 1260m High Speed Six Seater 1 Beginner 10%  
Summit Elevation 6850ft / 2088m Quad Chair 1 Intermediates 45%  
Vertical Drop 2321ft / 700m Surface Lifts 1 Advanced 45%  
Skiable Area 1359ac / 550ha Magic Carpet 1      
Annual Snowfall 216in / 5.5m Lift Capacity per hour 4500 people      
Longest Run 2.5 miles / 4km          
Snowmaking 123ac / 50ha          
Operating Hours 9.00am –4.00pm          
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