Awesome Summer Mountain Biking, Carting & Much More at Cardrona Alpine Resort

Summer is always a special time in New Zealand. With much of the world stuck firmly in the midst of winter, tourists flock to the Land of the Long White Cloud for the hot season and all the opportunities for fun it offers. Locals too make the most of their country’s numerous summertime activities.

Planning how to spend your summer in New Zealand? Check out Cardrona Alpine Resort, where there’s something to suit everyone. Take a look at the adventures on offer, and start gearing up for an amazing trip right now:

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Transport to the area

For adventure activities near Queenstown, you can’t beat the Cardrona Alpine Resort. The resort is located right in the middle of the Southern Alps and can be found an easy 58km drive from Queenstown or 34km from Wanaka. There’s plenty of parking, so an Omega Rental Car is the ideal way to get there.  But if you don’t have your own transport, you can take a shuttle from Cardrona Valley for $10 return or catch a ride from Queenstown (with your bike, if necessary) for about $50 return.

Mountaincarting Two visitors enjoying carting down the sunny, sandy mountain under the gondolas. Image credit: Cardrona Alpine Resort

Mountain Carting

Adrenaline junkies will love mountain carting. This activity involves riding downhill at hair-raising speeds in a rugged 3-wheeled cart. The carts are sturdy and safe, perfect for adventure, with a range of sizes to suit all visitors.

Your whole group - from your mates to the very youngest member of the family (who can ride with an adult), to grandma and grandpa - will love riding in these easy-to-use vehicles. Cardrona’s mountain carting track features three incredible trails of varying difficulty levels, so you can choose to race your friends or family or set yourself a goal to conquer all three. Two hours of mountain carting, including lift access, costs $100 per person. 

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Cardrona Mountain Biking

A mountain biker rides down a dusty trail with the glowing sun as a backdrop. Image credit: Cardrona Alpine Resort

Mountain Biking

There’s nothing like hopping on your bike in summer and feeling the breeze against your face as you whiz past incredible scenery - and as the home of New Zealand’s highest bike park, Cardrona is the perfect place to do it. With 25km of trails, riders of all ability levels will have the time of their lives here.

Mountain bike lift passes

If you’re planning on bringing your own bike to Cardrona Alpine Resort and making the most of the incredible trail network, make your life easier and sort yourself out a lift pass. There are plenty of options: a half-day lift pass costs $70 for adults and $40 for children (6-17 years old - kids 5 and under are free), while a full-day lift pass costs $90 for adults and $50 for children.

Adults and children alike pay only $40 for a lift pass between 4-8pm on a Friday. If you need a full-day lift pass as well as transport from Queenstown, expect to pay $120 for adults and $90 for children.

Mountain bike rental

If you don’t have your own bike, don’t miss out on any of Cardrona’s bike adventures - rent one! Visitors can rent bikes directly at the resort, or from the resort’s branches in Queenstown or Wanaka. There are bikes available to suit all your needs, and every bike rental comes with a safety helmet, goggles and knee and elbow pads. For a full-day adult bike rental, visitors should expect to pay from $69 to $120 depending on the type of bike, while half-day passes cost from $49 to $80.

Bike park first-timer package

Riders who are unsure about their cycling ability can take a lesson from an expert coach who’ll leave them confident and ready to hit the trails. For $150 (or $130 for kids), riders will learn the basics in a two-hour group lesson, and they’ll also get a half day lift pass and a full suspension bike rental. Private lessons are also available.

Mountain bike lift pass and rental promo

If you’re a confident mountain biker stopping by at the Resort without a bike of your own with you, ask about the Lift Pass and Mountain Bike Rental deal.  Cardrona Alpine Resort offers the promo of a lift pass paired with either a full-suspension bike or a performance downhill bike. 

This summer 2018 - 2019, the Resort offers a range of brand-new bikes from Trek, including the Trek Remedy 8 and Session 8 models.  This promo for a lift pass and mountain bike rental is only for riders who are confident mountain bikers and do not need any lessons, but do not have a bike with them. To find out more about this promo or any of these other exciting summer activity deals, contact the Resort via email, phone, or visit their Wanaka or Queenstown offices to chat with the friendly team.

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stargazing Glowing blue evening winter sky filled with stars. Image credit: Cardrona Alpine Resort



Cardrona is the perfect place to watch the stars, thanks to its location, which is affected by minimal light pollution. Would-be astronomers can take an exciting tour, in which they’ll first learn about the night sky from an expert, who will focus on how it looks in this part of the world. They’ll then have the opportunity to use a telescope to search for specific formations in the sky, including the rings of Saturn, star clusters and nebulae, the moons of Jupiter, and other galaxies, all under the guidance of their tour guide.

The stars you’ll be able to see depend on visibility, but thanks to Cardrona’s dark sky, visitors will rarely miss much! Stargazers can choose to take the tour on its own for $100, or to indulge in a three-course menu in addition to stargazing, which only costs $150. A night out doesn’t get much better than this!

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Walking and hiking

Alpine Gondola Ride

Love picturesque views? What about the novel experience of travelling in a cabin up the mountain rather than walking? Don’t miss Cardrona’s gondola ride! Your cabin will take you right to the top of the mountain.


Following the gondola ride, visitors can take a quick walk to the resort’s viewing platform, which boasts gorgeous 360-degree views over the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu. Avid hikers are in luck, too; the Captain Circuit’s alpine tracks are a little more challenging, and the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon in nature. The mountain’s informative panels will interest any history enthusiasts visiting the mountain - providing visitors with key information about the area’s past.

Sightseeing lift pass

Check out the gorgeous scenery from a view at heights! A sightseeing and walking pass costs $35 for adults and $25 for kids.

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Eating and drinking

There’s no chance of going hungry at Cardrona. The Lounge Café, open from 8am, is the perfect place to drop in for a coffee or a snack before or after your day hitting the trails. The café is also home to several outdoor games, such as dominoes - perfect for the kids (and kids-at-heart). The Mezz, open from 5pm, offers table service and an excellent menu, full of meals made with locally-sourced ingredients (if you take the Stargazing tour, this is where you’ll have the pleasure of eating!).


If you're more interested in cold weather activities than hot, or if you’ve arrived in New Zealand in the opposite season to try the Resort’s summer activities, never fear – Cardrona also has plenty of attractions to make your winter spectacular. Skiing and snowboarding are the primary winter attractions, but depending on the weather, snow enthusiasts can also try tubing, which is sure to be a thrill. Taking a walk or riding the gondola also offer incredible views in winter, when there’s snow for miles.

Whichever season you pick, there’s no doubt that Cardrona Alpine Resort is the place to go if you’re interested in some of the South Island’s most stunning adventure activities. When you collect your rental vehicle from the Omega Rental Cars Queenstown branch, you’ll be within a 1 hr 17 min drive from the Resort, or just over an hours’ drive if you’re coming from the Omega Queenstown Airport branch. With an Omega rental car, you’ll also have the freedom to travel wherever you want, whenever you want – with a brilliant selection of local attractions to choose from including the Shotover Canyon Swing and Canyon Fox and the Queenstown Ice Arena.