Wanaka is popular with skiers and snowboarders because of its close proximity to Cardrona and Treble Cone ski areas. It can get pretty lively during the ski season.
Located about halfway between Queenstown and Wanaka, Cardrona is a family-oriented resort with good snowboarding. A full-day lift pass is $99–115, but a lift, lesson and rental package is better value at $199 for skiers or snowboarders.
With 550ha of terrain, Treble Cone is the South Island’s largest ski area (and the closest ski resort to Wanaka). It is geared mostly toward advanced skiers who have half the runs while beginners only get 10%. Treble Cone have a first-timers package that gives you ski or snowboard rental, a two-hour group lesson and lift pass for $119 (one-day) or $450 (three-days). Treble Cone is a 35-minute drive from Wanaka.
Snow Farm is New Zealand’s only dedicated cross-country ski resort. A day pass is $40 and ski rental starts at $30.