Waiorau Snow Farm Nordic Centre

The MOST popular cross country ski area in New Zealand.

  South Island, New Zealand


  August 1, 2016

North of Queenstown near Wanaka, Waiorau Snow Farm Nordic Centre has 56 km of groomed and marked nordic ski trails in the Pisa range. The 14km Hanging Valley Trail is one of the more challenging routes but the scenery is worth it! The ski area also maintains several huts for overnight trekking, including Bob Lee Hut and Meadow Hut.

To reach the Snow Farm Nordic Center from Wanaka, head south on Cardrona Valley Road for 20km. The resort access road is on the left hand side (east side) about 1km north of Cardrona. Access from Queenstown can be sketchy in the winter.

Trail Descriptions:

Main Street - Accessible from the "front door" of the lodge - no hassle skiing. The area has been designed to give the first timer an experience that they will enjoy regardless of their sporting abilities or age. It is flat and wide enough that the learner will not be intimidated by experienced skiers. For the expert it is ideal for technique practice.

Marys Trail - Designed with the beginner in mind. This 1 km trail is virtually flat, leaving south of the lodge and returning to the lodge. One km in length.

Johns Trail - Open when the car testing is finished. An ideal trail for beginners - handy to the lodge.

Whoop-ity doo Trail - If you're chicken hearted leave this one to the experts. Lots of hills and great fun once you have mastered the techniques required for hills. Situated just below Mary's Trail. One km in length.

The Highlander - Perfected slopes for the first time skier. Next step from Marys Trail. 1.5 km in length.

Merino Glen - Close to the lodge this longer trail is designed to extend the distance a skier can ski without venturing too far from the lodge. 5km in length.

D9 Express - A 1.5 km loop from the lodge - starts at the door. On to the entrance of Hanging Valley and back via a new route that is just below the Whoop-ity- doo trail.

Musterers Flat - 6.0 km from base and return. Picnic by the river or perfect your technique around the 1.2 km trail. Musterers flat is two kilometres from the base and gives the skier a sense of adventure. In summer it hosts some of the Pisa Range's native bogs and wetlands. Groomed only in heavy snow years.

The River Run & Loop - 12 kms in length the loop runs through the picturesque Meg River valley. The Meadow Warming hut 3.8 kms from the lodge is situated to catch the sun. A great resting place, overnight hut, or stop off point to make yourself a cup of tea. In good weather return via the Loop and enjoy the contrasting views of the Alps.

Express Route - Express Route to and from the River run and the Loop. This is the most direct route to and from the lodge.

Hind Retreat and Stag Vale - Hind retreat is an enclosed valley that comes off the start of Stag Vale. Spend time in the peaceful sheltered valleys. Use Stag Vale as an alternative return route back to the base area. Remember if you are tired or the weather changes return to the lodge through the River Valley, as it is the shortest route to the lodge.

Top Beat - Spectacular views of Mt Aspiring, Lakes Hawea and Wanaka can be seen from this trail as it winds up the Hill to the Kirsty Burn Hut. Follow the Kirsty Burn Trail back to the Loop for variation. Day skiers planning trips to the Kirsty Burn hut are advised to set out early as it is not permitted to start on the Top Beat or the Kirsty Burn after 2pm. NB trail is groomed only when weather conditions are settled.

Kirsty Burn Trail - A sheltered route to the Kirsty hut and forming a loop with Top Beat to make 10kms. NB Top Beat and Kirsty Burn are groomed only when the weather is settled. Skiers are advised to ask at the lodge office before setting out.

Hanging Valley Trail - A wilderness experience. The splendour of the Meg River enhanced by the rocks, along with the sense of isolation on this 14km trail has the skier believing they are on another mountain. The trail system on the dark side of the valley has commanding views of the sunny sides - the nesting ground of the black back gulls normally associated with seaside resorts. 14 km in length.

2006 - A variation on Hanging Valley. A short one km loop - add on when skiing the D 9 Express. A fun roller coaster with lots of ups and downs. Accessed from the Hanging Valley trail, it makes a great variation.

Road to No Where - Not for the faint hearted - experts only. Ski the steep and the deep. Excellent training for the expert skier.

Sprint Track - In keeping with the European trends we have developed our very own sprint track. The track leaves from the lodge and returns to the lodge. Perfect for spectators and competitors alike. Situated above Marys trail.

Back Country Skiing - Snow Farm is the gateway to back country skiing on the Pisa Range. Skiers venturing into the backcountry from the groomed trails are responsibe for themselves. Snow Farm does not patrol the backcountry. Skiers should be equipped to cope with bad weather should it eventuate and have a knowledge of winter mountain conditions. Skiers ski off the groomed trails at their own risk.

Local Contacts:  +64(0) 3 443 9729 or +64 (0) 3 443 7542

Best Season:  Jul. - Aug.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  Larchwood Lodge; Queenstown Youth Hostel (64) 3442-8413; Cardrona Hotel, Wanaka 3-443-8153

Luxury Loding:  Cardrona Hotel (03) 443-8153; Grasmere Lodge (64) 3318-8407; Whare Kae Lodge, Wanaka

Reference Source:  click here http://www.snowfarmnz.com/

GPS:  -44.86496, 169.017168

Date Published:  12/26/2015

Date Updated:  8/1/2016

ID:  7150

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Waiorau Snow Farm Nordic Centre Cross Country Skiing Map