Approximate driving times:
- 40mins from Wanaka
- 50mins from Arrowtown
- 1hr from Queenstown
- 1hr 10mins from Cromwell
Driving from Wanaka to Cardrona
Driving to Cardrona from Wanaka is fairly easy and takes approximately 40mins. Head out of town on McDougall Street towards Cardrona Village. Look for the Cardrona access road on the right hand side, about 15mins drive from Wanaka.
The ease of driving up the Cardrona access road itself depends completely on the weather conditions. In clear, sunny conditions, the non-sealed access road can be a leisurely 20mins drive. However with fresh snow and/or poor visibility the road can be more challenging and inexperienced winter drivers may find it intimidating. Numerous transport services are available if you would prefer not to drive in tricky conditions.
Note that all vehicles must carry chains on all ski resort access roads in New Zealand. There is a chain rental service on the Cardrona Road, when the road is restricted.
Driving from Queenstown to Cardrona
When driving from Queenstown to Cardrona, you head through Frankton towards Cromwell and turn left just after Arrow Junction on the Crown Range Road. This alpine pass connects Queenstown to Wanaka and goes through Cardrona Village. Note that the Crown Range can be restricted in winter time. The road can become very icy and snowy, and may be restricted to 4WDs or 2WDs with chains, and sometimes it can close completely. In this scenario it is best to take SH6 via Cromwell (which doubles the drive time).
Driving from Arrowtown to Cardrona
Follow Centennial Ave out of town towards Arrow Junction, turn left then left again up the Crown Range Road. Then follow directions as above.
Buses to Cardrona
Daily bus services connect Cardrona Alpine Resort to both Queenstown and Wanaka, as well as Cromwell, with a number of different companies.
Check the following companies for schedules and prices:
- Yello! – Daily shuttles to and from Wanaka
- Alpine Connexions – daily services from Wanaka and back
- Real Journeys – daily services from Queenstown and back
- Kiwi Discoveries – daily services from Queenstown and back
- Cromwell Winterlands – daily services from Cromwell and back
Hitch Hiking to Cardrona
Hitch hiking to Cardrona from Wanaka is relatively simple. When heading up the mountain it is best to wait on McDougall Street, at the pull-in bay just after the park. When hitch hiking down again, wait at the lowest car park (which has cars in it) and smile.
From Queenstown, it’s a little harder as most vehicles won’t be heading directly to Cardrona. The Frankton roundabout or the bottom of the Crown Range Road are the best spots.
Hitch hiking from the bottom of the Cardrona access road is also possible, but is considered a little cheeky by locals, as you probably drove your car to the bottom of the hill.
Please note that there can always be risks with hitch hiking. It should always be done with caution. 360queenstown-wanaka takes no responsibility for incidents that could be linked to the advice we provide.