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Coronet Peak in Summer: Riding the Gondola

Coronet Peak in Summer: Riding the Gondola

It’s no secret that some of the best mountain views in New Zealand are found at ski fields, but what if you’re not a skier? If it’s summer, you’re in luck. There are several ski fields in the Queenstown / Wanaka region that you can drive to, and Coronet Peak is one of the best. We recently drove up to Coronet Peak and then rode the gondola to the top – keep reading if you’re thinking of doing the same!

The Drive to Coronet Peak         

Coronet Peak is the closest ski field to Queenstown and you can drive there in about 20 minutes. The road is steep and winding but I thought it was a lot easier than the one up to the Remarkables Ski Area. There are a few places to pull over and admire the views, not as many as the Remarkables road though (we really loved that drive).

Riding the Gondola

Once at the top you can grab a bite to eat at the café or organise a trip on the gondola (or maybe some mountain biking). The gondola ride was fun – it takes you high above the sprawling town of Queenstown and is much higher than the Skyline Gondola.

Coronet Peak gondola, Queenstown, New Zealand

Coronet Peak Views

We were one of the few groups on the mountain that day, meaning once we were at the top we pretty much had it all to ourselves. There’s a viewing platform close to where you exit the gondola — the views are amazing from there but you’ll want to do the short walk to the summit for a different angle.

View from Coronet Peak, Queenstown, New ZealandView of Queenstown from Coronet Peak

From the top you’ll get 360-degree views. The gondola guy told us you could see all the way to Mount Cook from the top – my eyesight (and camera) wasn’t good enough to pick it up though. It only takes five minutes or so to walk to the top – be careful though and keep your kids on a tight leash!

Mountains near Queenstown, New ZealandCoronet Peak viewpoint, Queenstown, New Zealand

Other Ski Fields in the Area

The Remarkables Ski Area is another scenic ski field to visit, and if you do it in summer you can do the short hike up to Lake Alta. I’d also recommend checking out Cardrona – there are great views from up there and the little town at the bottom of the mountain is interesting as well.

READ MORE: Queenstown Itinerary: How to Spend Three – Seven Days in Queenstown

Remarkables Ski Area, Queenstown, New Zealand

Are you planning a trip to Queenstown? Check out our list of the best things to see and do!

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Jon Algie

I'm a South Island local -- born in Timaru and raised in Dunedin. I left the island in 2006 and returned 10 years later. Having seen a good chunk of the world I realised how special this place is -- the most beautiful island in the world! Seven years (and almost 400 posts) later I'm still helping locals and tourists alike plan their trips around the South Island.