This blog was originally published in August 2016 and updated in August 2019.
The first thing you notice about The Remarkables is the incredible vista. The rock faces, jutting mountains and bowls will get you amped before you've even parked the car! Recent upgrades to The Remarkables ski field has really improved this already fun mountain. With the new day lodge and the new 6-seater Curvey Basin Express chair (for 2016), and new covered conveyors a.k.a magic carpets (for 2019), it's easy to see why The Remarkables is so popular.
Remarks is located on the South Island of New Zealand, in the Otago Region. It is easily accessible from Queenstown via an access road which is now sealed for 3/4 of the way up. The Remarkables is 28km (35 minutes) from Queenstown centre, and only about 25 minutes from Frankton and the airport. If you don't have a car, the Ski Bus running from Queenstown starts early, and runs regularly to the mountain and offers hotel pick-ups. There are plenty of accommodation options in Queenstown and Frankton.
NZ Ski operates both The Remarkables and Coronet Peak ski fields in the Queenstown area. A season pass is available that will cover both these mountain resorts if you're planning to spend a bit of time near Queenstown for the ski season. In fact NZ Ski operates Mt Hutt ski field as well so if you fancy a drive north, your season pass will work at Mt Hutt too.
Elevation: 1943m, 357m vertical drop
Skiable Area: 265.5 hectares
Lifts: 1 high speed six-seater chair, 3 quad chairs, 3 surface conveyor lifts
Terrain: 30% beginner / 40% intermediate / 30% advanced
Average Snowfall: 3.67m per annum (excl. snowmaking)
Snowmaking: Beginners’ area, Alta Green, Casterway, Gotham City, Curvey, Turquoise, Waterfall, and terrain parks
Operating Hours: 9am to 4pm
What's it like to ski or snowboard at The Remarkables?
The Remarkables offers something for everyone. There is a good beginners area at the base, but for those who are looking for plenty of groomed runs, you may want to head across the valley to Coronet Peak which has few more. However, if you want to be challenged, and don’t mind some traversing or short hikes, it’s pretty hard to beat Remarks on a powder day.
With a little snow, Remarks really starts to shine because the off piste riding is amazing. The Homeward Runs and the Alta Chutes will satisfy your thirst for bowl riding and if you don't mind hiking, you'll be rewarded with some world-class and challenging terrain. When riding Homeward Bound, you'll end up below the lowest lift but a free, regular shuttle will soon have you back at the base. If you want the Homeward experience to last a little longer, hike to the peak and drop in much higher up than the standard traverse. Ride the ridgeline further to Outward Bound if the conditions allow - you’ll end up down near carpark 4.
If the snow conditions allow, and you don’t mind earning your turns, hike 30-40 mins from the top of Sugar over to Toilet Bowl. You’ll be rewarded with a massive bowl of untracked powder. The top can be a little sketchy, with thin coverage and rocks but once past this, it’s floaty, carving heaven. Please check with ski patrol first as there are avalanche risks and terrain traps to look out for.
And for those who love terrain parks, you won't be disappointed with what The Remarkables offers. It has an amazing park setup and design, with plenty of progressive jumps and rails. Remarks is also home to the Burton Stash Terrain Park which can't be beaten on a powder day for ridable cliff drops, wooden rail features, wall rides and the infamous Hut!
We've had some awesome days at The Remarkables – hitting park jumps, overcoming the fear to ride off 'The Hut' and shredding Homeward Bound were definitely highlights!
If you're looking for varied all-mountain skiing and snowboarding, you will leave The Remarkables very satisfied. And if you're not afraid to hike a little, the amount of extra terrain will not leave you wanting.
Although The Remarkables offers excellent terrain, one thing you will need to deal with is the slow chairlifts. Apart from Curvey Basin Express, all the other chairlifts are non-express. The great news is Sugar is getting updated to an express chair for the 2020 season and Shadow won’t be far behind. In the meantime, I believe the terrain is worth the slow chair rides but if you just can't deal with non-express chairs, then head to Coronet Peak, Cardrona or Treble Cone.
check out this video from nz ski on the remarkables
Have you been to The Remarkables and want to share some insight? Or do you have any questions? Hit me up in the comments below. (Make sure you click on 'subscribe via e-mail' to be notified when we write back).
Save this on Pinterest! Just hover over the image below and click the Pin It Button.
Mick is a lover of speed runs and hitting every feature on the mountain. Ex road bike and motocross racer with plans to dabble in mountain bike racing. Spends a lot of time looking at fast cars and bikes. Jen’s instagram model and selfie camera holder due to long arms. Sometimes an optometrist.