Head for the hills

Photo: Anneke Stewart, Rider: Juliane Bray

Treble Cone, Snow Park, Snow Farm or Cardrona? Where will it be, snow explorer? New Zealand Olympian and Wanaka resident JULIANE BRAY gives the lowdown on the local hills.

Treble Cone
Distance from Wanaka: 29km
Vibe: European in terrain and attitude – NO MESSING ABOUT.
Terrain: 10% beginner, 45% intermediate, 45% advanced
Vertical drop: 705m (2312 ft)
Best run: Matukituki Chutes, but so many awesome lines it’s hard to choose. I love the terrain here, I think it’s the best in the world.
Secret spot: Ridge above the six seater for lunch and a pash.
Best thing in the café: Coffee and the daily special.

Snow Park
Distance from Wanaka: 34km
Vibe: Freestyle mecca for doers and spectators alike. Night riding Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Terrain: Freestyle Skiing/Snowboarding, Beginner 20%, Intermediate 50%, Advanced 30%
Vertical drop: 110m
Best run: Depends on how you are feeling. Lots of Mojo: Big jump line, normal Mojo: Half Pipe, Low Mojo: rails and boxes
Secret spot: Cat riding in The Roaring Meg
Best thing in the Café: Burgers in the Woolshed

Snow Farm
Distance from Wanaka: 36km
Vibe: Snow Farm on a fine day is euphoric. The atmosphere on the Pisa Range is like no other in New Zealand and maybe the world. Nordic skiing is
great! Let go of the fact that you are on skis and just walk – soon you will be gliding. Snowshoeing is an option and there is good access to
the Pisa Range for ski touring.
Terrain: 50+ km of trails for beginner to advanced skiers.
Secret spot: Backcountry huts.
Best thing in the café: The Woolshed restaurant and bar 2km down the road. Great food and exciting views of the freestyle skiing and snowboarding
at Snow Park.

Distance from Wanaka: 34km
Vibe: A mixture, everything for everyone. Families are catered for extremely well. Freestyle skiing and snowboarding have been embraced here for
many years and I highly recommend checking out the Half Pipe and the Terrain Park. This mountain has supported NZ athletes to next level; this is
where my Olympic mission began.
Terrain: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate, 25% advanced
Vertical drop: 600m
Best runs: Skyline for great views and the Whitestar Terrain Park for the best freestyle run in the Southern Hemisphere.
Secret spot: At the top of Captain’s Chair, turn right, take off your gear and take a 10-minute hike north, up and along the ridge to the rock at
the summit of Captain’s Basin. It’s the biggest rock on the ridge and in the back of it there is a crack you can climb up. When you get to the
top of the crack, you will summit this rock and find a primo picnic spot.
Best thing in the café: Pizza at Captains Café.


Juliane represented New Zealand at the Winter Olympic Games in Torino (2006) and Vancouver (2010).

Comments are closed