skiresort magazine for managers and operators | Projects | Archive | 2017-03-17

Cardrona / NZ: New McDougall’s Express Chondola

What's New for Winter 2017

Winter 2017 is going to be one for the books! We’ve got a whole lot of new developments (more than $15million worth!!) for the upcoming season, including a brand new lift… you’ve gotta get up here to check it out on June 10 – Winter 2017 Opening Day!

McDougall’s Express Chondola

This summer we’re installing a new “combined” express lift of 8-person gondola cabins & 6-seater chairs. The new McDougall’s Express Chondola is the ultimate mountain access lift for all our guests, with a 150% increase to the McDougall’s uplift capacity that will decrease wait times on all other lifts. The new lift will also mean that first-time skiers & snowboarders, as well as sightseers, will be able to visit the top of the mountain without having to get on & off a chair – sounds pretty good, eh!?

The facts:
  • First cabin-style lift on a ski area in New Zealand
  • 1:4 ratio of cabins to chairs
  • 10 total cabins, 40 total chairs
  • Cabins hold 8 people; chairs hold 6
  • 7 towers (old McDougall’s Quad had 11 towers)
  • Uphill capacity: 2550 people per hour (old McDougall’s Quad had 1000p/hr uplift)
  • Gondola cabins & chairs will be stored in the lift’s top station, & can be reconfigured in layout depending on weather conditions
Ski Kindy Expansion

If you’re visiting Cardrona with your kids this winter, you’ll find a new & improved Ski Kindy! We’re expanding & redesigning the current centre in the “Bob the Builder” building (underneath Noodle Bar, beside the Kids’ Conveyor), & moving the Kids' Snow Sports School into it too. That means no matter if your kids are 3 months old or going on 14, it’s a one-stop-shop for your morning drop off – just head to the one building, Snow Sports HQ, to get all your kids sussed for a day (or week) on the slopes!

The Lounge

With the Kids’ Snow Sports School moving into Snow Sports HQ, we’ve freed up the space previously held by the Kids’ Club & made a new café/bar in the Base area – The Lounge. It's going to have freshly made food with local ingredients, a full wine list, craft beer & a ski-in outdoor deck for those aprés ski afternoons!

We also have a brand new coffee cart – see if you can spot it around the mountain this winter for a cup of joe on the go!

Cardrona MyWay

Have it your way… If you’re here, you’ve obviously seen our shiny new website, but did you know that it also comes with a brand new customer platform? We know that everyone is different, & their family or group’s needs when visiting us are unique, so we’ve created a platform that allows you to make your own Cardrona packages. You can add lift, rental, & lesson products to your cart, & be rewarded as you go!


For those of you who took advantage of last winter’s new Valley View carpark – we’re expanding it with even more spaces! We’re adding a bunch of new spots for you to park up before your morning coffee at Little Meg. Just remember that to park down at Valley View you’ll need to pick up your pass in advance, & you should be an intermediate skier or snowboarder.

We’re also making some improvements to the Pine Trees shuttle park – remember you can park down there & let us drive you up the road! Check out the timetable a bit closer to the season here.

Terrain & Snowmaking

The new Chondola only has 7 towers (the old lift had 11!), so it’s left us a lot of room to make some changes to the Footrot Flats trail. It’s now a lot wider, giving you more room to make linking your first turns even easier! We’re also improving our water collection to make our snowmaking even more reliable. With more reliable snow, we're able to stay open for another week – this season's scheduled Closing Day is October 15... a whole week later!

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