The Remarkables

The Remarkables (Maori: Kawarau) are a mountain range and skifield in Otago in the South Island of New Zealand. Located on the southeastern shore of Lake Wakatipu, the range lives up to its name by rising sharply to create a remarkable backdrop for the waters. The range is clearly visible from the nearby town of Queenstown.

The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown.

The highest point in the range is Single Cone (2319 metres). The adjacent Hector Mountains southeast of the Remarkables culminate in Mount Tūwhakarōria (2307 m).[1]

There are a number of small lakes on the mountains including Lake Alta which forms part of the Remarkables Skifield.

The mountains were named The Remarkables by Alexander Garvie in 1857-58,[2] allegedly because they are one of only two mountain ranges in the world which run directly north to south.[citation needed] An alternate explanation for the name given by locals is that early Queenstown settlers, upon seeing the mountain range during sunset one evening, named them the Remarkables to describe the sight.


During the winter months, the Remarkables skifield has skiing and other winter activities. The ski area has three mountain bowls covering 220 ha (540 acres) with seven lifts (4 chairlifts, 3 magic carpets).[3] Terrain is rated as 30% beginners, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced. Average annual snowfall is 3.67 metres. In 2007 automated snowmaking was installed and a new snow groomer has also been acquired.[4] There's also a snow tubing park and in 2008 a terrain park was developed. The Remarkables are part of NZSki, which incorporate Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt. In the 2014 winter season, a new lodge base building and a new 6-seater express detachable chairlift have been inaugurated. A second 6-seater express detachable chairlift has been installed in 2020 to replace an old chairlift. In the late future, there is plans to extend the terrain and improve the ski field. An independent operator have released his plans to build a gondola lift from the Remarkables Town Center to the ski field's base.

View from the top of the gondola into Queenstown, with Remarkables behind.
The Remarkables Skifields
Elevation1943 metres
Vertical357 metres
Skiable Area220 hectares
Lifts4 chairlifts (1 detachable 6 seater, 3 quad), 3 surface conveyor lifts,
Highest lifted point: 1943 metres
Lowest lift: 1622 metres
Lift Operation9.00 am - 4.00 pm
Terrain30% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced
Standard Season10 June – 1 October
Average Snowfall3.67 metres per year (excluding snowmaking)
SnowmakingTerrain park, beginners' area, Alta Green, Casterway, Gotham City and Turquoise novice trails and Ozone Tubing Park
Nearest TownQueenstown (28 km/45 minutes)
Panorama of the Remarkables and surroundings from their northern end.
The Remarkables mountain range, autumn 2015
This is the view toward Double Cone peak at The Remarkables when hiking towards Lake Alta, the glacier lake.


  1. Central Otago names confirmed, Waatea News, 11 December 2013
  2. Miller. F.W.G. (1949) Golden Days of Lake County. Whitcomb and Toombs. Pg 352.
  3. NZ Ski facts, Accessed 22 January 2018
  4. Louisson, Simon (4 April 2007). "Queenstown pushes power of popularity". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 November 2011.