Cardrona Alpine Resort has continuously evolved since it opened to the public in 1980.
In 1984, little Jeanine Bell was learning to ski with her dad at Cardrona Alpine Resort. Both she and Cardrona were just four years old. It was their tradition – they’d ski here every winter and build memories together.
From its very founding, Cardrona Alpine Resort has always had kids at its heart.
Following the boom of the Central Otago Gold Rush, the Cardrona township experienced a significant decline in resident numbers. By the 1970s, the town’s population had fallen so low that the residents were asked to pay to keep the school bus running to take their kids into Wanaka for school.
A young couple, John and Mary Lee, had an idea: bring tourists to the Cardrona Valley. They would eventually help grow the town’s population, and the free school bus would be saved. So the children of the Cardrona Valley sparked the idea, and after a couple of years of very hard work, Cardrona Alpine Resort opened to the public for the first time in 1980.