The Remarkables


New Zealand is of course a major skiing destination due to its mountainous terrain and generally high elevation. The snow on these island mountains is crisp and sought-after by serious fans of the slopes. The Remarkables aren’t New Zealand’s most famous skiing slopes, but their proximity to the city of Queenstown has allowed them to attract an increasing number of people, each year. Their jagged, impressive peaks jut into the air along the country’s south-eastern coast. It’s not hard to imagine why director Peter Jackson chose them to stand in for the ominous Misty Mountains in the Lord of the Rings films.

Queenstown is a town run largely off of the tourist trade, which means largely off of the Remarkables themselves. The town is in large part dedicated to letting travellers get the most out of their home mountain range, and any proper trip into the Misty Mountains will launch from a Queenstown hotel, motel, spa, resort, or hostel.

The highest point in the range is Double Cone, at more than 2 kilomtres vertically from base to tip, and the Remarkables offer ample thrill for those seeking them. However, the Remarkables Skifields are there to make sure that less experienced carvers can join in, as well. The bowls are patrolled and manicured throughout the winter, of course, but a new snow-maker and grooming machine keeps the skifields running deep into the summer months. Transit shuttles run multiple times per day to let travellers take the 45-minute trip from Queenstown to the Remarkables Skifields in the ultimate relaxation.

For more on Lord of the Rings destinations, see this story.