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, allegedly because they are one of only two mountain ranges in the world which run directly north to south. 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 540 acres (2.2 km²). The patrolled area covers 220 ha with six lifts (3 quad chairs, 3 magic carpets, and a tow rope). Terrain is rated as 30% beginners, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced. The whole skifield area is 540 acres (2.2 km²) with six lifts. Average annual snowfall is 3.67 metres. In 2007 automated snowmaking was installed and a new snow groomer has also been acquired. 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.
View from the top of the gondola into Queenstown, with Remarkables behind.