The Remarkables

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The Remarkables
The Remarkables (1126885451).jpg
The Remarkables and Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown.
Highest point
PeakDouble Cone
Elevation2,319 m (7,608 ft)
Coordinates45°04′19″S 168°48′29″E / 45.072°S 168.808°E / -45.072; 168.808
Length40 km (25 mi)
EtymologyNamed for their dramatic appearance.[1]
Native nameKawarau (Māori)
The Remarkables is located in New Zealand
The Remarkables
Location in New Zealand
Country New Zealand
Region Otago
Range coordinates45°09′S 168°50′E / 45.150°S 168.833°E / -45.150; 168.833Coordinates: 45°09′S 168°50′E / 45.150°S 168.833°E / -45.150; 168.833[1]
Formed byTectonic uplift / glaciation
Type of rockSchist, Greywacke

The Remarkables (Māori: 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 highest point in the range is Single Cone (2319 metres). The adjacent Tapuae-o-Uenuku / Hector Mountains southeast of the Remarkables culminate in Mount Tūwhakarōria (2307 m).[2]

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


The original Ngāi Tahu inhabitants called the mountains Kawarau,[3] and gave the same name to the Kawarau River which starts beneath them.

The mountains were named The Remarkables by Alexander Garvie in 1857-58,[4] 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 eight lifts (4 chairlifts, 4 magic carpets).[5] 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.[6] 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
Elevation 1943 metres
Vertical 357 metres
Skiable Area 220 hectares
Lifts 4 chairlifts (2 detachable 6 seater, 2 quad), 4 surface conveyor lifts,
Highest lifted point: 1943 metres
Lowest lift: 1622 metres
Lift Operation 9.00 am - 4.00 pm
Terrain 30% Beginner, 40% Intermediate, 30% Advanced
Standard Season 10 June – 1 October
Average Snowfall 3.67 metres per year (excluding snowmaking)
Snowmaking Terrain park, beginners' area, Alta Green, Casterway, Gotham City and Turquoise novice trails and Ozone Tubing Park
Nearest Town Queenstown (28 km/45 minutes)
Panorama of the Remarkables and surroundings from their northern end.
The Remarkables mountain range, autumn 2015
Double Cone - The Remarkables
This is the view toward Double Cone peak at The Remarkables when hiking towards Lake Alta, the glacier lake.


  1. ^ a b "Place name detail: The Remarkables". New Zealand Gazetteer. New Zealand Geographic Board. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  2. ^ Central Otago names confirmed, Waatea News, 11 December 2013
  3. ^ "Kawarau". Kā Huru Manu. Nga Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. Retrieved 19 October 2021.
  4. ^ Miller. F.W.G. (1949) Golden Days of Lake County. Whitcomb and Toombs. Pg 352.
  5. ^ NZ Ski facts, Accessed 22 January 2018
  6. ^ Louisson, Simon (4 April 2007). "Queenstown pushes power of popularity". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 November 2011.

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