New Zealand is a well established international ski vacation destination, with numerous opportunities for heliskiing in various South Island locations. Heliskiing combines the excitement of flying by helicopter above the magnificent Southern Alps, and then skiing or boarding superb runs in untracked powder. The powder is deep, untracked and mountainous locations breathtaking. Is it worth skiing in New Zealand? Read our blog about skiing in New Zealand.
Why not combine heliskiing with your New Zealand holiday. Ask us how we can include a day or more of heliskiing in your tailored New Zealand vacation. We’ve arranged several trips for individuals, couples, groups and families and can arrange something that suits your needs. Below we’ve included some heliskiing and skiing packages which can be utilised as is, or further tailored to your exact requirements. Additional information and packages can be found on our skiing or snowboarding vacation page.
New Zealand Heli Ski Season:
The New Zealand heli ski season is the opposite to the Northern hemisphere and is similar to the regular New Zealand skiing season running from early July and finishing in October. The coldest, driest conditions tend to be in July and August with more settled, warmer weather occurring in September and October making for excellent spring skiing.
New Zealand Heli Ski Prices:
There are several options and combinations when it comes to heli-skiing in New Zealand. The price of heliskiing is usually measured in ‘runs’ i.e. a ‘3 run day’ ex Wanaka as of 2016 starts at approx NZD990 per person. This is an approximate guide and prices can vary greatly dependent on number of runs, type of helicopter used, number of guests, exclusive or non exclusive (your party only), location of staging area etc.
New Zealand Heli-Skiing Locations:
Wanaka: Wanaka is the little brother to Queenstown and located less than an hours drive away. Its a little more laid back than Queenstown but offers similar scenery and facilities. More importantly its an excellent location for heli-skiing with the Southern Alps and Mt Aspiring National Park literally on its doorstep.
Mount Cook: New Zealand’s highest peak is the focal point of the Southern Alps. The southern alps feature 29 other peaks higher than 3,000 metres. Heliskiing around the Mt Cook National Park region enables you to see New Zealands tallest peak along with accessing supurb heliskiing terrain.
Ben Ohau Range: Located roughly half way between Wanaka and Mt Cook this lesser know region offers excellent heliskiing in a relaxed, friendly environment.
New Zealand Heli-Skiing Accommodation:
In the South Island the two main areas for heliskiing accommodation are Central Otago (Queenstown, Wanaka) and Canterbury (both north, south and central). Both Queenstown and Wanaka are considered to be the premiere South Island luxury heli-ski accommodation regions both in terms of volume and variety, from B&Bs, private holiday homes and luxury hotels through to the very best luxury lodges the world can offer. We recommend a variety of lodgings here but some of the better known and consistently excellent choices would be: In Queenstown Azur Lodge, The Spire Hotel, Blanket Bay, Matakauri Lodge, Eichardts Private Hotel and the Rees Hotel. In Wanaka Silverpine Lodge, Whare Kea Lodge and Aoturoa B&B. Again there is a large selection of private homes and luxury villas for rent and we have a select list that can be accessed by visiting the Queenstown or Wanaka region pages. The Canterbury region covers a much larger area and some of the recommended choices here vary from Otahuna Luxury Lodge, Claremont Estate and The George Hotel to the rustic Dry Paddocks private villa.
Luxury Adventures only uses reputable companies for its heli-skiing operations. Terrain, snowpack and weather is always assessed prior to your heli-skiing day commencing, ensuring the safest possible conditions are present for you and your group. Similarly helicopters are modern turbine machines that meet New Zealands high safety and operational standards.
Alpine skis, telemark skis, or snowboards are all suitable. Equipment can be hired locally or you can bring your own. It is recommended that you arrange your equipment the day prior.
What to bring:
Warm ski clothing, good eyewear, sunscreen and camera. A day-pack is also recommended because equipment is not able to be left in the helicopter.
What To Expect On The Day:
First thing in the morning the weather and snow conditions are checked. If weather conditions are suitable then you will be picked up and transferred to the staging area – if not then your trip will be deferred to the following day. From here you’ll meet your guide and be given an extensive safety briefing. Then its skids up and into the Southern Alps for an unforgettable day of heliskiing. Lunch is provided and generally groups meet up and share lunch in one location.
Contact us to add heli-skiing to your New Zealand vacation