Heli Skiing in the Southern Alps


heli skiing

Day 1: Arrival and Preparation

Morning: Arrival in Queenstown Start your adventure by flying into Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Nestled among the dramatic Southern Alps and the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is not only a scenic gem but also the gateway to your heli-skiing adventure. Upon arrival, check into the Hotel St Moritz, offering cozy, alpine-style luxury with sweeping views of the lake and mountains.

Afternoon: Gear Check and Orientation After settling in, visit the headquarters of Southern Lakes Heli Ski, one of the top heli-skiing operators in the area. Here, you’ll meet your guides, check your equipment, and receive a thorough safety briefing. This session will cover avalanche safety and familiarize you with the terrain you’ll be exploring over the next few days.

Evening: Welcome Dinner at Botswana Butchery Enjoy a hearty welcome dinner at Botswana Butchery, a renowned Queenstown restaurant known for its fine cuts of meat and local produce. This will be a perfect time to get to know your fellow skiers and anticipate the thrilling days ahead.

Day 2: First Day of Heli-Skiing

Morning: First Heli-ski Drop Rise early and prepare for your first heli-ski drop. The helicopter takes you to one of the carefully selected peaks based on the day’s best snow conditions and weather. Experience the thrill of making fresh tracks in untouched powder, with runs suitable for your skill level, guided by expert professionals.

Lunch: Mountain Picnic Enjoy a specially prepared picnic lunch on the snow, surrounded by the awe-inspiring panoramas of the Southern Alps. This is a great moment to relax, take photos, and enjoy the tranquility of the high mountain environment.

Afternoon: More Ski Runs After lunch, continue your adventure with more runs, exploring different terrains and slopes. Your guide will ensure that each drop offers a unique experience, maximizing your thrill and enjoyment.

Evening: Relaxation at the Onsen Hot Pools Following an exhilarating day, unwind at the Onsen Hot Pools, where you can soothe your muscles in hot pools overlooking the Shotover River canyon. It’s a magical experience, especially as the sun sets over the rugged landscape.

Day 3: Advanced Heli-Skiing and Departure

Morning: Advanced Ski Runs On your final day, tackle more challenging terrains if conditions permit. For experienced skiers, the guides can pick steeper and deeper runs that offer an adrenaline-pumping experience. This is your chance to push your limits under the safe watch of your heli-ski guide.

Lunch: Farewell Lunch at The Grille by Eichardt’s Back in Queenstown, enjoy a farewell lunch at The Grille by Eichardt’s, known for its sophisticated atmosphere and exquisite menus that highlight local flavors and ingredients.

Afternoon: Departure After lunch, pack up your memories and gear for departure. Depending on your flight schedule, there might be a little time to explore Queenstown’s shops and perhaps pick up some souvenirs.

Top Tips for Your Trip

  • Book Early: Heli-skiing slots fill up quickly, especially in peak season. Early booking ensures you get the dates and experience you want.
  • Physical Preparation: Heli-skiing is physically demanding. It’s advisable to be in good physical condition and possibly get some pre-trip skiing to enhance your stamina and enjoyment.
  • Safety First: Always listen to your guides and follow their instructions closely. They are trained to provide a safe and enjoyable experience in complex alpine environments.