Heli-skiing and heli-boarding are New Zealand’s ultimate adrenalin-rush in the mountains.
The Southern Alps offers countless virgin snow slopes and glaciers, which can only be accessed by helicopter or ski plane. Gliding effortlessly down untouched powder slopes in an immense, silent mountain world, is pure enjoyment and gives the heli-skier a feeling of excitement and exhilaration that is unsurpassed.
Intermediate skiers who are reasonably fit and have some experience in powder can enjoy heli-skiing to the full. The season is from July to October, and the main operations in the Southern Alps are as follows:-
Option 1: Clients are transported into absolutely pristine snow covered terrain in the Harris Mountains and Mt Cook National Park. Guided trips ex Queenstown or Wanaka are based on 3 to 7 runs per day. Multi-day heli-skiing and private charters are also available.
Option 2: Covers an area of 50,000 hectares of backcountry around Lake Wakatipu and across to Cardrona. The terrain is selected each day after consideration of weather patterns, snow conditions and client skiing ability. Heli-ski combos are available, which include a lift pass for the Cardrona ski field.
Option 3: Flies into the Thompson Mountains around Mt Turnball, which overlooks Lake Wakatipu. This operates mainly from July to September using alpine guides with international experience.
Has a heli-ski/board operation deep inside the Mt Aspiring National Park. Daily guided trips allow 3 to 7 runs in wide open bowls and half-pipes for intermediate skiers, and steeps, deeps and epic lines for advanced skiers. Multi-day heli-camps are available.
Has ski-plane flights to the upper Tasman glacier from Mt Cook airport. Clients are guided on a 12 km run down the glacier through striking features such as icefalls, blue crevasses, and spectacular pinnacles. A normal daily outing comprises two glacier runs, and a gourmet lunch on the snow.
Has heli-ski/board flights into 80,000 hectares of untouched wilderness in the Hanmer area. The company offers 3 to 6 runs in a day on the slopes, including lunch and a visit to the thermal pools.
Franz Joseph & Fox Glaciers
Have heli-ski/board operations into the upper glacier regions and the extensive névés and ice fields of the Mt Cook National Park.
Has options ranging from single runs to full day heli-skiing and boarding in the Taylor Range, Black Hill and North Peak.
Ski Field Heli Services
A number of the South Island ski fields also operate heli-ski/board services on request. Currently these include; Coronet Peak, Treble Cone, Cardrona, Mt Hutt, Mt Lyford and Ohau. Enquires can be made at any field about heli-ski services available within the region.