31 best things to do in the central North Island
Dominated by the enormous Lake Taupō and a trio of volcanoes including Mount Ruapehu, the Central Plateau is sporting a plethora of natural ...
This is the ultimate way to ski or board New Zealand. Get airlifted deep into the backcountry with a small group of fellow thrill-seekers to find slopes well off the beaten track.
Heli ski operators can access mountains you’d never get to otherwise, and the views from the chopper are jaw-dropping. And it's not just for experts – some operators have intermediate-friendly heli ski options, so leave your excuses at the door.
Riding on untracked natural snow is very different to the groomed slopes of the ski areas we’re all used to. If you're renting gear, explain what you're doing and request that your gear is well waxed. You can usually get by with standard downhill skis and boards, but most operations recommend the use of fat powder skis and powder boards if possible. Whatever you're into, heli ski operators can custom design an adventure to make sure you get it.
An expert guide will be on hand to lead you through the experience. Heli skiing missions extend across huge areas of backcountry and can include anything from wide-open basins to steep descents and glacier travel.
Harris Mountains Heli-Ski [Mt Cook Village, Queenstown & Wānaka] Exciting heli skiing expeditions in seven separate mountain ranges including the Harris Mountains, Buchanans Range and Mount Cook region.
Southern Lakes Heliski [Queenstown & Wānaka] Southern Lakes terrain to suit every skier and boarder, from gentle to steep – Southern Lakes has access to the most terrain of any NZ heli-ski operator, and even glacier skiing/boarding is an option.
Methven Heliski [Canterbury] Just two hours’ drive from Christchurch, heli ski or heli snowboard in the Arrowsmiths, a glaciated mountain range running parallel to the Southern Alps.
Ski The Tasman [Mt Cook Village] Air-accessed skiing adventures on New Zealand's longest glacier, which doubles as New Zealand’s longest green run. Small group adventures for average/moderate skiers (sorry, Ski The Tasman is not suitable for snowboarders).
Mount Cook Heliski [Mt Cook Village] Exclusive access to Mount Cook National Park with its vast expanses of untracked mountains – expect long and high runs amongst big glaciated peaks.
Alpine Heliski [Queenstown] One-day and multi-day heli skiing and heli boarding packages in the pristine terrain of New Zealand's Southern Alps.
Read more for the latest season info on skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand.
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