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Intro to Heli-Skiing in Wanaka & Queenstown, New Zealand

Take your off-piste skiing to the skies in New Zealand’s extensive backcountry

Heli-skiing in New Zealand’s Southern Alps is the ultimate backcountry adventure, offering a chance to ski untouched powder in wide-open slopes and bowls. With fully-qualified and certified guides, a mountain-top buffet lunch, and transportation included, it’s the perfect way to experience the thrill of powder skiing.

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Full day heli-skiing
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Max 5 guests per heli
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Queenstown and Wanaka
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Ski untouched powder
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July - September
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From NZD $1,450 per person

Whether you’re looking to heli-ski long, gentle runs at a relaxed pace, or ski steeper faces and rack up the vertical, we work with top operators flying out of Queenstown, Wanaka and Mt Cook.

A more relaxed heli-ski day, suitable for intermediate to advanced skiers without much powder skiing experience. Your professional heli-ski guide guide will teach you the techniques needed to ski untouched powder with precision and style over several helicopter-accessed runs. No need to pack your lunch, as your guides will lay this out for you as a mountaintop picnic.

This day trip takes place in the Queenstown, Wanaka and Mt. Cook areas, departing from Queenstown or Wanaka.

This adventure is available for up to 5 guests, and aimed at advanced intermediate skiers who are looking for a great introduction to powder skiing and heli-skiing.

The best conditions are in the peak winter season in New Zealand, end of July through to mid September.

What to expect from heli-skiing in Wanaka & Queenstown

A day skiing wide open slopes and bowls with soft powdery snow – the perfect environment to learn how to ski powder, under the watchful eye of your guide. Depending on your ability and fitness, you can expect to ski anywhere between 3 and 10 runs. Day trips typically depart from Queenstown, Wanaka and Mt Cook, and for those looking to arrange a chartered heli-ski day you can be collected from your lodge.


  • Fully-qualified, certified heli-ski guide, at a guide-to-guest ratio of 1:4-5
  • Mountaintop buffet lunch
  • Avalanche transceiver and training on transceiver use
  • Pickup and return transportation from accommodation to heli-staging area

If you’re looking to heli-ski Mt Cook but stay in Queenstown or Wanaka, we can organise a short and incredibly scenic transfer by plane, where you will then meet your helicopter in Mt Cook. Each flight offers an unbeatable sightseeing experience, with the added bonus of skiing untouched powder slopes at the end!

Looking for something extra special?

If you’ve got a small group or just want a private heli-ski experience, why not charter a helicopter for the day? Receive tailored instruction, set your own pace, rack up the vertical, or choose to finish your day with a mountaintop wine tasting – this is your heli-ski day to go as big and as crazy as you please.

Opt for an alpine picnic to maximize your on-snow time, or fly over to the remote heli-access-only Minaret Station for a gourmet lunch. The chefs will prepare a delicious lunch from the finest, fresh local produce while you reminisce on the day’s runs and enjoy a relaxed meal matched with award-winning wines.

Got another idea? Let us know, we thrive off creating new experiences!

Charlotte, Queenstown and Wanaka

Mabey Ski has an exceptional eye for detail and no request was considered too difficult. There were so many personal touches...

James, Queenstown and Wanaka

Heli-skiing and lunch on top of a mountain with nobody for miles around are memories that will stay with me forever! That and running around Lake Wanaka at sundown with clear skies – might be the best running trail I've ever been on.

Becca, Queenstown and Wanaka

The most personalized trip I've ever been on. I would never have thought of a day's wine tasting on a ski holiday, but it turns out it's the perfect way to rest your legs in the middle of a week of skiing!


4 run packages starting at NZ$1,450
6 run packages starting at NZ$1,650
7 run packages starting at NZ$1,795
8 run packages starting at NZ$1,850
10 run packages starting at NZ$2,150
Private charter starting at NZ$12,795 for up to 4 guests


  • Professional ski guiding (4-5:1 guest to guide maximum ratio)
  • Alpine buffet lunch
  • Avalanche safety demonstration and equipment rental
  • Return transportation to and from your Wanaka or Queenstown (or Mt Cook) accommodation


  • Additional runs
  • Video service, available on request
  • Powder or all mountain ski rental

Where is Wanaka & Queenstown in New Zealand?

Based out of the beautiful town of Wanaka in New Zealand, your guide will take you on an unforgettable experience through the backcountry. On a day of heli-skiing, you’ll enjoy untouched power and the wide-open slopes and bowls of New Zealand’s Wanaka region.

With a fully-qualified and certified guide to lead you, you will be transported to some of the most remote and spectacular areas of the Southern Alps, tailored to your ability and fitness level. With transportation, safety equipment, and a mountaintop buffet lunch included, this is the perfect opportunity to discover the best of New Zealand’s powder skiing.

What skiing level is required for heli-skiing in Wanaka & Queenstown?

Heli-skiing requires a high level of skiing proficiency, and you should be comfortable with advanced terrain, including steeps, moguls, and variable snow conditions. We recommend that you have at least 5 years minimum of ski experience behind you before going heli-skiing.

When is the best time to heli-ski in New Zealand?

Heli-skiing is available between July and September in New Zealand; hoewever, if you are looking for more reliable snow, we recommend August to early September. Late September offers more Spring-like conditions with more daylight hours and typically warmer weather. If you’re still not sure, speak to one of our New Zealand specialists who will be glad to assist.

What ski equipment do I need for heli-skiing in Wanaka & Queenstown?

  • Warm and waterproof clothing: this includes a ski jacket, pants, base and mid layers, gloves and hat.
  • Ski or snowboard gear: if you choose not to rent, bring your skis/board, boots, goggles and poles.
  • Protective gear: a helmet is necessary.
  • Personal items: bring items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm to protect yourself from the sun and wind.
  • Avalanche Safety Gear: backcountry environments are where avalanches occur so you need the right safety gear like an avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe. These are typically provided by heli-ski operators.
  • Food and water: pack enough food and water to keep yourself nourished and hydrated throughout the day.
  • First Aid Kit: bring some band-aids, painkillers, and any other necessary medication.
  • Insurance: make sure to have travel insurance that covers heli-skiing, as well as emergency evacuation coverage. We recommend Global Rescue.
  • Camera: capture the beautiful views and memories.

Chasing Powder in Wanaka & Queenstown

Heli-skiing is a unique and exhilarating experience that allows skiers and snowboarders to access the most remote and untouched powder in the world. Imagine standing on top of a mountain, surrounded by breathtaking views, and then dropping in on a run of untracked powder that stretches as far as the eye can see. Nothing beats the feeling of floating through deep powder.

Embracing New Zealand Culture

Wanaka is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. The town is full of local artists who showcase their work in galleries and studios, inspired by the natural beauty of the mountains and Picturesque landscapes surrounding the town. Wanaka is home to a number of cultural events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Festival of Colour, which is a celebration of music, dance, and the arts.

Looking for something more from your heli-ski trip to Wanaka or Queenstown?

Thought of something we haven’t? Been dreaming something up for a special milestone, but don’t know how to make it happen? Drop us a line today – impossible is our specialty.