Just an hour’s drive from Queenstown at the southern end of Lake Wanaka sits the ski town of the same name. The tranquil atmosphere of the lake is echoed in Wanaka town itself, which has cosmopolitan flair but a chilled-out vibe and a good selection of restaurants, cafes and bars.
Wanaka is home to the South Island’s largest ski and snowboard resort – Treble Cone. Advanced skiers will love Treble Cone’s steeper trails, off-piste terrain and backcountry areas, not forgetting the stunning views over Lake Wanaka itself.
A short drive south of Wanaka town you’ll find Cardrona, which features three wide open basins with progressive terrain, while the altitude creates some of New Zealand’s best snow conditions. And for those with shredding in their soul, Cardona also has two halfpipes (including New Zealand’s only Olympic 22ft Superpipe), a gravity-X course and a world-renowned big air jump.
Similar to Queenstown, Wanaka’s heli-skiing terrain is extensive and offers views over endless snowcapped peaks, glacial blue lakes, and lush green countryside below – it really is an entirely different ski experience to anywhere else in the world! Wanaka’s ski season runs from June to October, but we’d recommend visiting in August or September for more reliable snow.
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The Off Piste Ski Trip of a lifetime
Wanaka backcountry skiing is one of the most sought after experiences within skiing, the challenge, adventure and stunning scenery offers something special to each skier that gets to experience its thrilling elegance. The skiing is thrilling and rewarding but equally the stunning scenery you’re surrounded by is an opportunity for you to connect with nature and enjoy the stunning views that few other people get to experience in their lifetime.
Challenge, adventure, and natural beauty will make an off-piste ski trip an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime, giving you a sense of achievement, personal growth, and a chance to create unforgettable memories.
Chasing the Off Piste Thrill
The thrill of skiing down untouched snow through the beaten path and exploring unmarked terrain will get any backcountry skier’s heart pumping. Push your limits through an adrenaline packed ski touring adventure though Wanaka’s alpine terrain where every turn is a new challenge.
The thrill of Wanaka’s backcountry ski touring is an exhilarating, exciting experience navigating through earth’s natural obstacles whilst surrounded in beautiful scenery is an adrenaline rush you need.
Stunning Backcountry Scenery
From snow capped mountains to breathtaking glaciers and alpine forests, immersing yourself in Wanaka backcountry is a humbling experience the moment you touch the powder snow.
On your backcountry ski touring adventure you’ll be transported to a natural environment where you can only feel the cold wind and hear the crunch of the fresh snow under your skis. The freedom to explore and discover the hidden gems that are tucked away in these stunning natural landscapes.
It’s not only the skiing adventure that’s beautiful, Wanakas vibrant town is full of arts and culture which is supported by a few local communities who fund and provide resources for local artists and projects across Wanaka.
Unwind after a day on Wanaka’s pristine ski slopes by immersing yourself in the town’s rich culture. Explore galleries and studios, attend live music events, and embrace the creative spirit that runs through this charming community. It’s the perfect way to relax and unwind after an exhilarating day of skiing.
Why Mabey Ski
Born into a family of skiers dating back to 1912, Nickie Mabey’s passion for skiing and adventure runs as deep as the generations before her. It’s a lifestyle that has led her to ski peaks less tracked and relocate to the snow-capped mountains of Whistler, where Mabey Ski’s team of hardcore skiers, travellers and logistics experts are based.
Why we do it
We know that some of the best memories come from when you step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Our team lives to ski and travel, and our passion lies in bringing that knowledge and experience together to give you the kind of adventure and excitement you will chase for the rest of your life.
What we do
Mabey Ski creates out-of-the-ordinary ski adventures across the globe that push boundaries and challenge the conventional. We practice what we preach and ski all over the world to find those unmarked backcountry huts, mountainside hot springs, and larger-than-life ski guides that become lifelong friends, so that we can create the most authentic and exhilarating ski adventure for you.
How we do it
Aside from the extensive research that goes on behind our trips, the most important part of the process is getting to know you – your passions, your objectives, and what you want most from your experience. Whether it’s a romantic backcountry adventure, a corporate retreat with a twist, or a full-on expedition with a crew of friends, we’ll work with you to create your ultimate ski trip.
Our knowledge and creativity come from years of experience in the industry, an unrelenting passion for our work and experience our adventures first-hand. From cat-skiing by the ocean and mountaintop wine tasting to heli-skiing first descents and catching rainbow trout for dinner, we’re on a never-ending journey to build deeper connections with a place and its people.
Ski Equipment for the backcountry
backcountry skiing in Wanaka, having the right equipment is crucial for safety and performance, having the proper gear will boost the overall experience and allow for more enjoyable and successful skiing.
- Warm and waterproof clothing: This includes a ski jacket, pants, gloves, and a hat. Layers are also important for regulating your body temperature.
- Ski or snowboard gear: Make sure to bring your skis, boots, and bindings, as well as poles if you ski.
- Protective gear: A helmet is highly recommended
- Personal items: Bring items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm to protect yourself from the sun and wind.
- Food and water: Pack enough food and water to keep yourself nourished and hydrated throughout the day.
- Cash or credit card: Some ski resorts in Hokkaido may not accept foreign credit cards, so it’s a good idea to bring cash as well.
- First Aid Kit: Bring some band-aids, painkillers, and any other necessary medication.
- Camera: Capture the beautiful views and memories.
Looking for something extra special from your Wanaka off-piste ski trip?
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.