It’s summer in New Zealand, the air is warm and the days are long. What a great time to be alive! But when we are completely honest we can’t help but miss the feeling of fresh powder underneath our skis, cold air in our lungs and the sound of rotor blades over our heads. The heli-skiing blues usually come in the middle of summer when the snowy days are so far away that it hurts. So what do you do to fight the pain?
1) Close the curtains, turn on the TV and let a skiing film take you back to the snowy summits. Have you checked out “Line of Descent” by Warren Miller Productions? It was shot partly in our heli-skiing terrain in Mt Cook last year! Sit back, relax and get some ideas on where to go for your next heli-skiing adventure.
2) Rent inline skates or a skateboard! It is the closest you can get to the feeling of skiing and snowboarding while enjoying summer. You might even find a road with a mountain panorama and then it almost feels like your doing one of our runs.
3) Heli-skiing only happens for a few months each year but our helicopters fly all year round. Booking a scenic flight with The Helicopter Line in Queenstown is a great way to explore New Zealand’s beautiful nature, even outside of the heli-skiing season. Scenic flights start from 175 NZ$ per person, you can find all the info here: https://www.helicopter.co.nz
4) Another way to get close to the summit and valleys we all miss so much is of course by foot. Hiking in New Zealand’s beautiful outdoors, for example, the Aspiring National Park, will take your mind off anything negative whether it’s the heli-skiing blues or any other kind of blues. Depending on how much you miss being in a helicopter, there are also tour operators offering heli-hikes out of Wanaka and Queenstown. The Helicopter Line even offers combined packages to Mt Cook and Milford Sound that include everything you could possibly wish for, helicopters, hiking and sightseeing! Watch out, you might even see a Kea, the unique New Zealand mountain parrot!
5) Grab some snacks, take a blanket and imitate our legendary lunch buffet in the mountains or go to Provisions located on the main road in Arrowtown for the real deal, they provide all our food in winter, from the delicious ham sandwiches and the tasty savouries to the irresistible brownies!
6) For the feeling of thrill combined with thin air, go sky-diving! You might not be wearing your ski gear but you are flying and jumping out of a plane with a friendly guide on your back. You can get some amazing views the ocean and glaciers at the same time when you step out of the plane over Franz Josef Glacier.
7) Have you heard of New Zealand’s only Indoor Ski Slope? Snowplanet is an indoor snow dome close to Auckland where you can ski and snowboard all year round. You can even take lessons!
8) Quite the opposite to heli-skiing but almost as much fun is surfing! Join the crowd in one of the many great spots on New Zealand’s coast, whether it’s Raglan, Northland or the West Coast and throw yourself in the cold ocean goodness. Popular locations like Shipwrecks Bay, White Rock and Fitzroy Beach in the North Island and St Clair, Kahutara and Big Bay in the South Island make a surfer's heart bit faster. Practising your balance on the surfboard is also great preparation for the next winter season!
9) The most expensive option to escape the heli-skiing blues is to jump on a plane and fly to the Northern hemisphere. While New Zealand is sweating under the summer sun, the ski fields in Europe, Japan and North America are open and can take you straight back into the wonderful world of snow sports.
10) Eat chocolate. Because let’s be honest: Sometimes that’s the only thing that helps. Our personal favourite, New Zealand's very own chocolate brand Whittaker's is always a crowd pleaser.