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The Southern Alps – a truly unique Heli-ski experience!
11/09/2017 10:38am

Last weekend the winter came back and covered not only the summits but also the valleys in white powder. We are expecting epic conditions! This week we take a closer look at our terrain and give a number of reasons why skiing in the Southern Alps is so different from anywhere else in the world!

Skiing in New Zealand’s Southern Alps is a very special experience. Even guests who have been skiing in areas all over the world find that there is something unique about the mountain ranges around Wanaka, Queenstown and Mt Cook. But what makes our terrain one of a kind?

First of all, the views are different from anywhere else in the world. With Lake Wakatipu, Lake Wanaka, Lake Hawea and Lake Pukaki at the foot of our heli-ski mountains, it’s almost impossible to ski without looking at a lake beneath you. On a clear, windless day the perfect reflection could make you believe that the world exists twice.

The view is also determined by the lack of trees. While in most parts of Europe, North America and Japan huge woods cover the lower part of the mountains, the only things that grow on New Zealand’s Alps are alpine scrub and tussock. There is a unique openness to any vista.

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Photo by Mark Clinton

No matter if you’re heli-skiing or visiting one of the many ski fields one very special bird is usually waiting for you in New Zealand’s mountains: the Kea. The world’s only mountain parrot that’s famous for its cleverness, its appetite for anything that contains rubber, its very particular call (“KEEEEAAAA!!!”) and its beautiful red and green feathers. They are often found high in the mountains playing games, stealing shoe laces, nibbling windscreen wipers or fooling unsuspecting visitors into handing over snacks (Please make sure you never feed a Kea).


A cheeky Kea soars above the Southern Alps

Finally, and most importantly the snow! The Southern Alps are unique in that they receive maritime weather systems that dry out as they cross into our terrain east of the Main Divide delivering quality powder right where we want it! Because of the huge elevation change between mountain tops and valley floors you can have a day of great powder skiing high in the mountains yet enjoy your après-ski drink in the warm valley sunshine.

The Southern Alps – a truly unique Heli-ski experience! 

Snow conditions
From corn snow to powder! Last weekend brought more than 50 cm of fresh snow. Spring is taking a break and the cold temperatures guarantee epic conditions for this week’s heli-skiing. It might be the last snow storm this season so don’t wait any longer and book your heli-skiing trip with HMH now.

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