Wanaka Mountain Guides

Ski the World: New Zealand 2024

Lake Wānaka

Lake Wanaka in Winter

We are based in Wānaka, one of the premier skiing destinations in New Zealand. We are a smaller and more laid-back version of the bustling resort of Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wānaka, and at the gateway to Mount Aspiring National Park.

We rarely get snow at lake level, so drive (or helicopter) up to the snowline. Our two main ski fields are within 30 – 45 minutes drive from town. Treble Cone has more advanced and off-piste terrain and Cardrona is more family friendly. Depending on the snowline, we ski from the summits at around 2000m down to around 1200m.

Wanaka Mountain Guides

Whilst based in Wānaka, we have options to travel through the ski fields for lift-accessed backcountry skiing, or utilise helicopter access for more remote areas. We also have the option for heli-skiing in the Harris Mountains and Aspiring National Park or a wide range of other activities.

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

Wanaka Mountain Guides

It is a 2.5-hour scenic drive to Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park. From the village it is a 20 minute helicopter flight to the head of the Tasman / Haupapa Glacier to ski on the glaciers surrounded by New Zealand’s highest peaks. The huts are situated at 2200m. Aoraki / Mount Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak at 3724m.

Wanaka Mountain Guides

Rising towards the realms of Ranginui the Sky Father, remote from human settlement, mountains loomed over the Māori world. They were places of great awe and spiritual presence. Special reverence is given to the higher peaks such as Aoraki, a great chief and the son of Ranginui.

Whilst attempting to return to the heavens, the waka, or great canoe, that Aoraki and his brothers were travelling in overturned and they were forced to climb onto the back of it to avoid drowning. They were stranded in the ocean with no way to return home and eventually, the canoe and the crew turned into stone. The bodies of Aoraki and his brothers, all of them great chiefs in their own rights, were eventually changed into mountains forming the Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana with Aoraki the eldest brother being the highest. The canoe became the South Island, and is known by Māori as Te Waka o Aoraki – The Canoe of Aoraki.

Māori Whakataū

During the Whakataū /welcome the team, will connect to Māori culture and experience the Wero/Challenge laid down by a Māori warrior brandishing a Taiaha. The team will learn the traditional Hongi greeting (where you press your nose and forehead together with another person). It will connect the team to the whenua/land and build a bond of togetherness/whānau/family.


Day 1: Saturday, August 10thInternational flights arrive in Queenstown and scenic transfer to Wānaka (1.5 hours).
Evening Māori Whakataū / welcome, dinner, and meeting for planning the next few days.
Day 2: Sunday, August 11thResort skiing or lift-accessed ski touring from our of the local ski fields.

Optional extra for helicopter-accessed ski touring, or heli-skiing depending on conditions. The helicopter staging area is 20 minutes drive from Wānaka.
Day 3: Monday,
August 12th
Day 4: Tuesday,
August 13th
Day 5: Wednesday,
August 14th
Spare day for weather contingency, other activities, or rest before the glacier trip.
Day 6: Thursday,
August 15th
Travel from Wānaka to Mount Cook National Park (2.5 hours) and helicopter into a high mountain hut for ski touring.
Day 7: Friday,
August 16th
Day touring trips exploring the glaciers, peaks, and cols of the Upper Haupapa / Tasman Glacier, surrounded by New Zealand’s highest peaks from a base at Kelman or Tasman Saddle mountain huts. 
Day 8: Saturday,
August 17th
Day 9: Sunday, August 18th
Day 10: Monday,
August 19th
Ski 10km down the Haupapa / Tasman Glacier (the most scenic ski run in NZ!) for a helicopter pick-up back to Mount Cook Village.

Travel back to Wānaka.
Day 11: Tuesday,
August 20th
Rest day or other activities in Wānaka.
Day 12: Wednesday,
August 21st
Final day in Wānaka to ski for resort skiing or lift-accessed ski touring or other activities.
Early departures may travel back to Queenstown for international flights.
Day 13: Thursday,
August 22nd
Optional additional day for skiing or other activities.
Day 13: Friday
August 23rd
Transfer to Queenstown for international flights.

$4900 USD per person (based on 4, 8, 12, or 16 participants)

All prices in USD and based on $1 USD to $1.64NZD (8th August 2023). Prices may be subject to change according to the final itinerary.

Includes: All taxes, mountain guide for skiing days, compliance costs, transfers, 3-star accommodation in Wānaka, breakfast and lunch on touring days, and dinner whilst on the glacier trip.

Excludes: Ski touring or downhill equipment hire and dinner on days in Wānaka.

Wanaka Mountain Guides [] Whare Kea Chalet

Optional extras: 

  • Heli-skiing packages from $800 per person per day.
  • Helicopter-accessed ski touring from $300 per person per day (groups of 4).
  • Hotel upgrade whilst in Wānaka: $300
  • Overnight at Whare Kea Chalet during the Wānaka based days. This is a helicopter-accessed Chalet above the snow line with ski-touring or heli-skiing from the doorstep: $700 per person (maximum occupancy is 4 guests per night).


Tasman Saddle Hut in Winter

During the 5-day glacier ski touring trip, we will be staying at high alpine huts. These are basic facilities with alpine bunk, mattresses, and cooking equipment.


Wanaka Mountain Guides

Wānaka has a number of equipment shops and hire outlets. It is possible to hire alpine skis, powder skis for heli-skiing, or touring skis.

Please review the equipment list below and get in touch if you have any questions.

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