There’s a reason Warren Miller, Matchstick Productions and Teton Gravity Research film their ski movies in New Zealand – terrain. If you like your skiing steeper and deeper or prefer to hit the half pipe for some big air or just want to get some off piste powder then you’ve come to the right place.
Try Treble Cone’s Saddle Basin for wide open intermediate and advanced ski runs or hike the summit for some fresh powder then step it up in the Motatapu chutes where Freeride World Tour athletes practice their big mountain skills.
Treble Cone near Wanaka has the most vertical drop in the South Island with 700metres of vertical. A favourite with big mountain skiers, the resort is also the largest ski area in the South Island with 550 hectares of skiable terrain.
Cardrona’s terrain park and half pipe has hosted the likes of Shaun White, Gus Kenworthy, Torah Bright and Kim Lamarre so if you do your best work in the air then this is the resort for you. In fact twenty one medalists from Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics trained in the Cardrona terrain park and superpipe in 2013.
The Remarkables Curvy Basin chairlift opened in 2014 and created easier access to the resort’s advanced terrain around Lake Alta. A short hike from the top of Shadow Basin chair will also get you to the finger chutes of Escalator and Elevator or try the Homeward trails and catch the bus back up the access road to the lift.
Coronet Peak’s back bowls will challenge any advanced skier and as they are south facing they hold the snow well for longer.
For those looking for added adrenaline then we have four syllables for you – helicopter. If you are a strong intermediate, advanced or expert skier then there is helicopter accessed powder skiing for you. Try Southern Lakes Heliski or Harris Mountain Heli, both have offices in Queenstown and Wanaka with packages starting at 3 runs for NZ$895
Still got energy to burn? Try night skiing at Coronet Peak, indoor and outdoor climbing at Basecamp Wanaka or head to The Cardrona Hotel for a mulled wine in the beer garden around an open fire pit before hitting Fergburger in Queenstown to refuel with the best burgers in the southern hemisphere.