• Overall Rating
Southern Lakes Heliski4.0 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
 
Southern Lakes Heliski will put a smile on your dial :)
Southern Lakes Heliski will put a smile on your dial :)
The Minaret's near Wanaka provides for some very nice and varied terrain
The Minaret's near Wanaka provides for some very nice and varied terrain
Southern Lakes Heliski use B2 & B3 squirrel helicopters for small groups
Southern Lakes Heliski use B2 & B3 squirrel helicopters for small groups
The untracked powder can be dry and boot deep
The untracked powder can be dry and boot deep

Southern Lakes Heli Skiing

Do you fancy yourself as a bit of a powder skier or boarder? Or you've heard about the lure of riding virgin snow and want to give it a go? Go out with Southern Lakes Heliski in the backcountry where there's plenty of elbow room for any powder pig (or powder hound!). Wanaka or Queenstown heli skiing sure beats attempting to find fresh pow at the nearby ski resorts.

With many years experience and the largest tenure of the New Zealand heli skiing operators, Southern Lakes Heli Ski is one of NZ’s premier heli skiing operations. Southern Lakes Heliski provides great scenery and amazing skiing and snowboarding; this is an experience of a lifetime! 

They operate B2 and B3 Squirrel Helicopters with small groups of 4-5 guests (depending on weight) per guide.

 The Southern Lakes Heli Ski season starts on July 1st and continues through to the end of September, or to October depending on demand. 

As with all NZ operators, heli skiing is very dependent on the weather, so you’ll need to have some flexibility in your itinerary. Thankfully you’ll have a huge range of other Wanaka or Queenstown activities to choose from, and at least you know that there’s a good chance you’ll be out heli skiing in gorgeous sunny conditions.

Southern Lakes Heliski Packages

Southern Lakes Day Heli Skiing DETAILS
DAY HELISKIING QUEENSTOWN & WANAKA
Packages: 4, 6 or 8 runs
From price based on 4-run package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on 4-run package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 746
EARLY BIRD: Book for dates in July or September & pay by June 30, 2016 and get 15% off advertised prices
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Southern Lakes Heliskiing offers day heli skiing packages in the Queenstown & Wanaka areas. With 11 mountains, 600 runs spread across 8,500 square kms there is plenty of variety to keep you entertained. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • From 4, 6 or 8 heli ski / boarding runs
  • Professional guiding (maximum 5 guests per guide)
  • Pick-up & return to your hotel in QT/Wanaka
  • On-mountain picnic lunch
  • Use & instruction of avalanche safety equipment
Add-ons
  • Extra runs (NZD$110/run)
  • Upgrade to private charter
Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
You can request a custom tour for your own private group within the date period shown Custom Booking Period
The number of days for this tour can be customised however must be a minimum as shown below Min Days
Please enquire for a price for your custom tour Price
It is not possible to know the exact availability for custom tours so please enquire here and the operator will let you know of their availability. If the availability is flagged as "Filling", "Almost Full", or "Sold Out", it means that dates are filling up or are fully booked. Availability
Jul 01 - Oct 01, 2018
From 1
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Enquire
Southern Lakes Multi-Day Heli Skiing DETAILS
QUEENSTOWN & WANAKA MULTI-DAY HELI SKIING
From 3 Nights | 2 x 6-Run Heliski Days
From price based on 3-night twin-share studio, 2 x 6-run HELI SKIING package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on 3-night twin-share studio, 2 x 6-run HELI SKIING package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,126
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Southern Lakes Heliskiing offers 3 & 5-night (or FULLY CUSTOMISED) multi-day heli skiing packages in the Queenstown & Wanaka area. With 11 mountains, 600 runs spread across 8,500 square kms there is plenty of variety to keep you entertained! More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • From 2 epic days of heli skiing / boarding
  • From 3 nights deluxe lodging & continental breakfasts
  • Professional guiding (maximum 5 guests per guide)
  • Airport transfers & daily transport from your hotel to heli pad
  • Use of avalanche safety equipment & powder skis or snowboard
Add-ons
  • Upgrade to private charter
  • Upgrade to 2 x 8 run days for $350 per person
  • Extra night studio accommodation $260 per night
  • Extra night 1 bedroom accommodation $315 per night
  • Upgrade to private room
Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
You can request a custom tour for your own private group within the date period shown Custom Booking Period
The number of days for this tour can be customised however must be a minimum as shown below Min Days
Please enquire for a price for your custom tour Price
It is not possible to know the exact availability for custom tours so please enquire here and the operator will let you know of their availability. If the availability is flagged as "Filling", "Almost Full", or "Sold Out", it means that dates are filling up or are fully booked. Availability
Jul 01 - Sep 30, 2017
From 3
Enquire
Enquire
Southern Lakes Luxury Heli Skiing DETAILS
LUXURY WILDERNESS LODGING
From 3 Nights | 3 Days Unlimited Heli Skiing
From price based on 3-night twin-share luxury lodging & 3-day SEMI-PRIVATE (up to 8 guests) UNLIMITED HELI SKIING package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
From price based on 3-night twin-share luxury lodging & 3-day SEMI-PRIVATE (up to 8 guests) UNLIMITED HELI SKIING package (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in NZD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 8,343
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Southern Lakes Heliskiing offer 3 night, 3-day luxury UNLIMITED heli skiing packages (for PRIVATE groups of 2 - 8 guests) staying at the exclusive Minaret Station Alpine Lodge. Indulge in the finest local cuisine matched with award winning wines then bask in the afterglow with a spa under the southern stars. More
View inclusions & Add-ons
Inclusions
  • 3 Days UNLIMITED PRIVATE or SEMI-PRIVATE heli skiing/boarding
  • 3 nights luxury alpine lodging & all chef prepared meals & wine
  • Dedicated guide/host (maximum 4 guests per guide)
  • Direct access to helicopter from lodging plus heli transfers in/out of Queenstown
  • Use of avalanche safety equipment & premium powder skis or snowboard
Add-ons
  • Nothing to add, it's all included
Location: New Zealand | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Click here for rates, dates & availability
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
You can request a custom tour for your own private group within the date period shown Custom Booking Period
The number of days for this tour can be customised however must be a minimum as shown below Min Days
Please enquire for a price for your custom tour Price
It is not possible to know the exact availability for custom tours so please enquire here and the operator will let you know of their availability. If the availability is flagged as "Filling", "Almost Full", or "Sold Out", it means that dates are filling up or are fully booked. Availability
Jul 01 - Sep 30, 2017
From 3
Enquire
Available
1Total Results: 3Total Pages: 1

Where is Southern Lakes Heli Ski Located?

As the name suggests, Southern Lakes Heliski operate in the majestic mountains of the Southern Lakes region of New Zealand. They offer both heli skiing Queenstown or heli ski Wanaka options.

The staging area (the place you take off from in the helicopter) can vary from one day to the next depending on weather and snow conditions, and the transport to the staging area may be via a van or a boat ride across the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu or other waterways. There are days when the Wanaka heli skiing terrain provides the best options – it doesn’t matter if you’re staying in Queenstown, as SLHS will still provide transport from your Queenstown accommodation.


View Larger Map

Heli Skiing Terrain

Southern Lakes has over 8,500 square kilometres of terrain in which to play. With 11 mountain ranges to choose from and more than 600 runs, Southern Lakes Heliski has something for everyone. Their terrain offers cruising through untouched powder to challenging steeps and glaciers. As examples, Southern Lakes Heliski has access to the Central Harris Mountains on Branches Station, the Minarets (near Minaret Station), and the amazing Clarke Glacier in the Forbes Mountain Range which includes high elevation terrain.

As with all New Zealand heli skiing, the terrain is above the tree-line so there is no fear about learning to ski powder and navigate around trees at the same time! The SLHS stats state that average runs are 600-1,000 metres of vertical drop, but depending on the snow conditions, there are also many runs from 400 to 600 metres of vertical. The stats for elevations are between 2,585 and 1,200 m, although many of the drop-offs are around 1,900m and depending on the snow conditions, pick-ups may be at about 1,400-1,500m.

SLHS Terms & Conditions

Prices
Prices are per person and in New Zealand dollars. Inclusive of 15% GST (goods & services tax)

Payment
  • All transactions will be processed in NZD$
  • Cash, Visa, MasterCard and Amex accepted

Deposit and Cancellation Policy

  • A 20% deposit is required to confirm all reservations
  • No charge outside 31 Days prior to arrival if cancelled
  • 100% Charge within 31 Days prior to arrival if cancelled
Cancellation Due to Bad Weather
Unfortunately sometimes bad weather prevents the operation. Should this occur, all payments will be fully refunded. If some heliskiing has been possible, but due to the weather you had fewer runs than you booked for; the value of refund offered will be determined by the package purchased. 

Refunds are not given due to injury, lack of ability, fitness or cancellations on the day.

Powderhounds Review of Southern Lakes Heliski

See our Southern Lakes Heli Ski review for more information.

Below is a short video of a day out with Southern Lakes Heliski in the Minaret's...



Reviews

Minaret Magic

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
15/09/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Fantastic Playground Lovely Powder I Love the Minarets
In New Zealand you don’t necessarily have very high expectations for the snow quality (and you have to take the good with the bad), but SLHS took us to the Minarets and absolutely blew any expectations right out of the water of what NZ powder could possibly be like! This was one out of the bag!

We flew out to the Minarets from the Wanaka airport, and the scenic flight was absolutely spectacular across Lake Wanaka and then the amazing jagged peaks of the Minarets.

The heli skiing was even more amazing! The powder was ankle to boot deep and it was deliciously dry due to some nice cold temps. At times there was cold smoke flying out from the trenches we were leaving. It was probably the best snow quality we’ve ever seen out heli skiing in New Zealand! Phenomenal!

The terrain at the Minarets was very interesting (although we stayed in the one zone for all the runs) with some fall-line stretches as well as plenty of lumps, bumps, gullies and other terrain features on which to play.

Ian our great guide kept the guiding instructions simple yet effective, and considering his wealth of experience in the heli skiing industry, we felt incredibly comfortable knowing that he had our backs wrt safety.

It took us a while to come down from the high of that day out with Southern Lakes Heliski!

As good as it gets

Michael Cornwell
07/09/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Rider Country
    The Minarets north of Wanaka
Here my hands are up in seemingly disbelief with what I was experiencing & it kept getting better...
I have done heli boarding with Southern Lakes Heli 3 times now over the past 4 years, with the most recent being 21st August 2015. The weather was 10/10 - just perfect without a breath of wind. The snow was like nothing I have ridden before & I had one of the best days of my life. Ian our guide was great & our pilot, awesome. And we were treated with being joined in our group by Greg & Lyndell from powderhounds.com (thanks guys for the great pics & was great to spend the day with you both). The whole experience & package that is Southern Lakes Heli is one that I know you will have no regrets & only amazing memories. I will be back &/or maybe fulfil a dream of the heli experience abroad. Thanks to all for the memories that will last a life time.

Oh Dear

Rebecca
21/08/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Oh dear! We’d been told that the snow conditions were likely to be “good” but they were very very shabby. Of course they can only try to predict what the conditions are likely to be, but I’m surprised that they missed how windy it had been and that the freezing levels such that it had rained (I’d just arrived in town but I guess I should have picked this up better and quizzed them more about the snow conditions). The snow was wind crust (sometimes breakable) at the top, and then it was icy (from rain) down below.

The average vertical of the runs was only about 390 metres, which is far below their stated average, but it felt as though there was only about 50 metres of decent skiing. I’m surprised that they even went out and then continued. Meanwhile the guides were trying to gee us up and were saying that the snow was “pretty good” – I hope they weren’t for real.

We stayed all 7 runs on the same area and every run felt pretty much the same. They didn’t take us somewhere else to mix it up or to try a slightly different aspect to find snow that wasn’t so wind-affected.

We were in an advanced to expert group, and surprisingly they had an intermediate group on exactly the same terrain. Sure it wasn’t super steep, but the intermediates must have been struggling big time to ski on that sort of snow. I hope they didn’t think that was what all heli skiing is like, because they wouldn’t ever go heli skiing again.

It was far from the best heli ski day I’ve had, but I guess this is New Zealand where anything can happen to the snow.

Great Southern Fun

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
21/08/2010
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
New Zealand heli skiing operations are very similar and the Queenstown operators in particular are somewhat difficult to differentiate from each other.

Factors that are typical to all NZ heli operations include: no tree skiing; high frequency of down days due to inability to ski and fly in protected areas; the snow quality can be very variable; and the rates are a fraction of what you’d pay for heli skiing elsewhere in the world.

A factor typical to the Queenstown and Wanaka heli operators is that the amount of snowfall is generally not as great as that further north around Mt Cook or Methven, although the temperatures are often cooler. Southern Lakes’ terrain only receives 2.5-3.5 metres of snowfall per season, and the upper reaches of their terrain is not as high as it is with Alpine Heliski and Harris Mountains, but it is higher than with Backcountry Helicopters. In a similar vein, the vertical drop is also typically shorter in the Queenstown/Wanaka area at about 600-700 metres compared with the Mt Cook/Methven areas.

So what’s distinctive about Southern Lakes? Southern Lakes are a professional outfit and are large with the capacity to take out lots of guests each day. This gives them plenty of flexibility to be able to match you well with others of a similar ability and fitness level. It also means that they’ll operate every fine day with low likelihood of them not reaching the minimum numbers required to operate.

Another pro for Southern Lakes is that they have huge terrain to choose from which helps them find the best snow possible.

For a more detailed review and ratings on this operation, see our Southern Lakes Heli Ski review.