Wanaka Freeride Tour
September 02, 2018 to September 09, 2018
$2990 PER PERSON
Experience freeriding in New Zealand with a heli-ski day, and freeride specific coaching and guiding. Our base for this tour is Wanaka which put’s us within easy reach of the best heli-ski zones in the Southern Lakes, plus the world class resorts; Cardrona, Treble Cone, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
The highlight of this tour is a heli-ski day, where you’ll get to ride deep powder in backcountry bowls, snowy ridges and powder basins. You can be sure that our heli-ski guides will make the extra effort to get you the best and deepest snow on the day. Runs vary between 2000 to 3500 vertical feet and you can expect to ride treeless terrain in sheltered basins, bowls and wide-open rolling mountain flanks.
To get you prepared for the heli-ski day, we start the off the tour with 2 days of snowboard coaching and guiding at Cardrona Resort. Cardrona is consistently ranked as the best snowboarding destinations in New Zealand, with the best pipe, park, chutes and steeps. You’ll spend 2 full days riding with our professional and experienced coaches who will take you under their wing and show you the many secret riding spots Cardrona has to offer. You’ll get to build your core riding skills through carving, riding powder, steeps, jumps & more. With lift line priority, you’ll be lapping the resort like a pro.
We also spend 2 further days exploring Treble Cone and the Queenstown resorts, riding at either The Remarkables or Coronet Peak. Your guides will watch the snow and weather conditions closely, so you’ll get to ride the best resort on the day. Queenstown and Wanaka typically score an early September snow-storm. With any luck you’ll be riding the bowls and chutes at Treble Cone or The Remarkables with fresh powder.
Throughout the tour you’ll stay in modern, twin share accommodation, right in the centre of Wanaka. All transportation is included and you’ll travel in comfortable 4WD vehicles. Come and experience the South Island with us and find out why Queenstown and Wanaka get their world famous reputation in the snowboard world.
September 2 – Arrival Day
Welcome to New Zealand! Your tour guides will meet you at Queenstown Airport. We’ll load up our 4WD transport and then make the 1 hour drive over the Crown Range to our home base in Wanaka. Once you arrive, we’ll check you in to the hotel and make sure you are settled in and ready for the week ahead. If the sun is shining, join your guides for a welcome drink on the shores of Lake Wanaka. In the evening we’ll head out for a Welcome Session and group dinner. Your guides will explain what’s in store for the week ahead. It’s also a great opportunity to any questions and to get to know the group and guides.
September 3 & 4 – Cardrona coaching days
To get you prepared for the heli-ski day, we start the tour with 2 days of snowboarding coaching and guiding at Cardrona Resort. Each day we’ll have an early start so we can be on mountain by 9am. We run our freeride coaching sessions here as Cardrona is consistently ranked as the best snowboarding destinations in New Zealand, with the best pipe, park, chutes and steeps. You’ll spend 2 full days riding with our professional and experienced coaches who will take you under their wing and show you the many secret riding spots Cardrona has to offer. You’ll get to build your core riding skills through carving, riding powder, steeps, jumps & more. With lift line priority, you’ll be lapping the resort like a pro. After riding, we’ll head to the famous Cardrona Pub for some beers and snacks, then make the short drive back to our hotel. In the evening we’ll head out for a group dinner.
September 5 – Heli-ski day
Today will be one of the highlights of the trip. We meet early for breakfast at the hotel or one of the nearby cafes so you can fuel up for the day ahead. We’ll load our equipment into the van and then make the drive to our heli staging area. Sit back and enjoy the amazing scenery as we travel along the shoreline of Lake Wanaka until we reach the high country sheep station which is the heli staging area. Once at the station your guides will conduct a safety briefing which includes rescue training and how to use your avalanche safety equipment. They will also brief you on Helicopter Safety. All of the Harris Mountain Heli-ski guides are trained in avalanche rescue and have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share with you. Questions are welcomed and encouraged. For our first session, we will typically do 3 – 4 runs before breaking for lunch on mountain. We will have a picnic style lunch in the mountains with sandwiches, snacks and plenty of hot soup, tea and water. In the afternoon we’ll complete our remaining runs, and if there is the opportunity to do more runs, your guides will advise the group. After we have finished riding we will return back to the heli staging area. We’ll then load the vans and head back to Wanaka where we’ll enjoy a group dinner at one of the local pub’s.
September 6 – Free day
We leave this day free in order to give you the option to choose and activity that makes a New Zealand snow holiday so unique. Spend another day Heli Boarding in NZ, shoot some clay targets, play a round of golf, go jet boating or just rest the legs and spend the day hanging out in Wanaka. There are plenty of shops, cafes, short walks and amazing views so theres plenty to experience.
September 7 – The Remarkables / Coronet Peak
We have an early start and load up the vehicles for a day trip across to Queenstown. You’ll get to spend the day freeriding with the group at either The Remarkables or Coronet Peak. Your guides will select the resort based on weather and conditions. Your guides are on-hand to take you to the best zones and show you their their favourite runs. After riding, we’ll head in to the heart of Queenstown and visit our friends at Alta Snowboard shop. The beers are on them, and they will have some VIP discounts across the store. We’ll grab a quick dinner in Queenstown, typically at Fergburger, then make the drive back to Wanaka.
September 8 – Treble Cone
For our final day riding we’ll head to Treble Cone. This resort is the largest ski area in NZ’s South Island, and is famous for its long un-crowded groomed runs, legendary off-piste and unrivalled views over Lake Wanaka and the Southern Alps. If conditions are right we’ll head down the Saddle Back for a taste of Treble Cone’s famous off-piste terrain, or the Saddle Basin and Summit Slopes for open powder faces, natural half pipes and fun drops. After riding we’ll head back to Wanaka and catch up for dinner and drinks for our final night.
September 9 – Departure day
We check out of the hotel. Join your guides for breakfast on the Wanaka lakefront. We will then drop you back off to Queenstown airport for your flight back home after an epic tour!
Your tour includes:
- 4 run heli-ski day with Harris Mountain Heli-ski
- Safety briefing covering avalanche transceivers and use, helicopter and mountain safety
- Fully-qualified, certified mountain specialist heli-ski guide
- A guide-to-guest ratio of 1 : 5
- Alpine buffet lunch
- Pickup and return transportation from accommodation to heli-staging area
- For an additional cost, video service available upon request.
Guiding and Coaching
- 2 days of snowboard coaching at Cardrona Alpine Resort with qualified and professional world class coaches
- Lift line priority for coaching days
- 2 days of resort guiding for non-coaching days
- Assistance with equipment selection and discounts at local stores
- 7 nights of twin share accommodation in central Wanaka. All rooms are equipped with 2 beds, free WIFI, ensuite bathroom, heating, TV, tea & coffee making facility and fridge. The accommodation is equipped with bar and restaurant which serves breakfast.
Private 4WD transportation
- Daily private transfers to and from the resort in comfortable 4WD vehicles
- Arrival day pick-up from Queenstown Airport
- Departure day drop-off to Queenstown Airport.
- 3 day lift ticket valid at Cardrona Alpine Resort and Treble Cone
- 1 day lift ticket valid at The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
Our accommodation for the tour is hotel style and centrally located in Wanaka. All rooms are twin share and are equipped with an ensuite bathroom, free WIFI, heating, TV and fridge. All guests will have access to communal cooking facilities. There is also a bar and restaurant on-site.
Mint Tours Guides
Your professional guides have an in-depth knowledge of the local area, terrain and conditions. You can be assured we will always find you the best snow conditions available. Our goal is to get everybody on tour enjoying themselves and pushing your riding in a relaxed and fun environment.
Small Group Numbers
Our guests to guide ratio is 5 : 1. We like to keep our group sizes small so you can get the most out of your time with us. There’s nothing worse than riding with a large group, especially on a powder day! We have our guides on-snow every day. At night we’ll have our hosts on hand to show you around the local area.