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“Awesome experience”

Southern Lakes Heliski
Ranked #12 of 58 Tours in Wanaka
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: With over 30 years experience in the New Zealand Heli sking industry, Southern Lakes Heliski is your premium heli skiing and heli boarding provider in the Wanaka, Queenstown Lakes region of New Zealand.With access to eleven different mountain ranges and over 600 runs, ski or snowboard the best untracked powder with our highly experienced guides, certified under the NZMGA training program. Southern Lakes Helski offers a variety of packages, ranging, from 4,6 and 8 runs daily, an option for private charters, and now weekly heli-ski packages.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome experience”
Reviewed November 29, 2012 via mobile

I did 8 runs with the crew from southern lakes in early August 2012 so I missed out on the huge dumps after that. That was the only negative thing about the experience. Who can control Mother Nature though!!!
Out guide tarn was awesome and very knowledgeable and patient with someone doing their first powder boarding.
The pilot was brilliant; some of the spots that those guys put down are amazingly small.
I had only started snowboarding the week before and I was a bit nervous about going into the mountains like that but as soon as I started carving down through that soft untracked snow with only the swishing sound of my board in my ear I was hooked. I couldn't speak after my first run. I was totally awestruck. The experience of being up there on those peaks with such awe inspiring scenery all around was amazing. I can honestly say it was the most exhilarating experience of my life. I can only imagine what it would be like with better snow!!!
I will be back for my birthday at the end of next August!!!

Helpful?
Thank Kieran O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julian F, Manager at Southern Lakes Heliski, responded to this review, December 15, 2012
Thanks very much for the positive feedback, its always great to hear people having a good day out there with us!
As you proved intermediates are quite capable of coming out with us and we just group you with 4 other people of similar ability. The guide then works with the group to give them the experience they want to have.
I hope we see you next year and it dumps for you!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
38 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Blue sky and fresh powder”
Reviewed September 9, 2012

We were pretty lucky in getting a window of blue sky and no wind after a big dump of fresh snow.
Our experience was exactly what you see in the promotional pics and videos, making fresh tracks down Black Peak out of Wanaka, with just one group of six ahead of us.
We did our 4 runs back to back then came back down to base for lunch, as there was weather coming in for the afternoon.
If you have not done a good amount of fresh powder skiing then rate your heliski level down a bit. Powder can be hard work if you are not used to it.
The guides were really good too.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Scott C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julian F, Manager at Southern Lakes Heliski, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
We were pretty lucky in getting a window of blue sky and no wind after a big dump of fresh snow.
Our experience was exactly what you see in the promotional pics and videos, making fresh tracks down Black Peak out of Wanaka, with just one group of six ahead of us.
We did our 4 runs back to back then came back down to base for lunch, as there was weather coming in for the afternoon.
If you have not done a good amount of fresh powder skiing then rate your heliski level down a bit. Powder can be hard work if you are not used to it.
The guides were really good too.

Thanks very much for the review and the positive feedback, we agree powder skiing is very different from groomed ski runs and if you have never done it before it can take a run before you get used to it. Once you are used to it its addictive! Black Peak is an amazing area off the back of Treble Cone and its a really popular place to take people cause there is so much varied terrain.
Glad the guides gave you a great day, they do an amazing job considering that they are dealing with a lot of risk management out there in the backcountry.
Hope to see you back again next year to explore some more of our extensive terrain.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“All for the Heli Experience!”
Reviewed July 29, 2012

Chose wisely when selecting a day to do this. check conditions and make sure it is going to be worth your while. The helicopter was the best part of the day, but the snow was poor. icey, rocky and somewhat dangerous for skiiers/boarders of any skill level. Our day probably should have been cancelled for a refund but they went ahead with it anyway. lunch was great and the guides were quite knowledgeable, but $800 is alot to pay for an average experience. dont be fooled by the video on the website, but be sure to check conditions and snow reports to make sure your day is enjoyable and money well spent. remember also that there are no toilet stops or facilities anywhere so be wise about what you eat/drink on the morning and if you suffer from a weak stomach.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank chilimarkus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julian F, Manager at Southern Lakes Heliski, responded to this review, October 28, 2012
Chose wisely when selecting a day to do this. check conditions and make sure it is going to be worth your while. The helicopter was the best part of the day, but the snow was poor. icey, rocky and somewhat dangerous for skiiers/boarders of any skill level. Our day probably should have been cancelled for a refund but they went ahead with it anyway. lunch was great and the guides were quite knowledgeable, but $800 is alot to pay for an average experience. dont be fooled by the video on the website, but be sure to check conditions and snow reports to make sure your day is enjoyable and money well spent. remember also that there are no toilet stops or facilities anywhere so be wise about what you eat/drink on the morning and if you suffer from a weak stomach.

Thanks very much for the feedback. Im glad that you found our guides and lunch great but it unfortunate that the snow conditions werent what you expected. We do our best to make sure our clients have the best snow and conditions by having snow scientists who are analysing the storms every day. We generally get it right and people do get what you see in the video but sometimes nature does the unexpected and does not deliver. This can happen after a few days of being unable to get out into the backcountry due to a storm and the guides are then having to predict conditions from the ground. We have an impeccable safety record and do not take people into areas where it is too dangerous as the aim of the game is to keep people safe and also to have a great time exploring the backcountry. We always welcome clients to our offices to discuss conditions and we make sure we aim to choose the best day for the weather and the snow. Im really sorry the snow did not live up to your expectations and we would love you to come back so you could really experience a heliski adventure with some good snow again in NZ soon.
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Newcastle, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Treble cones carpark, a waste of money and a day of skiing”
Reviewed December 10, 2011

Waste of money and a day of skiing!! Our group purchased the Ultimate package for a $1000 (8 runs for the day) which should have included lunch up in the mts. Well the weather was supposedly bad so we had lunch (subway) on the ground. Then the guides decided to proceed with the day and we literally skied left of treble cones carpark. I watched skiers on Treble cone carving up ($80lift pass), whilst our group and the three other groups did pretty much the same run 8 times with no break which was at a beginner level so definitely not fresh tracks for every run. The guide for my partners group was rude and tried to trick the group that they had done all their runs when they had one more to go. If your loaded and want to waste your money try this, if not get up early and get first lifts for a fraction of the price!!

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank Luke W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julian F, Manager at Southern Lakes Heliski, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Thanks for the feedback, This unfortunately sounds like a day where the guides were trying to avoid getting everybody stuck in the mountains because a storm had moved through much faster then expected. It could of been because we hadnt been able to get out due to weather and we were trying to take advantage of a weather window. In this case we utilise terrain that is safe and close so that we have an exit strategy. Our terrain that is on the back of Treble Cone is perfect for this and it is not into the skifield but runs down the back toward Black Peak. The only part where we sometimes see the skifield is one landing point. The reason we would of done 8 runs in one hit would of been because the weather was coming in and it was a safety issue. The runs would of been close to each other but not in the same place as we dont do that. The majority of our days we spend time enjoying the backcountry and have lunch up there but I think this day was unfortunately one of those days where the focus was safety. We are really sorry about this and would love for you to come out and enjoy another heliski day with us where the day is about enjoyment and not battling the weather.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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