Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to go Heli-Skiing?
Our Heli-Ski season starts 1st July and continues until the 30th September. July and August are the coldest months providing excellent powder conditions and clear weather. August to early September is often the best time with deep snow bases and regular snow falls. During late September expect spring like snow conditions. To avoid disappointment, it is advisable to book early during the peak season of July/August.
You can now fly direct to Queenstown from Australia on Jet Star and Air New Zealand. Please check their websites for more details.
Do I need powder skis?
You don’t have to own your own powder skis, talk to us and we can happily arrange hire of powder skis and boards. Wide skis or powder skis are essential items for heliskiing. All our guides are expert skiers and we all use powder skis. Powder skis allow you to ski a wide range of snow conditions, faster, easier and with more stability. This means more fun in the powder.
Snowboards have a wide base this allows them to perform very well in off piste conditions and deep powder snow. We recommend you use the snowboard that you normally use at the ski area.
As with powder skis, you don’t have to own your own board to heli-ride, we can arrange hire powder boards.
In order to simplify your heli-day, at Alpine Heli-Ski Ltd we can pickup and return your hire equipment from your chosen rental store free of charge. If due to weather conditions we can’t Heli-Ski/Board, most rental stores will not charge you for the rental and in most cases will gladly roll-over your equipment reservation to the next day should you wish. For rental store recommendations please contact us or talk with our frontline staff.
How well do I have to ski to go Heli-Skiing?
“If you can ski or ride blue runs on your local ski area then you can Heli-ski.” At Alpine Heli-Ski Ltd we ‘go to extremes’ to customise your heli-day to suit your skill & experience level . Go to our ability page, rate yourself and then select the Heli-Ski package that best suits you.
How long are the runs?
Run length varies depending on the terrain however the average is approximately 600-700 vertical metres. Some powder bowls and glacier runs are much longer. Talk to us about the type of terrain you’d like to ski.
What do I wear?
Dress as you would for a cold day at the ski area. You will need to bring wind proof jacket and pants, warm gloves, sunglasses or goggles and sunscreen. You will not need to ski/ride with a backpack. Please wear your casual shoes to the staging areas.
What about safety equipment?
Do you provide accommodation transfers?
Yes, Alpine Heli-Ski Ltd provide transfers from your Queenstown accommodation to our airport free helipad or staging area and return.
What about weather?
NZ mountain weather can be unpredictable. Early every morning our Guiding Director and Snow Safety Officer will evaluate snow and weather information and decide if conditions allow us to operate. If adverse weather prevents flying, your money will be fully refunded.If some heli-skiing has been possible during this day but less than the runs booked, you will be refunded at NZ$80 per run not skied ‘or’ downgraded to the next lowest package, whichever is the least cost to Alpine Heli-Ski Ltd. Refunds are not given due to injury, lack of ability or fitness.
How does a Heli-Ski day run?
Between 7.45-8.15am we call you at your accommodation to confirm the days operation and provide you with a pickup time approximately 8.45-9.15am. Guests are then transported either to the staging area or directly to the airport if you have booked the fly/fly option.
At the airport or staging area we provide a full safety briefing covering avalanche and helicopter safety. We now fly into the mountains and commence your day’s heliskiing/boarding. After several runs we select a scenic mountain top location for our sumptuous gourmet lunch.
After lunch you continue to ski/ride the remainder of your runs or upgrade with extra runs and continue skiing/riding all afternoon. At the end of the day you are transported back to your accommodation and we return any rental equipment you hired.
What accommodation is available in Queenstown?
Queenstown offers a wide range of accommodation options from exclusive lodges, hotels, motels and B&B’s. The Destination Queenstown website is your first stop for an extensive selection of Queenstown accommodation.