You’ll be mesmerised as your plane descends between the sky-piercing Alps and lands at New Zealand’s most picturesque airport, Queenstown. You will be greeted by your private chauffeur, who will take you on a beautifully scenic one-hour drive over the Crown Range, before Wanaka reveals herself. Enjoy your evening relaxing beside a roaring open fire at Whare Kea Lodge, watching the sun set over the lake. Tonight you will be personally fitted for ski gear at the Lodge.
ACCOMMODATION: Whare Kea Lodge or Horseshoe Bend Estate Wanaka
Today your driver will transfer you to Cardrona Alpine Resort, approximately 40 minutes from Wanaka. This popular ski area is characterised by wide open basins, long blue runs and off-piste slopes, offering something for everyone. There are some great children’s programmes, with facilities to look after the tiniest tots – from 3 months of age – and the Kids Ski and Snowboard School for those up to 14 years. Enjoy lunch in the sun out on the deck at Captain’s Pizzeria, before heading back out for the afternoon. This evening enjoy a late afternoon massage and then head off to one of the boutique cinemas, Ruby’s or Cinema Paradiso, to catch their latest flicks.
NON-SKI OPTIONS: Spend a leisurely morning exploring the local activities and attractions Wanaka has to offer. Take a half-day cruise on the lake to Mou Waho Island, where you can climb up the peak for some truly spectacular photos. For the more adventurous, try a 4WD alpine tour or sky-dive in what is considered one of the most beautiful drop zones in the world.
Take a 20 minute helicopter ride to the exclusive Where Kea Chalet, the flight offers you outstanding panoramic views of Mt Aspiring and Mt Cook. Depending on your level of ski proficiency, spend the day heli-skiing from the chalet, or enjoy a day in the sun taking in the panoramic views. Meet for a gourmet picnic lunch on the deck or by the fire place with hot mulled wine. The Whare Kea Chalet was the dream of Martyn Myer of the prominent Myer Melbourne retail family. He and his wife Louise have been visiting Wanaka for over 20 years, first for the heliskiing and then for year round adventures throughout the seasons. The unique design and location of the “luxury mountain hut” is an extension of your remarkable Whare Kea ski holiday experience.
After a hearty breakfast, you will head to the South Island’s largest ski area, Treble Cone. It boasts the longest vertical rise in the Southern Lakes, and is famous for its long, uncrowded, groomed slopes. Skiers of all abilities can enjoy scenic chairlift rides, offering some of the most stunning views in the South Island. Try a gourmet sausage from the newly opened BBQ as you return to your private car at the end of the day. For your final evening in Wanaka, experience the best in-season ingredients from around Central Otago and New Zealand at Bistro Gentil.
En-route to Queenstown, you will visit the region’s oldest vines in Central Otago, learn about their winemaking process and explore New Zealand’s largest wine cave – not to mention tasting some award-winning wines. As your journey continues, you will follow the curves of Lake Wakatipu through the charming village of Queenstown, onto Matakauri Lodge nestled in one of the world’s most serenely beautiful landscapes. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks and canapés, before indulging in some of New Zealand’s finest produce. If you’re staying at Eichardt’s Private Hotel, our concierge service will arrange your restaurant bookings.
ACCOMMODATION: Matakauri Lodge or Eichardt’s Private Hotel
This morning you will be collected from the lodge and transferred to Milford Sound by a private plane. Take in the spectacular views of mountains, lakes and fiords of Fiordland National Park, before boarding your relaxing cruise through the fiord and out into the Tasman Sea. Keep an eye out for seals basking in the sun, pods of dolphins or rare Fiordland Crested Penguins that are often spotted on the shoreline. You will return to Queenstown by helicopter with an alpine-picnic landing en-route. Why not set down on a glacier and drink from glasses carved out of the ice? The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure. Enjoy a gourmet dinner back at the lodge tonight.
This morning you will be transferred up to Coronet Peak, the oldest and best known of the Southern Lakes snowfields. It is renowned for its roller coaster terrain across a series of interconnected bowls offering exhilarating skiing and riding for all levels. Head over to Heidi’s Hut at the base of the Rocky Gully T-bar, which has been recently refurbished, for a cosy lunch and glass of mulled wine.
On your last full day of skiing in the South Island, Queenstown offers up a multitude of options for the family. For the more experienced, your helicopter will collect you from the Lodge landing pad and take you up for perfect conditions in virgin snow. Possibly head to the Remarkables Ski Field, or maybe try some dog-sledding. Equally, if you have fallen in love with Coronet Peak, we will take you back up for another day. What sets this region apart are the variety of options available to a family travelling together.
Not wanting to ski today? Experience Queenstown’s abundant activities this morning – cruise out to Lake Wakatipu on the 100-year-old Steamship – TSS Earnslaw, jet boat ride through the Shotover River Canyons or take a 4WD tour into the historic Skippers Canyon. Treat yourself to the ‘Trust the Chef Menu’ at nearby Amisfield Winery & Bistro, where you will be served a selection of dishes designed to be shared at the table. Following lunch enjoy an afternoon visit to the nearby historic village of Arrowtown, purveying a combination of historic buildings and quiet charm or ride the gondola up to the Skyline complex to take in the amazing views over Queenstown.
After breakfast, your chauffeur will transfer you to Queenstown airport for your flight to Christchurch or Auckland, and onwards back home with great memories of your ski-holiday.
At Antipodean Luxury Travel, all our holidays are curated specifically to your interests and budget. This 9 day New Zealand Luxury South Island Ski itinerary is a sample of what’s available. A personally designed Ski-holidays starts from NZD $8,000 per person per week. Enquire today to start planning your dream holiday.
Optional Extras: Nanny Services, Concierge bookings, Private Ski Coaching, Luxury Ski Host, Personal Chef, Security, Airport Meet and Greet.