Since arriving in New Zealand we’ve been looking forward to a winter weekend getaway to take in our first ski field experience! Having both skied since we were very young we were looking forward to see how the hills here compared to the ski life in Canada. Booked for a winter weekend in Lake Wanaka, we couldn’t wait to finally get a taste of a true New Zealand winter!!
After picking up our sweet as Jucy Cabana campervan, we headed up the Crown Range from Queenstown on our way towards Lake Wanaka! Although we’ve passed through Wanaka on our way to Queenstown several times before, we always seemed to bypass this scenic route, so this time we made sure we took it! The twisty, winding road took us up and over the Crown Range just as the sun was starting to set.
Known as the largest ski field in the South Island, with the longest vertical rise and challenging terrain, it was no question we were going to head to Treble Cone for our first New Zealand ski field experience!
The first thing we noticed that is much different than Canada is the snow doesn’t really stick around at ground level. There is a clear snow line that lines the mountains in New Zealand, so as we made our way up the steep, unsealed road towards Treble Cone – we asked ourselves “Where is the snow?”
As we climbed higher and higher towards the base of the ski field the sun greeted us over the hills. Rounding the last turn, the snow covered mountain came into view and our excitement grew in anticipation of playing in the winter wonderland!
Jumping on the chairlift as soon as it opened, we headed towards the Saddle Basin in search of some fresh snow and beautifully groomed trails. With the sun shinning it was a perfect blue bird day on the hill!
The view at the top was incredible! With mountain peaks in all directions and a view of the beautiful Lake Wanaka, I don’t think I’ve ever skied somewhere with such amazing views! It definitely rivaled Lake Louise in the Rockies!
For the next few hours we cruised down the Saddle Basin trails, hitting up the steep runs Cloud Nine, Saddle Back and a few jumps at the fun park. Despite the area not getting much snow in the last few weeks, the groomed runs were beautiful!
Getting close to lunch, we headed to the bottom of the hill to refuel. Wanting to maximize our ski time we grabbed our chairs from our Jucy van and enjoyed a quick packed lunch with the best view you could find!
Back up on the hill, we headed up to the summit track in search of some powder. After a 20min climb to the top, we came over the crest and could could see the stunning snow capped mountain range behind the ski hill which apparently has some amazing back country riding.
It was easy to see why Treble Cone is known to have some of the best terrain in New Zealand! After we explored the summit the day was coming to an end so we reluctantly made our way down the hill. While we would have loved to have scored a great fresh powder day it’s hard to argue with beautiful blue skies and a kick-ass view.
After a full day on the slopes we were ready to head back to our campsite and enjoy a soak in the hot tub! Considering we hadn’t skied in nearly 2 years it was a great feeling to get back on the hill and into the snow we have truly been missing this winter!