You won't find a more full-on “ultimate” skiing, dining, and sightseeing experience in the adventure capital of the world!
This two weeks is not for the faint hearted. Not only do you get to ski the best commercial ski fields in the Southern Hemisphere (Cardrona, Coronet Peak and Remarkables) we also do a road mission to the stunning high country Ohau ski field, take a days heli-skiing, plus a once in a lifetime backcountry cat skiing experience.
Throw in soaking in a luxury hot pool, a wine tasting safari through the Gibbston Valley of Vines, probably the most scenic flight you will ever have in your life to meet a boat trip deep into Milford Sound, and a perfect day of fine dining excellence and we might have converted you to a true Queenstown local by the end of your time with us.
This Siamo Local Experience requires a minimum of ten days but can easily be extended over two weeks to give you days off for some solo skiing, recovery and hanging out in Queenstown or perhaps keeping the roll on with any of the multitude of adventure and sightseeing activities in the region.
Your Siamo Local Guide is your concierge door key to living like a local as they guide you through the ski-days sharing their favourite local runs for intermediate to advanced skiers, the best places to have a coffee, hotspots for an evening drink, fine dining or a late night boogie. Transporting you to and from your days activities and waxing and edging your skis or boards by night ready for the next days excursions.
Whether you are a ski bum or royalty come and share our passion for fine wine, wonderful food, monstrous landscape and epic ski adventures!
The Ultimate Queenstown Eat, Ski, Drink and Explore Local Package (minimum 10 days) Itinerary
1: Ski Remarkables
Day one and we are most likely to ski the Remarkables to kick things off. Your Siamo Local Guide will pickup you around 7:30am to head up for a guided days skiing. We aim to be skiing around 9:30am depending on how you feel, how much coffee you need to fuel up or whether those ski boots need a bit of help to fit on the old feet.
There is lots of explore at the Remarkables from gentle wide open runs for families and intermediate skiers to lots of adventure for those who might want to hike up on to a ridge line or into the chutes. The plan is to ski to somewhere around 3:30pm depending on how the groups legs are feeling. During the day you get to call the shots on when to break for coffee, lunch, wine, beer or all of the above!!!
Although lunch is not included today after the days skiing your Siamo Local will whisk you away to their favourite aprés ski bar for a drink and refuel. If that is not enough then it’s back to your accommodation for a freshen up before you hit the town to bogey late into the Queenstown night or try some of the fine dining restaurants around town. Your guide can help you book the right one for you.
2: Ski Coronet Peak
Today we are heading to the Jetset mountain of Coronet Peak. Your Siamo Local will pick you up around 8am. Like yesterday the aim is to be skiing in between 9:00 to 9:30am but you get to call the shots. Whether it is a slow start or straight into it to hit the slopes as soon as the lifts open to rip up the groomed piste!
During the day again the group calls the coffee breaks and how hard or fast we ski. Your local guide will introduce you to a whole load of secret runs, cruiser piste and epic off-piste (conditions allowing). Even for the most advanced skiers your guide will find something to challenge you. As well as regular coffees we will stop for our reservation at Heidi’s Hut for an hour lunch break of fabulous pizza and local Pinot Noir (included).
The afternoon skiing usually raps up in between 3 and 3:30pm depending on the group often with a cheeky beer in the base building before it is down the hill for a one-hour luxury soak in a private Onsen Hot Pool. Look out over the Shotover River from you secluded sanctuary enjoying a glass of local Gibbston Valley Bubbles, and Kiwi chocolate and ice-cream! You will get dropped back to your accommodation in time for a freshen up before you hit the town (or the bed)!
3: Ohau Road Trip
Hopefully, you didn't kick on too late the night before as we are up very early today for our two hour drive over the Lindis Pass, through the Mackenzie Country and up to the awesome high-country skifield of Ohau. Serviced by only one chairlift Ohau is a playground for off piste skiing and even some epic hiking for those keen. We will stop for a coffee and a scone on our drive up otherwise it's homemade pies in the small club hut for breakfast when we arrive.
While the skiing is great, it's the wonderfully friendly local people, the uncrowded slopes, and the awesome views that make Ohau so special. You will quickly see why Ohau is the home of the US Ski Team when they train in the Southern Hemisphere. We will simply ski till we drop today - exploring with your guide every inch on and off piste.
Once everyone in the group can no longer stand up it is down to the Ohau Lodge to watch the sun begin to settle behind Mount Cook National Park and a well earned beer and world famous (in Ohau) Nachos! Unfortunately, it is a two hour trip back to Queenstown - enough time to snooze, reminisce about how big that jump really was or how the powder was up to neck (for the small kids in the group). There is the option of a stop at the private hot pools in Omarama if desired. These are a pretty cool romantic experience.
We would expect to arrive back in Queenstown around 8pm.
4: Milford Sound flight and cruise
After three day's epic skiing we are sure you will welcome a day off skiing. But today is no laid back rest. Quite the contrary as today we head out for what we promise will be one of the greatest experiences of your life flying over Aspiring National Park and to the wonderful Milford Sound, where we cruise the Fjords with a small intimate boat operator.
The flight in a small fixed wing plane will be a highlight of your trip as we hop over the Southern Alps and out toward the wild West Coast. Milford Sound is continually rated as one of the most 'must visit' destinations globally by the likes of Conde Nast and Trip Advisor. You will see towering waterfalls, deep fjords, and hopefully some of our friendly locals (dusky dolphins, fur seals and blue penguins)!
5: Ski Cardrona
You want to hang like a Queenstown local? Then it is not about lazing around and today it is another early start as your Siamo Guide will pick you up with your skis all waxed and tuned between 7 and 7:30am ready for our days skiing at Cardona - a 45 minute drive away over the Crown Range. Cardrona is an epic resort with a wide range of skiing for every level from wide open undulating pistes perfect for sweeping GS turns to some challenging chutes and off-piste for the advanced skiers. Cardrona is also home to some of the Southern Hemisphere’s (if not the world’s) best terrain parks, half pipes and massive jumps. Unfortunately, it might be a challenge to get your guide into the parks - but you can certainly try!!!
Although lunch is not included there are a plethora of eating options from standard New Zealand ski field self-service food to some more luxurious cafe style gourmet burgers, salads and hearty meals or sit down to a quality Asian noodle bar.
Our day’s skiing draws to an end around 3:00 to 3:30pm and we head down into the Cardrona Valley for a quick photo at the bra fence and then a local beer (or wine) and some great wedges to refuel at the Historic Cardrona Hotel. Established in 1863 the Cardrona Hotel has been featured in more television commercials than any other building in New Zealand. We should return to your Queenstown accommodation around 6:30 to 7pm.
6: Heli-ski (yeeee haaaa)
This is what Queenstown is all about! Some of the best heli-skiing in the world right on our doorstep. Your Siamo local guide will pick you up from your accommodation around 8am to head to meet our whirly-bird transport for the day.
Depending on weather and snow conditions we will head off into one of a variety of ranges to ski sublime untracked slopes. The skiing is catered for the groups ability and we can potentially divide groups up if more advanced skiers are looking for some runs to push themselves also. We look to ski a minimum of 7 runs (each run lasts about 30-40 minutes) but will extended that as much as everyone can handle. We are completely flexible.
We will stop for a delightful lunch on snow - plus a few glasses of champers to celebrate obviously! All safety equipment and training is provided and specialist heli-guides ensure your safety and the best possible snow conditions for you day!
7: Night Skiing Coronet Peak
After the excitement of yesterday we will let you sleep in this morning and get over your heli-ski day. This morning is completely free for you to do your own thing. Relax in bed, wander around the shops of Queenstown, take the Earnslaw across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak, or are you crazy enough to take part in some of Queenstown's other epic adrenalin activities like Jet Boating, Paragliding, or a Canyon Swing. Your Siamo Local can organise any of these for you at our preferred Siamo rates.
Then mid afternoon your Siamo local guide will pick you up at your accommodation for a late afternoon ski into the night, combined with Pizza and a few glasses of Pinot Noir. Night skiing on Coronet Peak is an experience not to be missed, oftern with live music and lots of social fun on the terrace. Venture off trail into the blackness or ski the well lit piste.
Depending on the groups enthusiasm we look to depart the mountain between 8:30 and 9pm to be back at your accommodation around 9:30 - just in time for a quick shower and off to hit the tiles again (maybe).
8: Arrowtown wander following by Gibbston Valley wine tasting safari and lunch
Two sleep ins in a row - we must be getting soft!! But after a heli-day, a night ski, too much pizza and pinot we think it is only fair. Take a late breakfast and relax before we head to Arrowtown for a very leisurely wander around the historic gold town. Walk at your leisure through the Chinese gold miner's Village, the boutique shops or along the picturesque Arrow River (home to so much of the regions gold).
At your leisure we will head into Gibbston for a wine tasting safari at a selection of your Siamo Local Guide’s favourite wineries. Try the world respected Pinot Noir, the different variations of Pinot Gris, the famous New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or some of the quirky Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah being made in the region. When the test buds are exploding we stop for a wonderfull platter of regional specialities - meats and salamis, local cheese and pates.
And then when the body is screaming no more fantastic food, no more delightful wine - we might pop in one more wine tasting to build up some dutch courage before we stop at the world famous Kawarau Bungy Jumping bridge - the home of Bungy Jumping. There is more than enough time for those who are game enough to challenge gravity (and keeping all the days activities inside your stomach).
Returning to your accommodation late afternoon you have the entire evening to relax, maybe it’s hitting the tiles tonight for some late night partying or if it’s possible more fine dining! Why not talk to your Siamo guide into taking you for a gentle trail run early evening. It is a great way to see some of the off the beaten track places in the region and to burn off some of those calories we consumed today.
9: Cat Skiing Soho Basin
After what some might call the two lazy days previously it is back to high adrenalin skiing as we head back over the Crown Range for a days cat-skiing in the private Soho Basin.
264 hectares of possible terrain awaits us today, all accessed from a comfortable heated snow cat. This is a cross between absolutely luxury and real back-country adventure. We will aim for 5 long guided runs which will more than cripple us!
But, then there is also the lunch on the deck of the private hut supplied by the epic Amisfield Winery and it will be hard to resist one more celebratory beer at the Cardrona Tavern or a Whisky Tasting in the Cardrona distillery on the way home to Queenstown.
10: The Perfect Ending
If you have not bought a house and moved to Queenstown then this is the perfect day to end your incredible holiday. In fact, this is one of our absolutely favourite days ever.!
We meet early for a fantastic breakfast at the Bespoke Kitchen in Queenstown - voted New Zealand's best cafe in 2016!! From there we plan the day's skiing with the group - will it be the Remarkables again or Coronet Peak. It's your choice and your Siamo Local will have at least a few more secret runs up their sleeve that you might not have yet done!
If you don't want to ski that is all good too spend the morning at your leisure in and around Queenstown or head out for a short hike (trail run or even bike ride) on some of the fabulous trails surrounding Queenstown.
We don't plan to ski all day today and by 1pm we are off the mountain and heading to the well-renowned Amisfield Vineyard and Restaurant for a sumptuous degustation long lunch with accompanying local wines. There is no hurry as we meander into the late afternoon taking breaks between courses for a walk between the vines or a game of pétanque. We aim to be back at your accommodation around 5pm and for those who are catching the last flights out of Queenstown (for dreaded work tomorrow morning) we can deliver you to the airport with just a little time to spare.