New Zealand is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in the world, filled with travelers from all around the world, the most welcoming locals, and an adventurous spirit. If you’re a skier from the northern hemisphere, it also happens to offer amazing skiing during your off season. If you are fortunate enough to make it down to New Zealand for a ski trip, you’ve gotta check out Treble Cone, the South Island’s largest ski area.
Here are my top reasons why Treble Cone is great:
#1 – The Terrain
If you are an advanced or intermediate skier who enjoys skiing off piste, you will love the terrain offering at Treble Cone. The majority of terrain at TC is off piste, with many steep chutes and gullies that are very easy to get to from the chair. Saddle Basin is the top half of the mountain, which is steeper, while Home Basin down below has many great advanced and intermediate options. Even though there are only 2 chairlifts, they are very well placed and provide access to a huge amount of terrain (the most on New Zealand’s South Island). If you really like to get gnarly, the Motatapu chutes and the Summit Slopes, both accessed off the Saddle chair involve a short boot pack but are well worth the extra effort.
There are also plenty of natural chutes and halfpipes on the mountain, which provide many opportunities to catch air, if you’re into that. On a good day at TC, you’ll see loads of skiers and rider jumping, spinning, and flipping all over the mountain. If you’re trained and into the backcountry scene, TC offers some great backcountry access and even sells a discounted backcountry lift pass that gets you up to the top.
#2 – The Views
As you drive up the switchbacks to Treble Cone, you start to notice the amazing views of Lake Wanaka. The higher you go, the better they get. There’s no better view on the mountain than from the Summit, which will take a moderate boot pack from the top of the Saddle Chair. If it’s your first time at TC and the weather is clear, this is definitely worth the effort.
#3 – The Location
Treble Cone is located just outside of beautiful Lake Wanaka, in the Central Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s just over an hour away from the adventure hub of Queenstown. Between Wanaka and Queenstown, you’ve got 4 ski fields, but ask any local where to go and they’ll send you to Treble Cone. While Queenstown has its own beautiful scenery, I prefer Wanaka, which has a higher elevation and is a smaller town. The vibe is more laid back and feels more like a relaxed ski town, with plenty of good ápres ski options. If you’re more into the partying than the skiing, you could easily stay in Queenstown (they have over 100 licensed bars) and still make day trips to Treble Cone.
Treble Cone is really a special place that will always hold a special place in my heart. This is the place to come to push yourself in your skiing/riding while also meeting some amazing locals and travelers. If you’re unsure about wether or not to come down for a ski trip, I’ll leave you with this…
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”