For many who have criss-crossed around the world in search of the Endless Winter, a pilgrimage to New Zealand is a rite of passage. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, there is undoubtedly something incredibly alluring about the idea of skiing on an island in mountains set amongst lakes and the ocean, all while the calendar reads "July". Add in a strong heli-skiing heritage and some of the finest accommodations anywhere in the world, and New Zealand should be a first-choice destination for anyone chasing the Endless Winter. Nowhere is this more apparent than the Whare Kea Lodge in Wanaka, which features a lakeside lodge and an absolutely stunning alpine chalet.
The crown jewel of Whare Kea is The Chalet, a stunning, modern minimalist alpine chalet that sits at 5700 feet on the slopes of Dragonfly Peak. The chalet is a engineering marvel: designed to have minimal environmental impact through the use of solar cells and efficient electrical systems, the chalet can withstand windspeeds up to 200 mph and was built by hauling supplies to the site via helicopter.
It's inside, however, where the truly spectacular nature of the chalet comes alive. Guests are whisked up to the chalet by private helicopter and, once there treated to incredible views inside and out that stretch all the way to Mt. Cook, New Zealand's tallest mountain.
The chalet comfortably sleeps six with further space for two dedicated staff who can cater to your every need following a day on the slopes or spent exploring New Zealand's Southern Alps region. The interior features stunning combinations of wood and glass to compliment the surrounding views, making it somewhat of a challenge to physically leave the chalet. Those that do, however, are greatly rewarded with what awaits them outside.
Heliskiing trips from the lodge depart from the gorgeous lakeside lawn of Whare Kea and jet off to untouched powder fields surrounding Mt. Cook in one of the most exclusive, remote and intimate heliskiing itineraries available anywhere. A mid-day break will fly you back to the chalet for an alpine buffet lunch before the final few laps of the day.
There are few alpine experiences in the world that rival a stay at the chalet at Whare Kea. The lodge is truly one of the finest places in the world to chase an Endless Winter.