Queenstown, New Zealand Heli Skiing
Queenstown, New Zealand Heli Skiing
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Guiding in New Zealands Heliski mountains is serious business. Our Heli Ski guiding programme is overseen by IFMGA qualified guides with years of experience in Heli skiing in the Southern Lakes region and abroad.  We are committed to improving our expertise, professionalism and our standards constantly. All our guides are experienced and passionate skiers and snowboarders who wish to share their love of the mountains with you, our guests.

Southern Lakes Heliski supports the NZMGA training programme. This is overseen by IFMGA qualified guides, the highest certification in the Heli ski industry, and is recognized internationally.

With a ratio of one guide per five guests, you won’t feel overcrowded, and your group will be organised according to ability, ensuring you feel comfortable yet challenged enough to get the most from your day. This guide to client ratio backs up our dedication to personalized service, attention to detail and flexibility to accommodate your dream Heli Ski, NZ experience.


Southern Lakes Heliski is partnered with Alpine Helicopters which is a family run company that has been operating since 1972. Based in Wanaka New Zealand, the company operates a fleet of seven modern helicopters.  Together, the experienced and professional aviation team is made up of five local pilots, whose combined skill set and a passion for the region allows for an industry leading Heli Ski experience.


Tarn Pilkington


Chief Guide
IFMGA / Avalanche Management Level 2

Tarn has worked in Snow safety related jobs since 1986. He has had 16 years ski patrolling in NZ, USA and Switzerland and over 10 seasons heli-ski guiding in NZ and Canada. Tarn spent time as a Rescue Mountaineer at Aoraki/ Mt Cook National Park and has been involved with SAR in Queenstown since 1991. Tarn is actively involved in the Guiding Industry with 10 years as an assessor on Avalanche courses and for the NZMGA Mountain Guides training program; he is also a coordinating member for the NZ Heliski operators group. Tarn works year round as a mountain guide with international experience from Antarctica to Turkey.

Roy Smith


Lead Guide / Snow Safety Officer
IFMGA / Avalanche Management Level 2

Roy started working in Avalanche Control at Broken River Ski-field in 1987. For the last 20 seasons Roy has run the snow safety program for various heliski operations including SLHS since 2006. Roy guided 9 seasons off piste skiing in the French , Swiss and Italian Alps including ski mountaineering ascents of Mt Blanc. A consummate snow scientist, Roy is very at home in the mountains whether on his “Old Skool” snow board or new age ski’s.

Ian Wilkins


Lead Guide,  New Zealand Heliski Operators Group (NZHOG) /
Snow Safety Officer / Director
Avalanche Management Level 2 - Heliski guiding for over 25 years!

Ian has been with SLHS since the beginning, doing what he loves, heli-skiing back-country power since 1985. The grey wolf as we call him was our Chief Guide & Snow Safety Officer between 1989 - 1997 before taking on responsibilities as the Avalanche forecaster for the Transit New Zealand Milford Road Program from 2000 – 2007. Other experience includes Ski guiding the "Grand Paradiso", Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps between 79- 81 and spends his summers attempting to walk every inch of the South Island. 

Jeremiah Fisk


NZMGA Assistant Ski Guide / Avalanche Management level 1 / NZSIA Snowboard Instructor

Jeremaia started with SLHS when snowboarders where not allowed to be Heli-ski guides. Nowadays having guided with Southern Lakes Heliski for the past 12 seasons, and was Operations Manager between 2005 and 2009, J has been involved with SLHS from the hangar floor up. With specific experience in the ski industry as a snowboard instructor in NZ and Canada and numerous adventure tourism operations, J brings a broad range of skills to the day-to-day operation. Jeremaia is the head guide for Exclusively New Zealand a national luxury travel agency during the summer.

Wayne Allen


Lead Guide
NZMGA Ski Guide / Avalanche Management Level 2

Wayne Allen had been skiing all over the world before he started working in the ski industry .He then worked for the Remarkable’s Ski Area for 13 years as Snow Safety Manager before enjoying the freedom of Guiding Heli ski clients. He has been teaching Avalanche courses for 12 years and is involved in the Queenstown search and rescue and the NZMGA as a trainee Ski Guide.

Scott Walker

Scott Walker

Lead Guide
NZMGA Ski Guide / Avalanche Management Level 2

Born in the mountains, Scott has a natural affinity with the alpine world. He has been involved in the ski industry in a professional capacity since 1994, he’s patrolled and ski guided around the country as well as alpine and rock climbed locally and internationally. He has been with Southern Lakes Heliski since 2001. When he’s not laying graceful (fumbling blindly!) telemark turns in the Winter, you’ll find him ripping up it up on the trails around the country on his mountain bike. Scott is a Christchurch local and makes the trip South for each Winter to Heli-ski guide and run the operations for the World Heli Challenge event.

Phil Penny


Lead Guide / Snow Safety / Operations Wanaka
IFMGA / Avalance Management Level 2

Phil brings over twenty years of heli-ski guiding experience to Southern Lakes Heliski. He has previously worked with Alpine Guides and other heliski operators in a director role and now joins our team as the Wanaka Lead Guide. Phil is a respected alpinist and an all round mountain guide. His personality is like his wild stock of blond hair – friendly and hard to suppress. He is very modest about his international achievements and does succeeded in numerous alpine and ice ascents. He has a welcome addition to our team and brings plenty of experience with our Wanaka heliski terrain.

James Hamilton

James Hamilton

Lead Guide
NZMGA Ski Guide / Avalanche Management 2

James has worked in the ski industry for over 20 years. Ski Patrolled in his early years throughout Canterbury, Queenstown, Canada and the USA. He has been involved in the heliski industry for 15 years, guiding throughout NZ and ski guided back country in Canada and Japan. Summers are spent working as a field trainer/ field guide in Antarctica. James has spent many summers guiding clients in the Southern Alps, Iceland and Canada.