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Wanaka New Zealand
Powder in NZ
Trip Information
It’s one of the most gorgeous nations on earth. The world marveled at the natural beauty of New Zealand in “The Lord of the Rings,” which singlehandedly set its tourism industry ablaze. You’re invited to discover this nation’s incredible history and culture with a weekend in the cosmopolitan, gay-friendly capital city of Wellington, before we journey together to experience the South Island’s lush mountain landscapes.

New Zealand offers some of the very best skiing and snowboarding in the Southern Hemisphere. While August blasts North America with summer heat, winter snowstorms blow through New Zealand’s Southern Alps, coating the dramatic peaks along the volcanic rock shores of the deep blue Lake Wanaka. Our trip includes a week of skiing and riding here, with the option to extend your trip to nearby Queenstown, just in time for New Zealand’s annual gay ski week.

Space on this trip is very limited; the deadline is May 31st.

Sign up now for our trip to New Zealand >
Tuesday August 23 through Friday, September 2
6 -- Saturday through Thursday
Wellington, then the village of Wanaka
Recommended for intermediate, advanced and expert
$2999 per person, see payment schedule below
Chill. Out.
We reserve the right to cancel, reschedule, or make changes in the trip itinerary as a result of weather or safety considerations or as otherwise deemed necessary or advisable. If your trip is cancelled or rescheduled due to weather, snow, or mountain conditions, or circumstances beyond our control, you will receive a full credit for a future trip. All trip credits may be applied to any trip in the SKI BUMS future. There is no expiration date.

SKI BUMS is not responsible for the cost of any additional expenses that you may incur as a result of trip rescheduling or cancellation (airline ticketing fees, etc.).

To use a credit for a future deposit or payment, please
contact us directly.
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Through March 31, you may cancel your spot at any time and receive a full refund. After April 1, the following cancellation fees apply:

For cancellations received from April 1 - May 31, $500 fee. For cancellations received from June 1 - June 31, $1000 fee. After July 1st, 2016: no refund.

In order to obtain our bulk group discounts, we must agree to a very strict cancellation policy. It's the nature of group travel. Think of your SKI BUMS booking as you would an airline reservation; even we find someone to take your place, the cancellation fees still apply.

If you buy travel insurance, you can still receive a refund for a cancelled SKI BUMS trip.

To cancel your SKI BUMS trip, click here >
Travel insurance
Buy travel insurance. We cannot stress this enough.

A travel insurer can provide a refund even when SKI BUMS cannot. In the circumstance that you need to cancel your trip because of work or health reasons, you should purchase travel insurance within 30 days of your initial trip deposit.

Even if you purchase travel insurance after this date, some coverage is much better than no coverage at all. Our cancellation policy is strict, and after cancellation fees kick in, a travel insurer may be your only chance for a full refund.

There are many travel insurers, and policies are very affordable. We especially recommend, and suggest you add the sports package to cover skiing & snowboarding activity.
$3199 USD per person for double occupancy ($2999 if you pay in full when you sign up)

-- additional options --

$450 USD supplement for single occupancy in Wellington

$550 USD supplement for single occupancy in Wanaka
Payment dates
$1000 deposit due at sign up

Pay in full at signup and save $200

$2199 due June 1 |
To pay your balance online, click here >

These are the dates for those who sign up today. Pricing and payment dates may change for those who sign up at a later date, if space remains. Late payments are subject to a 5% late-payment fee. It is up to you to submit your payments on time. You may always pay early.
You may pay with any major credit card, cash or check.

We use PayPal to process online credit card payments. PayPal is the internet's most trusted online payment portal, and you do not need to be a PayPal member to submit a payment.

If you would ever like to use PayPal to send a manual payment (from a smartphone, for example), our account address is: payments (at)

PayPal mobile apps: iPhone / iPad / iPod TouchAndroid

Your trip includes a 6-day “Flexi-Pass” for Treble Cone and Cardrona.

You may use your pass at one resort per day for six days. We’ll adapt our group plans to the weather and each day’s snow conditions.

Note: If you or your travel partner do not ski or snowboard -- or you've already got a lift pass -- we can remove the lift tickets from our package; contact us to make arrangements.
About a month before we travel, all participants will submit a Travel Portfolio, where we'll collect your flight information, dietary restrictions, roommate requests, emergency contact info, skill level, and other pertinent details. We'll email everyone and post the link here when it's time to submit it.
SKI BUMS designs our season for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, but we make specific recommendations for each trip. On ALL SKI BUMS trips, we begin by dividing into skill level groups so you can identify those who enjoy the same terrain that you do.

See how our groups work >

We recommend this trip for skiers and boarders who are intermediate level and above.

SKI BUMS hosts trips to the Southern Hemisphere each year. Historically, very few (if any) participants on these trips are beginner skiers and riders. Although there are beginning / learning areas here, it’s unlikely that you’ll have others within the group who are also at your same level.

Intermediate skiers and snowboarders will have a blast here. You’ve probably never explored terrain that looks anything like this, and the simple visual experience offers its own thrill. Advanced and expert skiers and boarders will enjoy the funky chutes, steeps and dramatic rocks that open up into wide open lines. There’s ample challenge here for even the strongest skiers and riders — just ask all those Olympic teams who spend their summers here!

If you have any questions about whether this trip is right for you,
please contact us before signing up.
Queenstown is the primary travel hub for this part of the South Island, and you’d be wise to extend your trip to spend a few days here.

To enjoy more skiing or riding, the ski fields of
The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are within an hour’s drive. They’re smaller than Treble Cone and Cardrona, but a perfectly fun place for a day.

The region offers a
dazzling array of adrenaline-fueled outdoor adventures, including bunjy jumping, whitewater rafting, canyon swinging and more. The town’s got lovely hotels and cafes, too. We particularly recommend The Dairy, a charming and cozy boutique hotel. But book early; it’s only got a handful of rooms.

Because our flights will connect in Queenstown, it would be easy to extend your trip and spend a few extra days here after the SKI BUMS itinerary officially ends in Wanaka.
Air transportation
Air transportation is not included. Read these recommendations closely before buying airfare. All guests will arrive in Wellington on Tuesday August 23, then take a domestic flight to Queenstown on Friday. Our itinerary ends on Friday morning, September 2nd.


HEAD'S UP: You'll want to be smart and cautious about buying your airfare, so you can take advantage of our group itinerary and optimize your arrival and departure days. The following recommendations do not include our extended trip options for Sydney or Queenstown.

Air New Zealand and Jetstar offer affordable flights to Queenstown. For those flying from the USA, you may want to purchase a multi-city itinerary. For the first flight, enter Wellington as your destination. For the return, enter Queenstown as your departure city. Then, purchase a separate one way ticket from Wellington to Queenstown. Get assistance from a trip leader >


Sunday, August 21
Many will depart on flights from North America, which cross the international date line and connect in Sydney or Auckland on Tuesday the 23rd, then take a connecting flight to Wellington.

Tuesday, August 23
Arrive in Wellington. Our group trip officially begins at our meet & greet on Tuesday evening.

Friday, August 26
Fly from Wellington to Queenstown, then pick up car rentals.

+ 2:00 PM: Aim to land in Queenstown by this time
+ Transfers: We suggest car rentals for this trip. See “getting around,” below.
+ 4:00 PM: Rooms will be ready for check in at our hotels

- - - - - - - - -

Friday, September 2

+ Morning: check-out of our hotels
+ Transfers: You’ll arrange your own rides. See additional ground transfer options >
+ Departure: If you’re flying home today, we suggest a flight departing after 12:00 PM.

- - - - - - - - -

Want to coordinate transfers and air travel with other BUMS who are taking the trip?

Connect with the other BUMS in the New Zealand trip Facebook group >
At a certain point, many ski resorts can start to look alike. Peaks. Valleys. Pine trees.

But when you set your eyes on Treble Cone and Cardrona, you know you’re nowhere else on earth. With the undulating blue lagoon of Lake Wanaka in the distance, the volcanic rock crevices of the Matukituki Valley create a visual palette that’s instantly unmistakable.

Treble Cone is New Zealand’s largest ski resort in the Southern Alps. It’s got 1359 skiable acres — a tad bigger than Solitude, Utah — and the terrain has no trees, offering a wide variety of long runs down a 2,296 foot vertical drop. Nearby, Cardrona offers 859 skiable acres (about the size of Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin), with wide open trails, expansive freeride areas and huge terrain parks. The two ski resorts host many national Olympic teams from the Northern Hemisphere who come here to train during the off season.

New Zealand’s legendary environmental protection means that there’s very little development near the
ski fields, as they’re called. But conveniently, they’re each about a thirty minute drive from the charming lakeside village of Wanaka.
Info packs
SKI BUMS anticipates what you'll need to know, and when you'll need to know it. We email valuable pre-trip information to all our participants, in numbered Info Packs. You'll need to receive them and read them closely, so it's crucial that you've provided an email address to us that you check regularly. Gmail users: you need to take extra steps to see our emails.

Click here to view instructions >

The vast majority of our important trip info is located right here on this page.
Bookmark it!
Meet the participants
Who's coming on the trip? Find out by joining our special SKI BUMS New Zealand Facebook Group. Whether you're simply curious about signing up or you're already on board, everyone's welcome to join this Facebook group. Feel free to invite friends, too -- it's a cool way to begin learning names of the skiers and boarders who you'll meet when we're in NZ! if you decide not to join us, we'll remove you from the group before the trip begins.

In advance of the trip, the BUMS will use this group to share travel plans and coordinate rental car shares. During and after the trip, they share pics and messages with one another. You'll see posts like "who's on the 1 PM flight into Sydney?” and "who's up for fresh tracks tomorrow?"

Request to join the New Zealand Facebook group >
Of course, weather is impossible to predict, but SKI BUMS plans our trips with an eye on weather history. It’s important to have realistic expectations when it comes to snowfall in New Zealand: the microclimates of the Southern Alps can deliver massive snow dumps, or multiple dry days of beautiful sunshine. Historically, the month of August is peak season, offering great coverage at the Wanaka ski resorts. But everyone who’s ever skied in New Zealand will tell you the same thing: if the snow isn’t falling as much as you’d like, other types of spectacular outdoor adventure will more than compensate. Be sure to take note of our sightseeing trip to Milford Sound, below.
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Our rooms in Wellington are guaranteed after 3 PM on Tuesday the 26th. When you arrive, you'll simply check in at the hotel as your normally would. Please have your passport handy for identification.
Our trip officially begins at 7 PM with a meet & greet, followed by dinner. In our hotel’s swanky lobby bar, you'll meet the SKI BUMS trip leaders and the other participants -- and then we'll sit down for a relaxing meal to welcome you to Wellington!
Meet and greet
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Hear our playlists on Spotify
This trip has a minimum of 15 participants. If we fail to meet our minimum number of registered participants by 60 days before the trip, the trip may be cancelled. In that event, those who have signed up for the trip will receive a full refund.
Trip alterations
+ Three night stay at the modern, stylish InterContinental Wellington
+ Seven night stay in Wanaka (Riverrun Lodge or Lakeside Apartments)
+ Five multi-course dinners (two in Wellington, three in Wanaka)
+ Six day Flexi-Pass, valid at Treble Cone and Cardrona ski resorts
+ Private guided tour (by boat and plane) of Milford Sound
+ Welcome reception in Wellington
+ A daily itinerary of guided activities, terrain recommendations and and hosted events
+ Up-to-the-minute trip updates, delivered to your mobile phone

+ Trip organization, guidance and assistance from SKI BUMS professional trip leaders

Not included
+ Air transportation
+ Ground transportation
(taxis in Wellington, rental cars in Wanaka)
+ Ski and snowboard equipment rental
+ Lunches, some dinners, alcoholic drinks

+ Travel insurance (very highly recommended)
Whats Included
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+ Tuesday, August 23: arrive in Wellington, check-in at our hotel

+ Wednesday & Thursday: Sightseeing in Wellington

+ Friday, August 26: Fly to Queenstown, then transfer to our lodging in Wanaka

+ Saturday, Aug 27 - Thurs Sept 1: Ski & ride at Treble Cone and Cardrona + Milford Sound tour

+ Friday, Sept 2: Transfer back to Queenstown, for flights home (or extended stays)
WELLINGTON | Our trip leaders will design an itinerary for the first day that highlights some of Wellington’s “must sees,” and then give you more freedom for Thursday to explore whatever interests you most. As we’ve seen on our pre-mountain trips to Tokyo and Buenos Aires, the BUMS are social — and most will want to connect with others as they explore the city.

WANAKA | Our trip leaders design an itinerary that adapts to the weather forecasts and snow conditions, with up-to-the-minute reports that you'll receive on your mobile device (see below). View a sample itinerary >

Our on-mountain adventure begins on Saturday. As always, we divide into skill level groups, then we divide and conquer the mountains!
Learn about our skill level groups. >

Our lift passes are valid at two resorts. The trip leaders will name one resort per day for the first few days. As you explore the mountains, you’ll identify the BUMS who enjoy the same terrain — at the same pace — that you do. After our skill groups congeal over those first few days, you’ll enjoy more freedom and flexibility to visit whichever resort you choose on our successive days.

In general, you'll spend most of the day in a smallish group of four or five skiers or boarders -- but that's up to you. The BUMS are a social crowd, so it's common mix things up during the week, or take a day off to relax and enjoy a relaxing vacation day. And, all of us will spend part of one day touring the breathtaking Milford Sound!

We meet as a group for lunches and après-ski. And for three of our evenings in Wanaka, we'll dine together in town. The other three nights, you’ll be free to spend however you wish.
You must have a cell phone that will work while we are in New Zealand. It will need to be able to receive domestic SMS text messages, even when you are not on Wi-Fi.

Trip leaders send up-to-the-minute text message alerts with itinerary information, transportation pickup times, lunch locations, weather advisories, and more. Additionally, the other trip participants will text one another to coordinate their plans for transportation to and from mountain. We recommend that you budget for an international plan that includes voice, data and SMS messaging.

View our communications guide for important information >
On the mountain: you should arrive in-country with all your skiing & snowboarding apparel. SKI BUMS requires our trip participants to wear helmets while skiing & riding. See our helpful guide, How to Dress for the Mountain, for suggestions. Wanaka and Queenstown have many gear & apparel shops — it’ll be easy to find things if you’ve left items behind.

Off the mountain: all our events are casual dress. As you can pretty easily see, the BUMS are a casual, laid-back crowd; we aren't flashy. Be yourself, and be comfortable -- just as you would on any skiing / snowboarding trip.

A few vital packing tips:

Pack your skiing and snowboarding apparel in your carry on bag. Delayed luggage can arrive three days late; you won't want to have to buy all new stuff to make it onto the mountain.
+ Be sure to pack
winter wear shoes with a good tread; expect snowy, icy streets.
+ Don't forget
sunscreen for the high-altitude UV exposure, and a swimsuit for our hotel's pool!

Read our helpful tips on how to pack your gear for a skiing / snowboarding trip >
SKI BUMS detailed trip itineraries are designed to be viewed on any smart phone. Additionally, our trip leaders send up-to-the-minute alerts that you'll receive on your phone via SMS text messaging. It allows us to keep you in the loop and make smart adjustments based on the weather.

For this reason, you MUST have a cell phone that will work while we're in New Zealand.

: View our communications guide >
Mobile itinerary
SKI BUMS lgbt skiing and snowboarding testimonial
Read more testimonials
We limit the number of participants for all SKI BUMS trips. This trip will sell out.

Signing up is simple. You'll simply provide your information, then proceed to payment.

After we've received your signup & payment, you'll receive an
confirmation via email that you're registered for the trip.

GMAIL users: please be sure to check your Promotions Tab for our emails, and learn how to adjust Gmail's filters >
Join the SKI BUMS in New Zealand
Our trip includes two prepaid dinners in Wellington and three prepaid dinners in Wanaka. As always, SKI BUMS locates the best restaurants around, making sure you’ll get to enjoy an authentic experience when traveling abroad. We can easily accommodate those on special diets; we’ll ask you to share any dietary needs before we travel. At our prepaid meals, you simply pay for drinks.

In Wanaka, breakfasts are included at the Riverrun Lodge. They are
not included at the Lakeside Apartments. But get this: Yelp’s #1 ranked restaurant in Wanaka is owned by a sister of one of the BUMS, and it’s just around the block.

Additionally, the Lakeside Apartments feature full kitchens. We’re likely to host a ‘potlluck dinner’ here one evening… it’s a SKI BUMS
We are happy to arrange roommates for you. Typically, half of our participants ask us to match them up with a roommate. We'll ask a few easy questions and accommodate your preferences. If you already have a roommate (or partner) with whom you’re traveling, you can indicate his or her name when you sign up for the trip, and request a room with one bed or two.

If you prefer your own room, you may select a single occupancy. We collect the single occupancy supplement when you sign up (View "Pricing & Payment" below).

Please note: there are only a small number of single occupancy slots available. Singles are only available at the InterContinental Wellington and the Lakeside Apartments.
In Wellington, the swanky digs of the InterContinental Wellington, will be our home base for a few days. It’s a stylish downtown spot — widely considered the best hotel in the city. You’ll relax in a Club Level room, with access to the Club InterContinental Lounge, featuring complimentary twilight drinks and canapés each day. There’s an indoor pool, a hoppin’ set of bars, and a great daily breakfast. It’s the perfect place to relax and rest while we explore the cosmopolitan city… and adjust to the time zone.
Talk to anyone who’s been to this part of the world, and they’ll say the same thing: this spectacular scenery rewards exploring. Rather than force the entire group into the same itinerary via private shuttles, we are encouraging everyone to share rental cars for our adventure on the South Island. This will give us flexibility in terms of getting to and from the mountains each day, and give us the chance to see more of the natural wonders of the region (including Milford Sound, below.)

Most BUMS will pair up with one or two others to share a car rental; our trip leaders will help coordinate this via email and our trip Facebook group.

The Queenstown Airport features many international rental car companies, including Budget, Hertz and Avis.
About six weeks before the trip, we recommend making rental car reservations for an SUV or a vehicle with 4-wheel drive. You’ll want it for navigating snowy mountain roads.

Facebook group
Trail Maps
View the Treble Cone trail map > | View the Cardrona trail map >
For those who ski or ride at an advanced level, we recommend hiring private guides for a day or two, especially if you’d like to stretch into the deeper recesses of off-piste or backcountry terrain. When we collect your pre-trip information, we’ll ask everyone if they’d be interested in hiring guides, and then make plans accordingly. There are many guiding companies here.

If you'd like to take skiing or snowboarding lessons, we recommend waiting until we arrive in New Zealand to visit ski schools and book your instructors, so you can book instructors at the specific resorts that the group will be visiting each day. We’ll determine our resorts based on the weather forecast and the snow conditions.
About half of our participants will rent skis or snowboards. We do NOT recommend reserving equipment in advance; despite the chance to save some money, it often locks you into a particular rental shop that may not have the specific gear you'd prefer to use.

Instead, we'll encourage you to arrive in Wanaka with enough time to shop around and pick up gear that suits you. Trip leaders will assist with directions and recommendations.
How SKI BUMS works
If you're new to the group or haven't joined us in a long time, click here to see how things work >
Want to see the SKI BUMS around the world who love the mountains as much as you do? When you post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, use the hashtag #skibums!
Tell your friends about our adventure in New Zealand!
Tips for your first trip
We've got lots of inside advice for those who are taking their first SKI BUMS trip. Click here >
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IMPORTANT NOTE: we do not permit skiers and snowboarders to arrange their own lodging and join our events without setting up a Custom Trip and pre-paying for our guided events and group meals. Custom Trip spaces are very limited. Contact us here to set up a Custom Trip >
Sign up for the trip to the Dolomites
Snowboarding at Treble Cone NZ
A skier at Treble Cone, NZ
From North America, most flights to Wellington offer a connection point in Auckland or Sydney. Some carriers — like United Airlines — actually offer a considerably cheaper fare if you spend a few days in Sydney when you depart from LAX or SFO. For this reason, we think it’s a great idea to spend a few days in Sydney before the SKI BUMS itinerary officially begins on Tuesday.

While in town, you won’t want to miss
Avalanche, where we’ll invite all the SKI BUMS members from Australia to come meet one another! Date, time and other details TBA.

To make it easier to connect with other BUMS who are also visiting Sydney, we suggest booking a room at the sleek, swanky, and quirky
QT Sydney. It’s located in the hip neighborhood of Darlinghurst, just a few blocks away from the gay nightlife along Oxford Street. You’ll often find discounted rates at this hotel if you book on a travel site like Expedia.

To coordinate travel to Sydney with other participants,
connect on Facebook >
Another reason to extend your trip to Queenstown: you’ll get to enjoy the festivities of Gay Ski Week NZ. This is one reason why we’ve chosen our specific dates; our SKI BUMS itinerary officially ends just as the weekend fun of Gay Ski Week NZ begins.

Something to keep in mind: the official owners and organizers of Gay Ski Week NZ have changed hands three times in just five years. In 2011, all events were cancelled just a few days before things were set to begin. That said, this year’s new organizers are optimistic that hundreds of guests will visit from NZ, Australia and beyond. Learn more about the official events here >
Lakeside apartments wanaka
Some of the BUMS have already been to this part of the world. But if this may be your one and only chance to experience New Zealand and Australia, you may want to consider optional trip extensions to Sydney — just before our trip — or Queenstown, just after our trip. Read on for suggestions.
Our trip includes a private sightseeing tour (by boat and small plane) of Milford Sound, one of the most gorgeous places on the planet, prominently featured in “Lord of the Rings.” One day during the week, we’ll take a break from the mountains to come enjoy a 4-hour tour of this stunning fjord, full of lush vegetation, dramatic cliffs, unique birds and jaw-dropping waterfalls. Prepare your cameras. Read the reviews >
Sunreise at Treble Cone
The Southern Alps resort village of Wanaka is spectacular, but it’s tiny — just 8,000 residents. The best hotels and lodges here are similarly small, and our group will share two different lodging locations. We’ve chosen two of the best lodges in town.

Lakeside Apartments are spacious, modern 3 Bedroom units located right along Lake Wanaka, with full kitchens, fantastic views, an outdoor pool and a hot tub. They’re right in the heart of town, within easy walking distance of nearby shops and cafes. Those who stay here may select single or double occupancy. Read their raves on Trip Advisor >

Riverrun Lodge, located about five minutes outside of town, offers accommodations for 8 guests in its five, beautifully appointed bedrooms. Designed by a prized local architect, the lodge features reclaimed wood, handcrafted furniture and metalworks, and serene views across the peaks of the Southern Alps. You may choose a double occupancy room with one bed or two; there are no single occupancy spaces available at this location. Read their excellent reviews >

The two hotels are about a 7 minute drive away from one another. Thankfully, we’ll be spending a lot of time together with the whole group, both on the mountain and off (see meals, below). If you’re unsure which location to select, post a message on
our Facebook group!
Lodging Wanaka
It would be foolish to travel all the way to New Zealand without experiencing its incredible history and culture, and the cosmopolitan, gay-friendly capital city of Wellington is a fantastic place to do it. (And, as our trips to Japan have taught us, you’ll want a few days adjust to the time zone before you begin skiing and snowboarding!) Our trip begins with a three night stay here.

After our meet & greet on Tuesday night, we’ll have Wednesday and Thursday to see the sights. For Wednesday, trip leaders will suggest itinerary items and help coordinate groups to visit
Peter Jackson’s film workshop (where the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy turned New Zealand into a global tourist destination), and the must-see Te Papa National Museum. On Thursday, you might want to enjoy delicious vintages on a guided wine tour of nearby wineries, discover kiwi birds and other exotic animals, experience the incredible history of the native Maori people, or wander on foot, exploring the hip neighborhoods around Courtenay Street and Cuba Street. They’re an easy walk from our hotel.

On Friday, we’ll board flights to the South Island, focusing on the real reason for our visit: the ski resorts near Wanaka.