Thrilling & scenic tour: A must-do adventure activity on the snow in Queenstown, New Zealand!

Snowmobiling in Queenstown is New Zealand’s must-do adventure activity


Everything you need to know about your Queenstown winter adventure, Queenstown Snowmobiling.  Check out our Frequently Asked Questions below for details on what you need to wear, what happens on your Queenstown Snowmobile snow adventure and general information. 

Getting Going

Where is Queenstown Snowmobiles located?

We depart from Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters which is located at 35 Lucas Place, Frankton (near Queenstown Airport).  The snowmobile trip occurs on the Garvie Plateau which is only accessible by helicopter.    There is no self-drive option to the snowmobiling location.

Do you provide courtesy transport to your helicopter base?

A courtesy coach is available to pick up and drop off passengers from selected locations in the Queenstown area. Click here to view our pick up locations

Can I bring my own car?

Yes, we have free parking for our passengers.  We are located at 35 Lucas Place, Frankton (near to Queenstown Airport).

What helicopter company do you use?

Queenstown Snowmobiles is owned and operated by Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters.  Our helicopter and pilot stay on the Garvie Plateau for the duration of your snowmobile trip.   As the location is within the mountains, sometimes weather can be changeable. In that event, we are able to depart quickly.

Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters has a modern fleet of Airbus helicopters and all our pilots are highly experienced in our rugged, alpine environment.


What is the minimum passengers per trip?

We require a minimum of four passengers to operate a trip.  You don’t need to make a booking with four people - we can combine other passengers to make up this number to enable the trip to happen. For this reason, we encourage guests to book this tour at the start of their Queenstown itinerary, and have flexibility to move as required.

How old do you have to be to ride a snowmobile?

15yrs (Proof of age required). You must be 15 years or older to operate your own snowmobile. This is subject to ability and the guide’s discretion. Children aged 6-14yrs ride as pillion passengers with an accompanying adult. The minimum child age is 6 years.

The Snowmobiling Experience

How long is the scenic helicopter flight to the Garvie Plateau?

Approx. 15 minutes each way.  We fly past the sky-piercing Remarkables Mountain range before flying towards our base on the snow.

What clothing will be supplied?

Protective insulated overalls, helmets, gloves, goggles and boots will be supplied for adults.  If you have your own waterproof ski pants and jackets then you are welcome to wear them.

We have helmets and can provide non-insulated outer clothing for children, they will need to be dressed in their own warm base and mid layer clothing. If you haven’t brought their gear then please contact us.

How long do we snowmobile for?

1 hour 30 minutes of snow time (approx).  This includes an initial training time and competency check on the snowmobiles before setting off on your excursion.

Will there be any stops during the snowmobiling?

Yes, there will be approximately three stops. Our guides know all the locations for the best vistas.

What do I need to bring?

Queenstown Snowmobiles occurs in an alpine environment during the winter and early spring months. It can be very cold so dress warmly. We recommend woollen garments and layers.

Wear a warm hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. You may need sunglasses for your flight but we provide goggles for when riding the snowmobiles.

Of course bring your camera and Go Pros. Drones are not permitted at all.

A day pack and some water is handy.

How often are the trips?

We depart daily at 9:00am, 11:30am & 2:00pm – keep in mind all tours are weather and snow dependent, so a weather check is done at least an hour prior to all departure times.

Is there a risk to Snowmobiling?

Snowmobiling is an Adventure Activity, so there are hazards associated with the trip. These include; snowmobile rollover, snowmobile collision, loss of control, cold exposure, uneven terrain, slips trips and falls.

We minimise risks as much as possible throughout our operation and are a certified adventure activity, operating in full compliance with the Adventure Activities regulations.

General Questions

What time do I have to be at Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters ready for departure?

You will need to be at the Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopter Reception 20 minutes before your departure. For example if your trip is at 9am, you will need to check in at our front office no later than 8.40am.  The office is located at 35 Lucas Place, Frankton, Queenstown.

Who do I contact if I have a question about booking or any enquiries?

Please feel free to contact us with any questions. Email: [email protected] or Telephone: +64 3 442 3016

When will I know if the trip is going ahead or not due to bad weather?

Please phone us an hour before your scheduled departure to do a weather check. Our reservations team will advise you of the situation for your trip.  Please phone +64 3 442 3016

If the experience finishes early due to adverse weather or snow conditions, the following prices will apply depending on the completed duration.

  • If the flight proceeds but there is no snowmobiling - the cost per person is $495 per adult and $345 per child.

  • If the snowmobiling activity lasts less than 30 minutes - the cost per person is $800 per adult and $560 per child.

  • If the snowmobiling activity is more than 30 minutes - there will be no refund given.

What happens if the weather is bad?

We do not fly or snowmobile if the weather makes it unsafe. All clients will be informed at the time of their weather check and offered an alternative day and time to fly and ride.  In the event an alternative doesn’t suit you a full refund will be made. For this reason, we encourage guests to book this tour at the start of your Queenstown itinerary, and have flexibility to move as required.

Will I be refunded if I cancel?

If you cancel within 24 hours from departure you will not be given a refund. If you cancel before 24 hours from departure you will be given a full refund.

Will I be able to purchase any photos of my trip?

Our pilot will potentially be available to take photos of you either at the beginning or the end of the trip.

Is there a bathroom?

Yes, there is one toilet at the Queenstown Snowmobiles base on the Garvie Plateau.  We also have bathrooms at our check in area at Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters.

Do you offer gift vouchers?

Yes, and what a perfect gift a Queenstown Snowmobile trip would make.  Spoil someone special or reward extraordinary effort.

Just email [email protected] or phone +64 3 442 3016 and one of our friendly team members will help you get it all sorted.