Want bragging rights at the bar? Nothing trumps heli-skiing. It’s not only an exhilarating way to reach the tops of mountains, it also opens the door to endless backcountry runs. Share the cost with four or five friends, and you’ll be set for a scenic and secluded day. A number of operators run heli-skiing trips from Queenstown, Wanaka, Canterbury, and Mount Ruapehu. If you hire a car and drive to the slopes, you'll need to buy chains as some ski resorts limit access without them (unless you have four-wheel drive). Also make sure to order roof racks in advance. Check how far the car rental kiosk is from the airport (the cheaper it is, the further you’ll walk), and don’t forget to be prepared with snacks and water in case of a snow storm.