Whare Kea Chalet

Whare Kea Chalet

Map
494 Mt. Aspiring Rd., Wanaka, 9343, New Zealand
Courtesy of Whare Kea Chalet

The Altitude: 5,700 feet.

 

The Perch: Tucked into the glacial snow of the South Island’s Southern Alps, the steel-and-glass Whare Kea Chalet at first looks like a forest ranger’s hut as interpreted by architect I. M. Pei. But looks aren’t everything: those are solar cells adorning the A-frame roof; a small wind turbine whirs on-site.

 

The Journey: You’ll be picked up by helicopter in the nearby town of Queenstown, then lofted on a 20-minute ride over Lake Wanaka and among the craggy Southern Alps to the lodge. If you visit in winter, bring your “fat boys”—heli-skiing is big here, and a great way to carve your own path in the adjacent, powder-heavy Buchanans Range.

 

The Best View: There are only two rooms in the chalet; both have equally sweeping views. Look for Mount Aspiring, the Lucas Glaciers, and Aoraki/ Mount Cook—the highest peak in New Zealand—from your bed.

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