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History of Treble Cone
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The History of Treble Cone

from simple beginnings...

A complete history of Treble Cone Ski Area from it's humble beginning's up until the current day where Treble Cone was awarded 'New Zealand's Best Ski Resort' in 2013 at the innaugural World Ski Awards, is now available in the new Treble Cone book written by Matt Conway and released in June 2014. The Treble Cone book is available from Paper Plus in Wanaka and the Treble Cone Wanaka Office.

Treble Cone Book Cover


A short History of Treble Cone

  • 1968

    Treble Cone was first formed as a private company. The first rope tow was installed a year later in July 1969.

Wanaka Circa 1960(Photo: Wanaka Circa 1960)

  • 1973

    A pilot track for four wheel drive vehicles was constructed.

building the road

(Photo: Work on the road to Treble Cone commenced)

  • 1975

    In order to finance future improvements the company was changed to a public company.
  • 1976

    Construction of a high standard road and modest base building including ticket offices, cafeteria, toilets, and medical aid. Ski hire was also available.

Rope tow hut(Photo: Rope tow hut)

  • 1983

    Double chairlift installed in the Home Basin.
  • 1987

    The ski area became a 100% subsidiary of The Helicopter Line (now Tourism Holdings Ltd). New Base lodge built.

Old base building

(Photo: Old Treble Cone base building)

  • 1989-90

    Lower T-Bar moved to Saddle Basin opening vast high level terrain. Intermediate trails developed. Snowmaking first introduced at Treble Cone.

(Video: Treble Cone promotional video 1989/1990)

  • 1990-91

    Over summer permanent snowmaking was installed on lower Main Street and the Learners Area.
  • 1993

    Triple Treat beginner trail was developed (now Easy Rider).

Skiing on Triple Treat (Easy Rider)Tractor used as early lift system





 (Photo: left - Triple Treat developed, right - early lift system)

  • 1994-95

    Access to Saddle Basin improved. Half pipe and mogul course created.
  • 1995-96

    $5 million development over summer. New high-speed detachable 6-seater chairlift in Home Basin. Double chair relocated to Saddle Basin. Major extension to Base Building, new car parking areas, new snowmaking pond.
  • 1999

    Terrain park constructed at Treble Cone for the first time.
  • 2002

    The ski area was purchased by a group of investors who formed a private company - Treble Cone Investments Ltd.
  • 2003

    $2 million development over summer including extensions to the Base Building, new winch groomer and an additional generator.
  • 2004

    Investment in extensive terrain modification in the Home Basin. Signage installed over the entire mountain. Access to the Saddle Basin improved.
  • 2005

    $5 million development over summer. New fixed grip quad installed in the Saddle Basin, Ski Patrol facilities at the top of the Home Basin, and further upgrades to the Base Buildings.

Heli lifting the Saddle Quad lift towers

(Photo: Heli lifting in the Saddle Basin lift towers)

  • 2006

    $1.5 million development over summer. Extensive earthworks in the Saddle and Home Basins, upgrade of snowmaking system and development of race training and intermediate terrain. Removal of T-Bars and Double Chair.
  • 2007

    $1.2 million development over summer. Extensive earthworks completed on Raffills Run in the Saddle Basin. Additional snowmaking guns added to the system.

Snowmaking upgrade(Photo: Snowmaking upgrade improving snow conditions)

  • 2008

    Extensive earthworks completed on South Ridge in the Saddle Basin. Additional snowmaking guns added to the system in the Home Basin.
  • 2011

    Introduction of RFID sales system and electronic scanning gates. Snow fencing completed. Additional earthworks on Easy Rider.
  • 2013

    Earthworks on High Street to make the return from the Saddle Basin to the Home Basin easier for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Treble Cone was awarded New Zealand's Best Ski Resort at the innaugural World Ski Awards. 2 x new Kassbohrer PistenBully 400 winch groomers replace the old groomer fleet.

High Street Earth Works

(Photo: High Street earthworks underway)

  • 2014

    The Treble Cone book written by Matt Conway, capturing and sharing the full history of Treble Cone Ski Area was published. Two new PB400 winch grooming machines arrive. Treble Cone gets awarded New Zealand's Best Ski Resort for the second year running at the World Ski Awards.
  • 2015

    Works are underway to install a new open-air Cafe at the top of the Home Basin serving barista made coffee, gourmet pizza and serving mulled wine and beer, with tables outside to take in the spectacular Treble Cone view over Lake Wanaka and the snow-capped Southern Alps.
  • Major earthworks are underway to convert Saddleback from the previous tricky to navigate advanced trail into a new intermediate trail, plus to open up Side Saddle as a new intermediate regularly groomed trail, and also to re-align and widen the entrance to the iconic Raffills Run intermediate trail.
  • The existing Base Cafe will be upgraded to transform what was previously one large 'food court' experience into two unique dining options, one being the Food Court packed with ready-to-go favourites, and the other being a more intimate, table service Cafe.