#skiwanaka Like a Local - Meet Emma Bilous

When your two sons - one an Olympic freestyle skier and the other a big mountain skier renowned for his hair -raising approach to the steepest runs out there want to ski with you – you know you’re doing something right! Meet Emma Bilous... See below for some Q&A's and check out the videos for some 'local' tips.


Why Wanaka?

I came to Wanaka when I was 21 and had only been skiing a couple of times before. I instantly fell in love with the ski mountains here, so beautiful and the community vibe in the town was infectious. 25 years later I am still here and cannot imagine a place I’d rather be. I love that time of year when winter is coming and the town starts to fill up with fresh young faces, full of anticipation of the season to come. So with the new people and the familiar faces you get to be part of this skiing community where everyone is there for a good time, that makes Wanaka a great place to call home.

What is your ideal ski day?

Those stormy snow days where the weather isn’t great first thing but you head up the hill anyway, there aren’t as many people, only the keen. Just when you are starting to think you have had enough of skiing in the storm the heavens clear and the sun comes out and you find some extra juice in your legs and ski the pow until closing. Then you leave the hill and find a sunny spot at a lakefront bar and swap glory tales from the day over a refreshing beer….or two, perfect.

What makes Wanaka different?

I’ve been lucky enough to ski in lots of different places overseas but keep coming back to Wanaka, as it has something special. It equals everyone out, it doesn’t matter what your background is, if you love skiing Wanaka loves you.

What run is the one you’ll always choose every time?

First tracks at Treble Cone under the chairlift. It’s always a great place to show off the skill set with a bit of pressure from an audience!

Showing someone around Wanaka off the snow

Rent a bike and go to Rippon Vineyard for wine and the view. A walk up Mt Iron is a must to get the lay of the land, especially if you can get it on a frosty morning and watch the sun rise.