#SkiWanaka Like a Local | Emma Bilous

When your two sons - one an Olympic freestyle skier and the other a big mountain skier renowned for his loose approach to the steepest runs out there - want to ski with you; you know you’re doing something right!

Meet Emma Bilous... We asked her a few questions about skiing in Wanaka. Check out her answers below and view the videos for some 'local' tips.

Want to #SkiWanaka like a local?

Why Wanaka?

I came to Wanaka when I was twenty-one and had only been skiing a couple of times before. I instantly fell in love with the mountains here. They're just so beautiful and the community vibe in town was infectious. Twenty-five years later I am still here and cannot imagine a place I’d rather be. I love that time of year when winter is on the way and town starts to fill up with fresh young faces, full of anticipation for the season to come. So, with the new people combined the familiar faces you get to be part of this skiing community where everyone is there for a good time andthat 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. 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.

Skiers hike up to the Summit at Treble Cone in Wanaka, New Zealand

What makes Wanaka different?

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

What's the run 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 added pressure from an audience!

Skiers powder skiing at Treble Cone in Wanaka, New Zealand

What do you think are the best off-mountain activities in Wanaka?

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!