|Ski instructor extraordinaire|
|In her natural habitat|
Tennille might have spent her childhood on Queensland’s sunny beaches but she’s no stranger to the world of skiing. Finding the addiction to skiing at an early age, she spent every possible moment down at the NSW ski fields as well as living and working in Canadian resorts in her teens and twenties. She worked her way up (and down), earning herself a prestigious level 3 instructors certification, akin to the black belt in Karate. She was quickly snapped up by Utah’s Deer Valley resort where she worked and lived the seasons until her equally talented husband and herself blew the whistle and called a time out to have kids and put up the ubiquitous white picket fence back in Oz. Now they spend their time (and more importantly their money) cruising the white world, ever looking for the faster, higher, longer, as all us ‘White nomads’ do. So, when Tennille and Darren took a side trip to ski NZ, naturally I had the pen at the ready to pick their brain on the ins and outs of skiing NZ 2011:
|Snow guns trying trying trying|
Four weeks into the winter season, early July the snow conditions at the Remarkables were were not great. Back home in Australia they had 90cm, while in NZ the Australian school kids who had flown over especially to see snow were still waiting, like bridegrooms left at the alter. The snow makers were pumping their little hearts out, although even conditions for this activity were too warm.
REMARKABLES. SLIGHTLY ‘UN’ THIS SEASON
IF YOU COULD SKI, WHAT’S YOUR PICK OF NZ?
From a skiers point of view on a map Coronet Peak or Wanaka appear the winner, edging in due to the longest runs and black diamond sections. With any resorts maps don’t really relate to terrain, it depends on how much snow the mountain has.
There were lots of first timers there, but it’s a bit risky (conditions and the drive up the mountains to get to the resorts). My vote for beginners from Australia is to ski Australia first or save up and go to USA or Canada for a first time ski experience.
They look like friendly resorts on paper .but you’d have to survive the drive up. I’d possibly take my kids when they are older but the drive up the hill everyday would scare me, or 40 minutes of whinging would scare me, either way, I’d hesitate to bring them along.
Being an activities region we found alternative things to do besides ski, the wine tour to the Otago region is highly recommended, fantastic wines, great views. The dirt bike tour is great fun and done on a farm near the wineries. Dirt bike guides were good and terrain was excellent and catered for beginner to advanced. All gear was provided. Activities such as AJ Hackett bungy jumping nearby looked really fun. Boutique shopping is good in Queenstown although expensive even allowing for the NZ dollar. Max Shop is a NZ chain store, which has some good stuff and is reasonably priced. We’d done water activities such as the Shotover Jet on a previous trip so didn’t do it again, but people in Queenstown were raving about it. So many alternative activities to choose from.
Road tripping with a big group of really experienced skiers for an awesome heli skiing vacation, especially paying in NZ dollars. My pick would be Lake Tekapo, as helicopters go into the highest mountains in the region and hopefully and possibly the steepest mountains. It’s definitely great to stay in Queenstown, it’s a party and activity town. And it’s easily accessible to fly into from Sydney.
Excellent standards in Queenstown. The Crown Plaza is highly recommended because it has a great view of the beautiful lake and is an easy walk to the town centre. Queenstown has a great range of accommodation and if I went back I’d definitely stay close to the town centre as accommodation stretches along the lake and towards the airport.
|The beauty of Queenstown|
|Mt Hutt. Looks good|
Nice one, maybe next year…….