Skiing NZ



  • Has anyone here done much? I haven't ridden here since I was at Uni, 20 years ago.

    In particular, has anyone spent time at the North Island ski fields? Is Ohakune a fun place for family to stay? (I had a wicked time there as a 20yr old working at Turoa for a season). Is it easy to get up the hill every day with shuttles etc or do you need your own vehicle with chains etc? And Turoa or Whakapapa?

    Looking at spending between 2 weeks and 4 weeks somewhere in late June if it all opens up again

    Any advice appreciated!



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    Has anyone here done much? I haven't ridden here since I was at Uni, 20 years ago.

    In particular, has anyone spent time at the North Island ski fields? Is Ohakune a fun place for family to stay? (I had a wicked time there as a 20yr old working at Turoa for a season). Is it easy to get up the hill every day with shuttles etc or do you need your own vehicle with chains etc? And Turoa or Whakapapa?

    Looking at spending between 2 weeks and 4 weeks somewhere in late June if it all opens up again

    Any advice appreciated!

    Is Turoa usually open in June? I thought it was usually the last to open??



  • @Hooroo that's why I'm here mate, I know nothing!!!



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo that's why I'm here mate, I know nothing!!!

    I can't back this up as I haven't been up Ruapehu in decades as now do south island only for Skiing.

    Something in the back of my mind tell me it doesn't get going until July. Can't back that up though



  • @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo that's why I'm here mate, I know nothing!!!

    I can't back this up as I haven't been up Ruapehu in decades as now do south island only for Skiing.

    Something in the back of my mind tell me it doesn't get going until July. Can't back that up though

    Why only South Island now? Is it the snow, weather , or apres that makes you get on a plane there?



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo that's why I'm here mate, I know nothing!!!

    I can't back this up as I haven't been up Ruapehu in decades as now do south island only for Skiing.

    Something in the back of my mind tell me it doesn't get going until July. Can't back that up though

    Why only South Island now? Is it the snow, weather , or apres that makes you get on a plane there?

    'D: All of the above.

    Selection of fields and Central Otago going ons. Love it down there.



  • @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo that's why I'm here mate, I know nothing!!!

    I can't back this up as I haven't been up Ruapehu in decades as now do south island only for Skiing.

    Something in the back of my mind tell me it doesn't get going until July. Can't back that up though

    Why only South Island now? Is it the snow, weather , or apres that makes you get on a plane there?

    'D: All of the above.

    Selection of fields and Central Otago going ons. Love it down there.

    We also sometimes go to Mt Hutt due to distance to parents farm.



  • @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo that's why I'm here mate, I know nothing!!!

    I can't back this up as I haven't been up Ruapehu in decades as now do south island only for Skiing.

    Something in the back of my mind tell me it doesn't get going until July. Can't back that up though

    Why only South Island now? Is it the snow, weather , or apres that makes you get on a plane there?

    'D: All of the above.

    Selection of fields and Central Otago going ons. Love it down there.

    It is amazing alright . Even though we only did the direct route in the end, the drive from QT to Geraldine was just spectacular.



  • Turoa.

    It is expensive to get up in the shuttle.

    The field owns the shuttle, and they make a mint out of it.

    Fine for a weekend, crippling for 2 weeks.

    They do chain fittings on days it us compulsory to have chains. If the day is chains advised, eg ok to go up in AWD without chains then no assistance fitting. They prefer u to use the expensive shuttle.

    Easy to hire chains in village. But better off by far to hire a 4WD / AWD for your fortnight.

    For kids/family. There is an indoor climbing place for a closed day fun. Waiouru army museum. Tookanu hot pools worth the drive If mountain closed. After that struggling for activities that aren't outdoor (hiking and mountain biking))



  • If its u and your boys then combining with a Wanganui river canoeing trip would be good. 3 day trips from Ratehi holiday camp, with kayaks , barrels, and pick up / drop off included.

    But if includes your wife and if she's a bit prissy, then probably wouldn't reccomend. Middle of winter ....



  • @Rapido said in Skiing NZ:

    If its u and your boys then combining with a Wanganui river canoeing trip would be good. 3 day trips from Ratehi holiday camp, with kayaks , barrels, and pick up / drop off included.

    But if includes your wife and if she's a bit prissy, then probably wouldn't reccomend. Middle of winter ....

    and what about if @voodoo is a bit soft too?? 🙂

    The canoeing sounds awesome but in the middle of Winter, I would be giving that a slow sidestep.



  • @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Rapido said in Skiing NZ:

    If its u and your boys then combining with a Wanganui river canoeing trip would be good. 3 day trips from Ratehi holiday camp, with kayaks , barrels, and pick up / drop off included.

    But if includes your wife and if she's a bit prissy, then probably wouldn't reccomend. Middle of winter ....

    and what about if @voodoo is a bit soft too?? 🙂

    The canoeing sounds awesome but in the middle of Winter, I would be giving that a slow sidestep.

    So, would I, tbh.

    But the 3 day trip starts from below the rapids. So get wet or as dry as you want. But in a ravine the whole time, so cold I would assume even when dry.



  • I haven't skied at the North Island fields in years - but, my North Island friend who goes occasionally isn't keen on them due to the crowds. A factor to consider.

    I think even a lot of the South Island fields struggle to have good snow in June these days, so if you can go later conditions will probably be better - but who knows - a good storm can change everything.

    If you were going to do four weeks, I'd think hard about doing the South Island fields. We often stay in Ashburton and ski Mt. Hutt/Porter Heights and then head to Twizel to ski Ohau - or alternatively stay in Wanaka and Q'town with Treble Cone, Cardrona, Coronet and the Remarkables giving lots of options.

    I'd imagine accommodation prices will be pretty sharp this year.



  • @Chris-B said in Skiing NZ:

    I haven't skied at the North Island fields in years - but, my North Island friend who goes occasionally isn't keen on them due to the crowds. A factor to consider.

    I think even a lot of the South Island fields struggle to have good snow in June these days, so if you can go later conditions will probably be better - but who knows - a good storm can change everything.

    If you were going to do four weeks, I'd think hard about doing the South Island fields. We often stay in Ashburton and ski Mt. Hutt/Porter Heights and then head to Twizel to ski Ohau - or alternatively stay in Wanaka and Q'town with Treble Cone, Cardrona, Coronet and the Remarkables giving lots of options.

    I'd imagine accommodation prices will be pretty sharp this year.

    This, do this! ^



  • @Hooroo With four weeks you could comfortably do both those options - and some of the other South Canterbury fields as well, which I think @Crucial knows lots about and can make better recommendations than me.



  • @Chris-B said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo With four weeks you could comfortably do both those options - and some of the South Canterbury fields as well, which I think @Crucial knows lots about and can make better recommendations than me.

    Absolutely and you can stay in Methven etc which for a short space of time is lovely. In fact in four weeks, I would do a few nights in Kaikoura and ski that field too (I have never done so before). You could tick off a heck of a lot of the fields down there and experience a myriad of scenes and things.



  • @Hooroo When I was younger, fitter and under more time pressure we did a couple of road trips down from Nelson - one where we skied at Rainbow, drove to Hanmer that evening; skied at Amuri drove to Ashburton in the evening... The other we stayed in Kaikoura for a night, skied Mt Lyford and drove on to Ashburton that evening.

    Lyford is a nice setting - not sure I'd want to spend a week there. Amuri's main tow was (and I suspect still is) an old nutcracker - so hard work.



  • Cheers fellas. I've always been under thebm impression that everything was better ski wise down south. In fact we currently have a week at Wanaka booked in July with a view to ski Cardrona (booked pre-Covid).

    But after spending 6wks down that way, I was hoping you'd all say that the North has improved massively and is now just as good...but appears not!



  • The lifts at Turoa have improved massively. Have had the 6 seater for about a decade, and supposed to have a gondola for this season. Gondola means can stay open on windy days, so less days with closed mountain. Don't now what lockdown will have meant for that.

    But will always be better snow and less changeable weather down Otago.



  • The problem with North Island ski fields is limited options and SHITLOADS of people. When (well IF) you get a semi decent day then every man and his dog will be there. It's chaos.

    For past 4 or so years we've done our family winter break in ohakune and a fair bit of skiing and snowboarding but last August we went to queenstown instead and wow so much better. Much quieter on the mountain due to better ratio of people to ski options. I think I would prob stay in Wanaka tho next time.



  • @JK Yeah - my mate says you spend more time dodging other punters and worrying about being taken out than enjoying your skiing.

    Voodoo - if you want to avoid Q'town - there's plenty of options in Canterbury if they have snow. I did a ski week at Cheeseman many years ago and enjoyed it. Haven't been back for many years - but along with Porter Heights, Cragieburn and Broken River - they'll all give a change of scene to Mt. Hutt (which in a good snow year is superb).

    A bit further south Dobson, Fox Peak and Ohau give another set of options. I'm pretty sure it was Crucial who recommended a lodge down that way that sounded superb - and options at Geraldine.

    There's also good options for non-ski days, including heading to ChCh.



  • I have done snow trips across most of the commercial fields in NZ and been a season pass holder at Ruapehu while in the country every winter for a decade or so and usually fit in one or two visits a year to Qtown or Wanaka
    Some places will suit some people way more than others, but here are some random thoughts/pointers.

    Season pass purchased back in November the previous year for RAL is cheap. Equivalent of about 4.5 days at day pass prices. Easy to get value if this is your winter pastime and you are flexible.
    Weather in NZ, especially at the exposed Ruapehu, is very variable. You need to become an expert at reading between the lines on weather forecasts and working out the risk level of forking out for a weekends accomodation.
    Avoid school holidays if you can. The infrastructure cannot handle the peak volume easily. Also (pre Covid) watch out for Oz school holidays at Qtown. The dates can differ to ours and plane loads used to arrive daily.
    If you do the “once a year for a week” participation then avoid NI. Chances are that you could do a load of planning and spend heaps to get a couple of days if lucky. Better chances down south.
    Better to drive yourself, so get an AWD rental. Flexibility is a key. Although Ruapehu is getting crazy. A few years back you could easily wait until lift opening time before heading up and going up half an hour before would get you a good park. At Whaka last year they had loads of days where the car parks filled up by 9 and you were forced to shell out for a shuttle. We went up 730 and were still well down the road.
    If you want to do a holiday for a number of days here Are my best options (all Covid dependant of course)

    Wanaka - has more of a ski town feel than QTown. Winter tourism here is snow based with less other options so you get the town being an extension of the day up the mountain. Bars and restaurants within easy distance of most accommodation and most fire up early to catch you as you drive back to town. Has a good vibe. Cardrona is probably the best commercial field in NZ IMO. Great variety of runs across abilities and excellent programs for kids. Good infrastructure spread across the mountain and less pinch points at lifts (where everyone ends up at the same place). Has a relaxed vibe and doesn’t get too pushy at busy times. Now in partnership with TC so one pass covers both if you want to try your hand at the more expert terrain.

    Qtown - similar to Wanaka but with the added advantages of having more to do if the weather is shit. Has the variety of the two fields and CP is by far the easiest access ski field in NZ. Well appointed bases to hang out in. Doing a night ski at CP is good fun as well. If you plan it to get up a bit earlier then a day at Cardrona is still an option.

    Ohakune - is way too dead at the rest of the year for anything great to sustain itself although can still have a good vibe when busy (although that usually means that your day has been frustrating up to that point). Great for planning a weekend paired with a few week days after, especially out of school holidays. If the forecast is great, half of Auckland races down in their Remuera tractors to their holiday homes so you get it best if you can be “clever” and take a calculated punt weather wise and cut out the fair weather fans. Be prepared to have days in whiteout etc but that is part and parcel of skiing at Ruapehu. Conditions very variable as well. Be prepared for ice, slush, rocks and groomers all in the one day. Takes a bit of gained knowledge to get the best out of it. Eg never take a lunch break at lunchtime. While everyone else is crammed into the cafes you can often get a number of good runs in with less people in the lift lines and on the slopes, especially if you go out wider as everyone pulls in closer to the cafes.
    Has many choke points as there is a “spine” to the lift system and often only one way back up.

    National Park/Whakapapa - all of the above, especially with the new gondola which has a queue down the road. Only one way up now and although they insist that capacity is higher you can no longer come down only as far as the flat and go back up. Would only recommend on weekdays and when the west is open.

    I have only been to Mt Hutt once. My impression was that it is a good ski field but one hell of a drive to get there each day.

    I will also throw the Mackenzie country into the mix. Roundhill is a top little field with a fun family atmosphere. Limited in options but relaxed, easy to get to from Tekapo. Ohau is also a fun old school option and the lodge is a fun place to stay, especially if you go for a catered option where the food is top notch but served in a lodge fashion of large tables where they mix up the guests on purpose. Word of warning though. If the family don’t like a scary mountain drive they won’t like the switchbacks up to the basin.



  • NI saying
    “Snow in May will wash away, June is still too soon”

    The reason we persist with Ruapehu is that if you get to know it’s good and bad points you can still take a short notice trip for a couple of days and get some activity in. You learn what to expect when and can make it a winter activity rather than just a once a year thing.

    Saying that though, we also go as a halfway social meetup with friends and family.

    This focus is shifting more down to Central Otago now and we also have a trip booked for July. Just airfares luckily as we have free accommodation down there with friends.

    @voodoo stick to your Wanaka plans. You’ll have fun.



  • @Crucial said in Skiing NZ:

    I have done snow trips across most of the commercial fields in NZ and been a season pass holder at Ruapehu while in the country every winter for a decade or so and usually fit in one or two visits a year to Qtown or Wanaka
    Some places will suit some people way more than others, but here are some random thoughts/pointers.

    Season pass purchased back in November the previous year for RAL is cheap. Equivalent of about 4.5 days at day pass prices. Easy to get value if this is your winter pastime and you are flexible.
    Weather in NZ, especially at the exposed Ruapehu, is very variable. You need to become an expert at reading between the lines on weather forecasts and working out the risk level of forking out for a weekends accomodation.
    Avoid school holidays if you can. The infrastructure cannot handle the peak volume easily. Also (pre Covid) watch out for Oz school holidays at Qtown. The dates can differ to ours and plane loads used to arrive daily.
    If you do the “once a year for a week” participation then avoid NI. Chances are that you could do a load of planning and spend heaps to get a couple of days if lucky. Better chances down south.
    Better to drive yourself, so get an AWD rental. Flexibility is a key. Although Ruapehu is getting crazy. A few years back you could easily wait until lift opening time before heading up and going up half an hour before would get you a good park. At Whaka last year they had loads of days where the car parks filled up by 9 and you were forced to shell out for a shuttle. We went up 730 and were still well down the road.
    If you want to do a holiday for a number of days here Are my best options (all Covid dependant of course)

    Wanaka - has more of a ski town feel than QTown. Winter tourism here is snow based with less other options so you get the town being an extension of the day up the mountain. Bars and restaurants within easy distance of most accommodation and most fire up early to catch you as you drive back to town. Has a good vibe. Cardrona is probably the best commercial field in NZ IMO. Great variety of runs across abilities and excellent programs for kids. Good infrastructure spread across the mountain and less pinch points at lifts (where everyone ends up at the same place). Has a relaxed vibe and doesn’t get too pushy at busy times. Now in partnership with TC so one pass covers both if you want to try your hand at the more expert terrain.

    Qtown - similar to Wanaka but with the added advantages of having more to do if the weather is shit. Has the variety of the two fields and CP is by far the easiest access ski field in NZ. Well appointed bases to hang out in. Doing a night ski at CP is good fun as well. If you plan it to get up a bit earlier then a day at Cardrona is still an option.

    Ohakune - is way too dead at the rest of the year for anything great to sustain itself although can still have a good vibe when busy (although that usually means that your day has been frustrating up to that point). Great for planning a weekend paired with a few week days after, especially out of school holidays. If the forecast is great, half of Auckland races down in their Remuera tractors to their holiday homes so you get it best if you can be “clever” and take a calculated punt weather wise and cut out the fair weather fans. Be prepared to have days in whiteout etc but that is part and parcel of skiing at Ruapehu. Conditions very variable as well. Be prepared for ice, slush, rocks and groomers all in the one day. Takes a bit of gained knowledge to get the best out of it. Eg never take a lunch break at lunchtime. While everyone else is crammed into the cafes you can often get a number of good runs in with less people in the lift lines and on the slopes, especially if you go out wider as everyone pulls in closer to the cafes.
    Has many choke points as there is a “spine” to the lift system and often only one way back up.

    National Park/Whakapapa - all of the above, especially with the new gondola which has a queue down the road. Only one way up now and although they insist that capacity is higher you can no longer come down only as far as the flat and go back up. Would only recommend on weekdays and when the west is open.

    I have only been to Mt Hutt once. My impression was that it is a good ski field but one hell of a drive to get there each day.

    I will also throw the Mackenzie country into the mix. Roundhill is a top little field with a fun family atmosphere. Limited in options but relaxed, easy to get to from Tekapo. Ohau is also a fun old school option and the lodge is a fun place to stay, especially if you go for a catered option where the food is top notch but served in a lodge fashion of large tables where they mix up the guests on purpose. Word of warning though. If the family don’t like a scary mountain drive they won’t like the switchbacks up to the basin.

    Legend, thanks for that mate.

    Sounds like we should just stick to the week we have booked, then tack a few weeks onto the front or back of it, either also in Wanaka/Cardrona or somewhere close if we feel the need to explore.



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Crucial said in Skiing NZ:

    I have done snow trips across most of the commercial fields in NZ and been a season pass holder at Ruapehu while in the country every winter for a decade or so and usually fit in one or two visits a year to Qtown or Wanaka
    Some places will suit some people way more than others, but here are some random thoughts/pointers.

    Season pass purchased back in November the previous year for RAL is cheap. Equivalent of about 4.5 days at day pass prices. Easy to get value if this is your winter pastime and you are flexible.
    Weather in NZ, especially at the exposed Ruapehu, is very variable. You need to become an expert at reading between the lines on weather forecasts and working out the risk level of forking out for a weekends accomodation.
    Avoid school holidays if you can. The infrastructure cannot handle the peak volume easily. Also (pre Covid) watch out for Oz school holidays at Qtown. The dates can differ to ours and plane loads used to arrive daily.
    If you do the “once a year for a week” participation then avoid NI. Chances are that you could do a load of planning and spend heaps to get a couple of days if lucky. Better chances down south.
    Better to drive yourself, so get an AWD rental. Flexibility is a key. Although Ruapehu is getting crazy. A few years back you could easily wait until lift opening time before heading up and going up half an hour before would get you a good park. At Whaka last year they had loads of days where the car parks filled up by 9 and you were forced to shell out for a shuttle. We went up 730 and were still well down the road.
    If you want to do a holiday for a number of days here Are my best options (all Covid dependant of course)

    Wanaka - has more of a ski town feel than QTown. Winter tourism here is snow based with less other options so you get the town being an extension of the day up the mountain. Bars and restaurants within easy distance of most accommodation and most fire up early to catch you as you drive back to town. Has a good vibe. Cardrona is probably the best commercial field in NZ IMO. Great variety of runs across abilities and excellent programs for kids. Good infrastructure spread across the mountain and less pinch points at lifts (where everyone ends up at the same place). Has a relaxed vibe and doesn’t get too pushy at busy times. Now in partnership with TC so one pass covers both if you want to try your hand at the more expert terrain.

    Qtown - similar to Wanaka but with the added advantages of having more to do if the weather is shit. Has the variety of the two fields and CP is by far the easiest access ski field in NZ. Well appointed bases to hang out in. Doing a night ski at CP is good fun as well. If you plan it to get up a bit earlier then a day at Cardrona is still an option.

    Ohakune - is way too dead at the rest of the year for anything great to sustain itself although can still have a good vibe when busy (although that usually means that your day has been frustrating up to that point). Great for planning a weekend paired with a few week days after, especially out of school holidays. If the forecast is great, half of Auckland races down in their Remuera tractors to their holiday homes so you get it best if you can be “clever” and take a calculated punt weather wise and cut out the fair weather fans. Be prepared to have days in whiteout etc but that is part and parcel of skiing at Ruapehu. Conditions very variable as well. Be prepared for ice, slush, rocks and groomers all in the one day. Takes a bit of gained knowledge to get the best out of it. Eg never take a lunch break at lunchtime. While everyone else is crammed into the cafes you can often get a number of good runs in with less people in the lift lines and on the slopes, especially if you go out wider as everyone pulls in closer to the cafes.
    Has many choke points as there is a “spine” to the lift system and often only one way back up.

    National Park/Whakapapa - all of the above, especially with the new gondola which has a queue down the road. Only one way up now and although they insist that capacity is higher you can no longer come down only as far as the flat and go back up. Would only recommend on weekdays and when the west is open.

    I have only been to Mt Hutt once. My impression was that it is a good ski field but one hell of a drive to get there each day.

    I will also throw the Mackenzie country into the mix. Roundhill is a top little field with a fun family atmosphere. Limited in options but relaxed, easy to get to from Tekapo. Ohau is also a fun old school option and the lodge is a fun place to stay, especially if you go for a catered option where the food is top notch but served in a lodge fashion of large tables where they mix up the guests on purpose. Word of warning though. If the family don’t like a scary mountain drive they won’t like the switchbacks up to the basin.

    Legend, thanks for that mate.

    Sounds like we should just stick to the week we have booked, then tack a few weeks onto the front or back of it, either also in Wanaka/Cardrona or somewhere close if we feel the need to explore.

    Yeah, just watch the weather and the ski reports, go and spend a couple of nights over the hill (or just go for the day if you have the energy).
    You mentioned that you enjoyed driving through the Mackenzie country. It is even better in winter. A night in Tekapo with a day at Roundhill and star gazing from the hot pools is a good thing to keep in mind. Might even be lucky to see some Southern Lights.



  • Boom! Good advice award this year goes to @Crucial

    I have never stayed in Wanaka but have visited plenty of times. I'm now wanting to spend a week there after your comments.

    Fern to the rescue... again!



  • @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    Boom! Good advice award this year goes to @Crucial

    I have never stayed in Wanaka but have visited plenty of times. I'm now wanting to spend a week there after your comments.

    Fern to the rescue... again!

    I spent a season in Wanaka in 1997 - midway through Uni, dropped out for a semester, bought a season pass and lived in a caravan in the caravan park there . Had no cash, hitch-hiked up the hill every day. Didn't snow for about 25 days straight which sucked, but there were no queues at least!

    Back then Wanaka had 3 bars and fuck all else. Was so good.



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    Boom! Good advice award this year goes to @Crucial

    I have never stayed in Wanaka but have visited plenty of times. I'm now wanting to spend a week there after your comments.

    Fern to the rescue... again!

    I spent a season in Wanaka in 1997 - midway through Uni, dropped out for a semester, bought a season pass and lived in a caravan in the caravan park there . Had no cash, hitch-hiked up the hill every day. Didn't snow for about 25 days straight which sucked, but there were no queues at least!

    Back then Wanaka had 3 bars and fuck all else. Was so good.

    I was there a few years ago for a few beers with some mates and we went to the biggest bar there and while we drank, they served, for free, whitebait fritters, possum pies, chicken wings, and about three other various treats. All to keep everyone there drinking as it was summer. They just kept walking round with all this food.

    It was so memorable, I can't even remember who I was there with!!



  • @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    Boom! Good advice award this year goes to @Crucial

    I have never stayed in Wanaka but have visited plenty of times. I'm now wanting to spend a week there after your comments.

    Fern to the rescue... again!

    I spent a season in Wanaka in 1997 - midway through Uni, dropped out for a semester, bought a season pass and lived in a caravan in the caravan park there . Had no cash, hitch-hiked up the hill every day. Didn't snow for about 25 days straight which sucked, but there were no queues at least!

    Back then Wanaka had 3 bars and fuck all else. Was so good.

    I was there a few years ago for a few beers with some mates and we went to the biggest bar there and while we drank, they served, for free, whitebait fritters, possum pies, chicken wings, and about three other various treats. All to keep everyone there drinking as it was summer. They just kept walking round with all this food.

    It was so memorable, I can't even remember who I was there with!!

    Ha! What's possum pie like?



  • It will certainly be interesting to see how things go this year down south (post Covid)

    Both Qtown and Wanaka had exploded in the time I was out of NZ. Qtown is unrecognisable. Probably only 5-6 years ago we would stay in a motel within walking distance of town and the main town was the only place that anything was apart from the new development at Frakton (where the New World is). Went down this summer and didn't even go into the old town for a couple of weeks. Wasn't worth the traffic hassle and everything was available at Frankton with 3 big supermarkets and major stores.
    They are going to have a serious readjustment and the locals I know are saying it is probably for the better. The place was a runaway train.
    Wanaka has also grown a lot from being a sleepy little town based mainly on winter trade. Still has a small 'centre' though and holds a bit of charm.

    Where are you booked down there @voodoo ? Hopefully near town, although those hotel complexes toward Cardrona do have their good points if you have kids (pools etc).



  • @Crucial said in Skiing NZ:

    It will certainly be interesting to see how things go this year down south (post Covid)

    Both Qtown and Wanaka had exploded in the time I was out of NZ. Qtown is unrecognisable. Probably only 5-6 years ago we would stay in a motel within walking distance of town and the main town was the only place that anything was apart from the new development at Frakton (where the New World is). Went down this summer and didn't even go into the old town for a couple of weeks. Wasn't worth the traffic hassle and everything was available at Frankton with 3 big supermarkets and major stores.
    They are going to have a serious readjustment and the locals I know are saying it is probably for the better. The place was a runaway train.
    Wanaka has also grown a lot from being a sleepy little town based mainly on winter trade. Still has a small 'centre' though and holds a bit of charm.

    Where are you booked down there @voodoo ? Hopefully near town, although those hotel complexes toward Cardrona do have their good points if you have kids (pools etc).

    I heard the same. Probably going to be a bunch of cheap new condos on sale shortly



  • @Crucial we are right on the late in a 3bd apartment, called Lakeside Apartments I think, funnily enough. Not looking forward to the daily drive up, but should be loads of fun if open



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Hooroo said in Skiing NZ:

    Boom! Good advice award this year goes to @Crucial

    I have never stayed in Wanaka but have visited plenty of times. I'm now wanting to spend a week there after your comments.

    Fern to the rescue... again!

    I spent a season in Wanaka in 1997 - midway through Uni, dropped out for a semester, bought a season pass and lived in a caravan in the caravan park there . Had no cash, hitch-hiked up the hill every day. Didn't snow for about 25 days straight which sucked, but there were no queues at least!

    Back then Wanaka had 3 bars and fuck all else. Was so good.

    I was there a few years ago for a few beers with some mates and we went to the biggest bar there and while we drank, they served, for free, whitebait fritters, possum pies, chicken wings, and about three other various treats. All to keep everyone there drinking as it was summer. They just kept walking round with all this food.

    It was so memorable, I can't even remember who I was there with!!

    Ha! What's possum pie like?

    Pretty much like any other meat pie. If they had said it was a meat pie and not mentioned it was possum I would have never known. It was tasty and I grabbed another on the next round (They were savoury size)



  • @voodoo said in Skiing NZ:

    @Crucial we are right on the late in a 3bd apartment, called Lakeside Apartments I think, funnily enough. Not looking forward to the daily drive up, but should be loads of fun if open

    That's the place right on the corner I think. Great spot, especially if you have a view.

    Yeah, the drive up is a bit of a bitch. Theres always a bit of faffing around with gear/clothing etc too so it really pays off to be quite organised and take some stress out in the morning. The access road is much better than it used to be and is a fun drive. Be careful in the valley though, it is a c*nt for black ice if there has been early morning light rain (he says through experience, having written off a 4WD going off the road at 80km/h on a slight bend)



  • @canefan said in Skiing NZ:

    @Crucial said in Skiing NZ:

    It will certainly be interesting to see how things go this year down south (post Covid)

    Both Qtown and Wanaka had exploded in the time I was out of NZ. Qtown is unrecognisable. Probably only 5-6 years ago we would stay in a motel within walking distance of town and the main town was the only place that anything was apart from the new development at Frakton (where the New World is). Went down this summer and didn't even go into the old town for a couple of weeks. Wasn't worth the traffic hassle and everything was available at Frankton with 3 big supermarkets and major stores.
    They are going to have a serious readjustment and the locals I know are saying it is probably for the better. The place was a runaway train.
    Wanaka has also grown a lot from being a sleepy little town based mainly on winter trade. Still has a small 'centre' though and holds a bit of charm.

    Where are you booked down there @voodoo ? Hopefully near town, although those hotel complexes toward Cardrona do have their good points if you have kids (pools etc).

    I heard the same. Probably going to be a bunch of cheap new condos on sale shortly

    I doubt it. They are cheap as chips to overseas buyers anyway and just sit empty. There are multi million dollar mansions down there that sit empty for a once per year visit.

    A few developments may stall for a bit, but half the world wants to live there if they could.



  • I'm a lifetime pass holder with RAL (seriously good value when they offer them) and have a bach down at Ruapehu that we can use, but we still go SI most years as well.

    I think some of the info above is a bit out of date. Ruapehu - both sides - has improved heaps and I have barely ever had to queue for anything. The crowds thing I just haven't seen, but we never go weekends or school holidays. I love Cardrona but my experience has it busier than NI.

    I will say this though, Apres in Queenstown is a shit load better than Ohakune for choice of venues and the central plateau is a bugger for predicting weather. You might end up in lockdown again. Take the board games.

    Oh yeah - have a car. You will want to get out, go to Taupo, Whanganui, where ever, if the weather is shit.



  • @Snowy thanks mate



  • @Snowy said in Skiing NZ:

    I'm a lifetime pass holder with RAL (seriously good value when they offer them) and have a bach down at Ruapehu that we can use, but we still go SI most years as well.

    I think some of the info above is a bit out of date. Ruapehu - both sides - has improved heaps and I have barely ever had to queue for anything. The crowds thing I just haven't seen, but we never go weekends or school holidays. I love Cardrona but my experience has it busier than NI.

    I will say this though, Apres in Queenstown is a shit load better than Ohakune for choice of venues and the central plateau is a bugger for predicting weather. You might end up in lockdown again. Take the board games.

    Oh yeah - have a car. You will want to get out, go to Taupo, Whanganui, where ever, if the weather is shit.

    Ruapehu is great midweek and on a dodgy weather weekend when you can have gaps of visibility. Judging by last years visits though, the new Gondola at Whaka is pants. Mainly because there is now only one way up the mountain. I have never seen queues around Lorenz's and down the road to carpark 3 like that before. Fucking crazy.
    Turoa has removed the Jumbo T and replaced it with nothing. One way to the top of the mountain and queues to get back up. I believe that the Giant has has an upgrade over summer (thank god) but three if the four main lifts are ancient old and slow.

    So enjoyed going to the snow in Europe where there has been infrastructure battles for some time now to capture the market. France got better than Austria then Austria went all out to beat France. Even 'small' and barely known ski fields will have fast 6 seaters with heated seats and storm covers.



  • @Crucial The infrastructure was why RAL sold the lifetime passes - to raise some cash and the plans looked O.K. The Jumbo T was taken out by an avalanche. This is the plan:
    "Sunset Express – replacement of the Jumbo TBar with a new detachable chairlift finishing uphill from the former location of the Jumbo T-Bar top bullwheel. This lift is longer and located adjacent to (not on) the existing Jumbo TBar line to reduce its exposure to avalanche paths."

    I haven't been to Whaka since the Sky Waka but that does sound fucking crazy.

    All of the Turoa lifts are being upgraded and the snow making too. I hadn't noticed the SI lifts being any better than NI. Europe obviously is.

    My only issue with Turoa is ice can be a bugger. South side and all of that.

    Who knows what covid will do to the plans. I still won't be there for school holidays or weekends but I will be there.



  • @voodoo Oh yeah and June is normally "too soon" for Ruapehu as @Crucial said. Late, might be O.K. but a bit of a risk.
    If it's any good I'll be there and join you for a beer (if you are brave enough).


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