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New Zealand Trip - Jul/Aug 2019

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Been back just over a week from an amazing trip to New Zealand South Island Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy, where we skied a day each at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Cardrona, Treble Cone and Mount Hutt.

We also did some mountain biking, hiking, jet boating, via ferrata and general sightseeing/touristy things (eg boat trip on the fantastic Milford Sound, visit to historic gold rush town of Arrowtown) - so had an absolutely brilliant time. NZ is just incredibly beautiful.

Although, at the start of our trip, there had been no fresh snow for some time, grooming was excellent and conditions were pretty decent. This was despite some horror reports from locals in Queenstown - eg Coronet Peak was referred to as 'Concrete Peak' by one. Conditions were similar (ie very firm to hardpacked) at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona.

We then skied fresh snow - amid variable conditions - and pockets of powder at Treble Cone and finished the trip on Thursday with perfect winter snow conditions at Mt Hutt. We were very lucky with the weather and had mainly sunny ski days.

In general, the ski areas are very small, with only 2 or 3 lifts and verticals are short - at typically around 400m top to bottom. Treble Cone has a vertical getting on for 600m so much longer runs there.

All the areas are very different but all are worth a visit. There's some pretty decent off piste - e.g. some nice bowls/steeps at The Remarkables and some good steeper stuff at Treble Cone. The steep areas of Mt. Hutt looked worth a ski but were shut due to avalanche danger after the fresh snow.

On a general note:
- Lift tickets are expensive at the mainstream ski areas - up to $150 (£78 a day) at Treble Cone. Cheaper at the small club fields, but we didn't get to any of those.
- Kit hire is cheap. We didn't want to lug all our gear there as we were also visiting Singapore and Australia. We got skis and boots for $25 a day in Queenstown, with the dearest hire kit being at the ski area at Mt. Hutt - $40 for half a day.
- Except for Coronet Peak, which has a proper road up to the ski area, road access to the skiing is via unmade, 10-15km hairpin, dirt tracks - often with no barriers. We needed snow chains to get up to Mt Hutt and Treble Cone. Certainly an interesting driving experience which is not for the faint hearted – at one point on the descent from Cardrona, the hire car (with summer tyres) turned into a sledge and was just straight lining down the road…Great fun. The Remarkables is up a steep mountain road with hairpins – but is at least proper tarmac (‘sealed’ as the Kiwis would say) until the last few km.

All in all, a brilliant trip with some great skiing despite, (as we understand it) it being a poor snow year for NZ at that time. Good to see that they have had more snow since.

Coronet Peak:




The Remarkables:




Cardrona:




Treble Cone:




Mount Hutt:




Apres ski, NZ style:


Interesting ski wildlife (the Kea - the world's only alpine parrot):


Lovely driving and fantastic scenery:






Non-ski activities:






Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 13-08-19 22:24; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yup, the roads and drives up are a bit different from the European norm.

What, no winery visits? You must have passed a few when driving around.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Yup, the roads and drives up are a bit different from the European norm.

What, no winery visits? You must have passed a few when driving around.
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Quote:
What, no winery visits? You must have passed a few when driving around
I was only mentioning our adventure activities Laughing. We did indeed do a winery visit - group picked up in Queenstown; lovely lunch with wine; vineyard and cave tour with wine tasting....hic Laughing


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Tue 13-08-19 22:23; edited 1 time in total
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@mountainaddict, excellent report - we were in NZ in December / January this year (we have family living in Auckland, and a niece living and working Queenstown (actually closer to Arrowtown).

She is one of those referring to "concrete peak" but tbf conditions look pretty good in your photos - nice one !

Smashing place, lots to see and do - not sure if they do in winter, but did you do the Jetboat up the Shotover river? brilliant fun although it was blazing hot the day we did it.

We also did a light aircraft flight across to Milford Sound which was amazing - quite extravagant, but last time we were in NZ we were on our honeymoon and had just paid for a wedding, so why not !!
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Keas are smart little barstewards who like to do stuff for sh;ts and giggles


http://youtube.com/v/b4FT0xnFJC0
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
What, no winery visits? You must have passed a few when driving around
I was only mentioning our adventure activities Laughing. We did indeed do a lovely winery visit - group picked up in Queenstown; lovely lunch with wine; vineyard and cave tour with wine tasting....hic Laughing


Gibbston Valley?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
mountainaddict wrote:
Quote:
What, no winery visits? You must have passed a few when driving around
I was only mentioning our adventure activities Laughing. We did indeed do a lovely winery visit - group picked up in Queenstown; lovely lunch with wine; vineyard and cave tour with wine tasting....hic Laughing


Gibbston Valley?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
^^^ Yes, Gibbston Valley. Nice little set up. Very nice 2 course meal (quite posh fare) and very interesting tour and wine tasting.

Only criticism would be that (for an experience that wasn't particularly cheap) the servings of wine thataccompanied the food were on the small side - had to rather spin them out over the course of the meal...

Then onto the wine tasting in the cave...Got about six samples to try. The guide explained that you didn't have to swallow your sample - you could spit it into the supplied spitoon. We guzzled the lot... wink - as did two of the other four of our group, so we didn't feel too bad Laughing
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Quote:
Did you do the Jetboat up the Shotover river?
We did (it's mentioned in my list of other activities in my original post) - and loved it. A brilliant experience, despite the bitter cold on the day - we got a free post-ride hot chocolate in a lovely cafe nearby as part of our winter booking.
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