I am not a fan of winter. In fact, I dislike the cold when I has to wake up early in the morning or the feeling when I have to take shower on an extremely cold day, and the unpleasant look and feel of my skin. Anything about winter, sorry it’s just not for me. Until, I saw snow for the first time and fell in love with skiing. That was when I realised winter actually has its own beauty and I can have a lot of fun with it.
It had been two years since I hadn’t skied. Last year, my partner and I wanted to visit Argentina so we didn’t plan for our skiing vacation. Then COVID-19 arrived in New Zealand and we went straight into lockdown during early season. After that, we were too busy with finding a better place to live. So this year, we both agreed that it’s time for us to be back into the fields.
We chose the Remarkables ski resort in Queenstown as we got many recommendations about the quality of snow and how easy to get there. Also, if the weather is not good for skiing, then we could go sightseeing around.
As I mentioned in another post about “Ride the volcano, do you dare”, the best time to enjoy skiing in New Zealand is between the end of Aug to early Oct (late winter and early Spring). There are a lot of snow and the weather is often good. Another tip is it’s best to stay away from the weekend to avoid the crowd. Otherwise, you will end up wasting half of your time just for getting into the chair lifts.
We booked the trip at the beginning of July, well in advance. In mid-August, cases of the delta variant of the coronavirus were detected in Auckland, prompting the government to quarantine the entire country. We had a rather ungrateful few weeks, not only because we were in quarantine, but also because we could lose our vacations if the quarantine was prolonged. Fortunately, the restrictions were eased in early September, so we were able to travel.
We arrived around lunch time on Sunday. The weather was fine when we landed but it got worse in the afternoon. So we thought it was best to get a quick lunch and then went back to our accommodation.
On Monday the 13th we had breakfast in a place called Patagonia, inspired by the pastry shop of southern Argentina and specialized in ice cream and chocolates. Then we started a walk from the Queenstown Gardens, with the first glimpses of spring.
From the lakeside in downtown Queenstown to the Gardens.
From there, we continue the walk along the waterfront, skirting through the route that connects Queenstown with Frankton, a suburb in which the airport is locate.
We reached the old Kawarau Falls bridge , which was inaccessible almost four years ago due to construction work.
And now yes, on Tuesday 14 we went SKIING! We woke up early to catch the first bus to the mountain.
When we arrived at the Remarkables, it was freezing. We spent like an hour or so to get our equipment and read the map to decide where we should go. I was surprised that they have many areas for beginners. Not like the Whakapapa ski resort where I used to work.
As this was our first day, we started with a very beginning area with the conveyer belts. Surprisingly, I didn’t forget how to ski. It was quite easy to get my way around this area. After our first run, I told my partner that we could take the Alta chair lift to try another beginner tracks. It was one of my favourite with easy and wide tracks.
My first impression about this ski resort was the snow quality. It was incredible comparing to the ski resort in the north, not too much ice on the surface which makes it easier to control your skis, and the slopes are indeed much wider.
When we took one of the chair lift to the top of the mountain, I feel extremely cold up there. Even with my snow gloves, I could feel my fingers numb. So for the rest of my day, I decided to stick around with the lower mountain, practicing my skills so I could go to the upper mountain for the next day. I actually enjoyed it as the slopes are wide and really easy to do. I didn’t have to think too much, just enjoy myself with skiing.
As I already checked the weather forecast, the second day of my skiing trip was a bluebird. YAY!!! Again, we tried to wake up early and catch the first bus so we could make the most out of it.
The sun was shining early in the morning which brought the warmth into the ski fields. With the soft snow overnight, it was a great joy to ski. My partner and I explored all the beginner tracks and several intermediate ones. Unlike my first day, I had to take off some layers as it was too hot.
As it was our last day at the ski resort, we tried to make the most out of it. My partner gains a lot of confidence on the last day so he took one of the difficult tracks to explore the other side of the mountain while I was staying in the beginning areas.
It was a wonderful time we had in the Remarkables. So much fun that will make us smile whenever we think about it.
Below are some sunset photos we took on our last evening in Queesntown. It was magical moment when we walked along the waterfront, listening to the instrumental music while enjoying this beautiful landscape.
Thank you for stopping by and read my post today. All the best, my friends.