Sunday, September 2, 2012

Carving it up at Cardrona

Zack and I flew into Queenstown on Thursday, August 16. We explored the cute little town that evening and planned to meet up with our friends the next day at Cardrona Ski Resort. They had flown in on Wednesday and were staying in Wanaka, which is an even smaller town about an hour away from Queenstown. Anyway, we got up early on Friday morning and watched the sun rise over the mountains as we drove toward Cardrona...

New Zealand definitely has lots of sheep. Here is one group we passed by early that morning...

We drove up and up the mountain road...

We finally reached the resort and saw some snow!

We met up with Todd and Alena and Adam and Emily and their friend Kate (who lives in Wanaka but is from Denver too). Kate took this picture of the six American expats...

Now, to be honest, our expectations for snowboarding in New Zealand were quite high. We thought it would be just as good as, or actually better, than it is in Colorado. That assumption was completely incorrect. Cardrona is one of the bigger resorts, and it is TINY compared to the ones we're used to boarding. It seemed to have nearly all man-made snow, and the conditions were sort of slushy. But that didn't stop us from having fun! After almost two years, it was a blast to be on a snowboard again, and the weather was sunny and perfect. The views from the resort were incredible, and we had a great time cruising down the slopes with our friends.

Zack and I moved to Australia with no intention of ever snowboarding while we were here, so even though I had just gotten a new snowboard and outfit the year before we left, it's all back in the United States. To get by on this trip, my outfit and gear was a combination of borrowed, rented, and purchased op shop items! Zack, on the other hand, has had the same coat and pants for many years, so we could justify buying new stuff for him when we found a sale at a store called Auski in Melbourne. The funny thing is, he chose this combination of a blue coat and orange pants on his own, but everyone on the mountain seemed to have the same color combo! I captured one of his twins in the picture above right.

Tomorrow, I'll post about our day spent snowboarding at The Remarkables, but here's one last picture from the top of Cardrona...
Check out that view...the one behind the cute guy!
P.S. I have no idea what the mustache was about. 


  1. Hi Aubree we haveA also just got back from NZ on a "skiing" holiday. Being used to the vast ranges of the French Alps we were also a bit disappointed. We didn't bother with Cardrona once we heard the snow was artificial from a canon. We skiied up at Treble Cone, the highest resort which did have proper snow albeit poor to what we are used to. I think we have been spoilt in the past.

    We quickly abandoned the skiing and turned our hols into a hiking and trekking one which was amazing, we would definitely come back to NZ trekking.

    Also I was told there are more sheep in NZ than there are people. I can quite believe it.

    On my blog are some of our treks. We stayed in Wanaka and thought it was stunning. We would highly recommend it, they can be pretty tough but worth it.

  2. I've just looked at your dates, we flew in on the same day! I think we arrived into Queenstown about 3pm :-)

    1. Great minds think alike! I can't wait to go back and explore the rest of the South Island in December; we'll definitely have to check out Wanaka. We arrived at 3:30pm on Aug. 16 on Virgin. Were we on the same flight?!

  3. How surreal, yes we were! We were sat right at the front on the right hand side as you get onto the plane. How weird, I would definitely have recognised you, I was no doubt away with the fairies in holiday mode!

    Mount Roy could be pretty harsh in the height of Summer but The Rob Roy Glacier and the walk to the Aspiring Hut are just stunning.

    We stayed at a lodge called Wanaka Homestead, it was superb and an easy walk into town each night, some great bars and restaurants and very friendly.

    Have a great time!

    1. How wild! Zack remembers that we sat on the right side of the plane, and I think we were nine rows back or so. Anyway, thanks for the Wanaka tips-we can't wait to go back!