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Advice needed First QT Ski Holiday

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by ccallil, May 14, 2019.

  1. ccallil

    ccallil First Runs

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    Hi all,

    Seeking advice for an upcoming ski/snowboard trip to Queenstown, that I'm doing with two friends (all in our 20's). Flying out on July 14th - 31th (sadly during the busy holiday period, but is the only time we're all free).

    I've attached our rough itinerary below. 16 days total, will hopefully give us enough flexibility in-case of any spots of bad weather.

    At the moment, we're thinking of buying the Intro to Snow package ($650), and the 3-Peak Pass upgrade ($150) that The Remarkables offers. Allowing us four lessons (we are all pretty inexperienced), four days gear rental (we have the clothing part sorted) and an unlimited access to The Remarkables/Coronet Peak/Mt Hutt during that period.

    Few questions I have:

    - Is the above package a wise choice?
    - Hopefully 8 days of snow will be perfect for us (can always do more if we're loving it).
    - We are planning to stay in QT during the time we're skiing/snowboarding, is catching the bus to the ski fields doable? From experience, we'll probably get stung with a premium (being under 25) when renting a car, but I'm not 100% sure of this yet.

    - Second-half of the holiday will just be traveling/sightseeing, any recommendations? Milford Sound is definitely on the list.



    Thanks for any contributions.

    - Chris
     
  2. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    What is this Relax thing?
     
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  3. Sbooker

    Sbooker One of Us

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    Lol. I was thinking the same thing.

    Queenstown has a great vibe. You'll love it.
    If you can grab a car even for a few days it will open up plenty of opportunities.
     
  4. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    Catching a bus to the ski fields is feasible. But I would look at hiring a car. For the relax and sightseeing bits a car gives you easy access to some areas of extraordinary scenery accessible in day trips from Queenstown.
     
  5. ccallil

    ccallil First Runs

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    Sorry, I forgot to include the translation.
    Relax = beers.

    I've been thinking along the lines of this, having a car would make day trips feasible.
    Any favorite day spots/sights in driving distance from QT?
     
  6. Heinz

    Heinz Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    normally done after skiing.
     
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  7. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or with lunch
     
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  8. ccallil

    ccallil First Runs

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    True, we can do that too..
    With those 3-Peak passes, we can ski/board as much as we like, so I guess we'll see if we even want a break (probably not).
     
  9. ccallil

    ccallil First Runs

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    Renting an SUV doesn't seem as expensive as I initially thought, Ace Car Rental Queenstown 'young person premium' is between 18-21, so we are in the clear.
    Is an SUV overkill? I'm thinking driving in NZ winter might be potentially hectic.
     
  10. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    With 3 of you car hire is the go.
    Last year we hired from Apex and they allowed under 25yrs drivers at no extra cost.
    You can get a station wagon with chain hire for $30-$35 bucks a day. If you caught the bus up and down the mountain each day you would pay $20 pp return = $60 per day, so not only is car hire more convenient, it's also cheaper.
    If you hire a car, make sure your comprehensive travel insurance covers the "excess" amount the car hire company would charge you if you had a crash etc. Most car hire companies have an excess of $3k to $5k (depending on the type of car) and most comprehensive travel insurance policies have a $5k car hire excess coverage.
    Drive to mountain each day........ leaving at your time, drive to supermarkets for food and bev. Drives to Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Wanaka, Cardrona, jeez you could even do a day trip to Milford Sound........seeing you had 3 drivers.
     
  11. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    I am a great fan of Dart River jetboats - upstream from Glenorchy. All the thrills of Shotover cruises but with awesome scenery thrown in.
    Milford Sound is a long day, but there is lots to see on the way and the place is spectacular (they used to package a Dart jetboat, a flight to Milford and a Milford cruise - I don't know if they still do).
     
  12. ccallil

    ccallil First Runs

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    This is fantastic advice, I hadn't considered that bus-ride verse car hiring, that the latter would be cheaper.
    Another great point regarding excess-cover, I'm currently researching that too, so will make sure it's in there.
     
  13. ccallil

    ccallil First Runs

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    Thanks for the input, we're only tied to QT for the skiing-part of the trip, if traveling to Milford Sound, we'll likely stay somewhere close by.
    I'll have a look into Dart River jetboats, I was initially tempted by all the great hikes in south island, but unsure what will be accessible during July (with snow and avalanche risk)
     
  14. Legs Akimbo

    Legs Akimbo Grumblebum Ski Pass: Gold

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    A decent day walk is a walk up the Matukituki River from the end of Lake Wanaka. You pass the Rob Roy Glacier and (IIRC) get decent views of Mt Aspiring. I have only walked it downstream from Aspiring Hut but I think the track goes a fair way up the valley. It is on the valley floor so should be clear of snow. You can also climb up to the glacier, but that could involve a trip above the snowline.
    https://www.doc.govt.nz/globalasset...s/otago/matukituki-valley-tracks-brochure.pdf
     
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  15. Sage Oya

    Sage Oya Like the herb, lover of Pabst, cup ramen devotee Ski Pass: Gold

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    Or standing in the lift line waiting for first chair :D
     
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  16. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Howdy trip sounds like a blast!

    You wont regret having a car (AWD) to visit photogenic spots along the lakes/Milford/Doubtful Sound etc...and visiting the slopes.

    The relax is really important - even with young legs. (I say in my 50s!)

    While its not a big deal driving up to the resort on any one day, over time it can get very tiring - this of course on top of the skiing.

    With weather factors, its advisable to insert breaks on the wild days when lifts are closed or uncertain, the viz poor and road access also iffy.

    It will help if your schedule is flexible. You could start by doing 2 or 3 days on then one off and then back off to alternating days as your bodies ‘protest’

    Just like in Oz, you’ll know how you feel.
    Hopefully you’ll all tire (chill) at the same rate??

    But its no disgrace for say say two to head abd the less keen person to sleep in, chill, walk/bus into town etc...

    Just a thought after ~ 10-11 trips to the QT/Wanaka area. Amazing place & so hard to leave!!!
     
  17. chriscross

    chriscross One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    If you do hire a car then try to factor in at least one day at Cardrona for ski/snowboarding as a change from Coronet/Remarks. A bit further from Qt but not a difficult drive. Well worth it for beginner/Inter level. That said, it's worth bearing in mind that some of the NZ mountain access roads (but not Coronet) are a little more challenging than we are used to in Aus. Remarks, for example, is a good quality road but still some spectacular drop offs.
     
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  18. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Also re hire car.
    a) check that the correct size chains are in the boot/back of the car before leaving depot, and then do a test fitting before leaving. Work it all out before you have to use them. ;);)
    b) take a plastic sheet from Aus with you (to kneel on when you have to put chains on).
    c) take a pair of gardening gloves from Bunnings etc with you (so you don't use ski gloves) if and when you have to fit chains.
     
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  19. ScottGN

    ScottGN One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Check the weather forecasts and be prepared to throw the itinerary out the window depending on said weather. Get a car. You’ll be able to go to more places. You should definitely try to get to Cardrona if you can. Don’t worry about the chains too much, all the ski areas now have staff to help fit them and if it’s really snowing down low you can get the bus if you want to ski or maybe just hang out in town, Queenstown is pretty wonderful when the snow is coming in off the lake.
     
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  20. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why not both?
     
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  21. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    This
    weather
    NZ
    plans
    do not go together
     
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  22. Zimbooo

    Zimbooo One of Us

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    Forgot d) also take thin old rain jacket. Put it over good ski jacket to protect it from dirt etc before fitting chains.
     
  23. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm a fan of the thick rubber gloves for chain fitting.
     
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  24. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    thanks for the tips im in the midst of booking QT early aug
     
  25. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    If you do Milford Sound, stay the night in Te Anau the night before. Give yourself more time for the drive through the Milford Road, which is generally next level spectacular in winter - often just as good as (better than even?) the cruise on the fiord, it's a shame to have to rush it. That way you'll be able to factor in time for a diversion down the Hollyford Road to Gunn's Camp, well worth a look to get a different slant on things from the modern touristic lens of Queenstown.

    Te Anau itself is a beaut wee spot, fairly quiet in winter, but plenty of good accom and good spots to eat/drink. If you want to check out the best jet boat trip in the country, check out the options on the Wairaurahiri River, a bit further south of Te Anau. If you have a couple of days to spare, that combined with Milford Sound would make for an awesome combo to mix things up. For context, regular recreational punters jetboating the Wairaurahiri river regularly trash their boats and have to have them recovered by helicopter, it's the steepest boat-able river in NZ (don't worry, the pros know what they are doing).

    In terms of your lift passes, there is really no deal that comes close to NZ Ski's Intro to Snow package, especially when you factor in the cheap upgrade to a season pass.
     
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  26. SnowBound

    SnowBound One of Us

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    @ccallil a day trip to Glenorchy is a must. Hell you could knock it off in half a day. You could also do a day trip to Wanaka - scenery is pretty incredible.

    I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie so I threw myself out of a plane and hurled myself off a platform at the Canyon Swing*.

    * also whilst sitting in a chair ;)
     
  27. Crispy013

    Crispy013 One of Us

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    Another vote for Dart River tour. Drive up to Glenorchy is speccy. Car is a big advantage.
     
  28. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Another vote for the drive to Glenorchy. Absolutely stunning - especially on the outer led heading north.

    Mt Earnslaw ~2,900m totally dominates the valley on the lead into two. No wonder this stretch of road has been chosen by carmakers to unveil their products!

    The Glenorchy pub is always a good way to enjoy the views while slaking ones thirst!!
     
  29. BMWRX

    BMWRX Hard Yards

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    The first half of your trip is during peak season, the second afterwards. Peak ends 20th July, so if you do decide to keep hitting the snow during the relax time, there should be less people on the slopes (although still quite a few).

    I'm there from 19th to 29th. Only 63 days to go!
     
  30. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    im now booking aug 3 -12, and that knocked nearly $3k off a trip for 5 compared to school hols...flights and accom i guess
     
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  31. BMWRX

    BMWRX Hard Yards

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    Lift passes are cheaper out of peak too.
     
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  32. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    ok booked! 03 aug to 11 aug....4 nights QT, 4 nights wanaka, 2 days remarks, 2 days cardrona + whatever else

    just found out a friends nephew runs https://sherwoodqueenstown.nz/ which just won some big prize and is also on the www.treespace.co.nz project to reafforest mt dewar....both look interesting
     
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  33. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Treespace is an interesting concept. I'm on the fence, but watching with interest.
     
  34. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    i believe there are those that dont want beech trees on them thar hills....and yes.....after 30 odd years in conservation and landscape ive seen this stuff fall over all over, but i also think now private land / enterprise might actually save the world somehow because govts are fkd.
     
  35. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    If the goal is carbon sequestration then I'd be happy to see the whole hill in radiata.

    A few in town (cynically?) think it's an attempt to get a subdivision over the line that wouldn't fly otherwise.
     
  36. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    haha yeah, I'm dunno if thats the case as i really know nothing or the guys running it, but ive seen stuff like that in land development here in aus....and ive seen it work and backfire too!
     
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  37. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    The Sherwood is a good spot. A lot of yoga though.
     
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  38. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    yep! i might live in brunswick, do yoga, go trail running, telemark ski and have a yurt and a small beard, but its well beyond my hipster pay-grade :) i missed the whole tattoo thing, maybe thats my problem
     
  39. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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  40. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    I ruined a brand new set of gloves putting chains on, it was basically impossible to do without gloves so they had to suffer...:cry: epic snow day though :D

    My top tip with chains: always fully untangle them before even trying to fit them. chains easily kink up and become impossible to fit
     
  41. pedub

    pedub One of Us

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    Honestly if you have to fit chains its probably gonna be a good day :thumbs:
     
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  42. essjaywhy

    essjaywhy One of Us

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    Radiata is a weed

    “ (Treespace puts plant installation costs at $1.3 million and maintenance, over three years, of $430,000.)

    In response to the consultant reports, Treespace has agreed to delay construction for most residential buildings until the trees grow to an average of three metres, with 80 percent survival. “

    That’s a pretty big bond to cover that.

    Extraordinary proposition, nothing I’d ever counsel

    Trendy huggy name ~ Treespace
     
  43. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Radiata is not weedy. Especially not in Queenstown.
     
  44. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Why is radiata not weedy around Queenstown? To continental?

    The abundance of wilding pines around the Canterbury & Mackenzie foothills suggests it is a fairly successful coloniser, as it is across southern Australia?
     
  45. Red_switch

    Red_switch Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: 30 Day

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    Those are not radiata.

    They be Pinus contorta or Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas Fir). Not radiata. They are the two very problematic wilding species. In Queenstown, it's mostly Douglas Fir causing the wilding problems (hardly surprising when you have a seed source such as the Coronet Forest). Getting rid of the wilding pines is all well and good, as long as you've got a back up erosion control plan.
     
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  46. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Makes sense now I think about it, has been too many years since cast eyes on New Zealand mountains.
     
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