A Travellerspoint blog

Louise’s Birthday, more snowboarding and State of Origin

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So on Tuesday we woke up complaining again about how loud the alarm was, how dark it still was and how sore we were before we remembered it was Louise’s 20th birthday! We all wished her happy birthday then went straight back to whinging…

We headed off for our last day at The Remarkables, all ready for another exhausting day and I was very happy when we got Tom the bus driver again!! Another perfect day of sun and very little wind helped us to start feeling pretty confident with our boarding. Zac and I can go down switching toe side to heel side and keep up a decent pace, Marc is getting his turns down and Louise is feeling way more comfortable now that she has swapped to skis. Half way through the day Marc went and got his pro camera so that we could take some group pictures up on the mountain (as well as some sneaky selfies for facebook profiles!) and we spent the last few hours getting in as many runs as we could. I didn’t last too long though as my knee is still locking up every time a take a tumble and I need to give it a rest after every few runs. Nice excuse to go for a coffee break though ;)

Tuesday night we used our group dinner voucher and went to the Altitude bar for pizza and a drink to start our celebration of Louise’s birthday. After dinner we went up to the Casino purely because it had a 20 + age limit and Louise was now allowed to enter! We didn’t know what to do in there though so we only lasted about 10 minutes before heading across the road to the World Bar. This place was seriously cool! They give out drinks in a teapot with a bunch of shot glasses so you can share them with a group of people and they have huge moose heads and old tour posters and some random stuff hanging on all the walls. We stayed there for a while and had a few rounds of drinks before slowly making our way back up the death hill (as we now lovingly refer to it) and playing a round of Dutch Blitz (probably the slowest ever) before collapsing into bed. All round a pretty awesome day!!

This morning we had to get up really early (6:30) to be ready to catch our 7:15 bus over to Treble Cone for our last day of snow. Louise and I immediately fell asleep and stayed that way for the two hour trip. They boys say that we even coordinated our head movements and were always facing the same way as well as having our jackets done up over our faces and beanies pulled down just to try to stay a little warm! Treble Cone seems to be the most advanced of the places we have been over here. I first realized this when I watched the chair lift for a little while and didn’t see any stacks. This made me a little nervous!! We managed, however, to get on and off with no problems. After a particularly smooth exit, Marc even exclaimed “Sign us up for the Olympics!” We stayed on mostly green runs for the day seeing as they were difficult enough, although Zac was the keen one and took a long blue run down to the other side of the mountain. We had a few longer breaks today considering how wrecked everyone was after last night and our bus left at 4pm, by which time we were all ready for another nap on the drive home. I think I even fell asleep before the bus left the car park. When we got home we went into town and had dinner for the last time at our ‘local’. We were planning on staying there for State of Origin but then bailed on the idea as we couldn’t hear the commentators so came back to our lodge to watch it in the common room. Unfortunately the school rugby team who are staying here had the same idea so we are now all crushed into the common room with a seriously intense atmosphere (the team are from Sydney by the sounds of it and there are a few other QLD supporters here). Tomorrow we are planning on getting up early to head into town and go to the amazing chocolate place one more time, do a bit more shopping and looking around before coming back and packing up for our plane flight at 4pm. Should be back in Sydney by 9:30pm and then I go back to school at 10am the next day for a musical rehearsal. Not sure how long I’ll last for that!! Has been an awesome holidays though and I absolutely love my new snowboard and am very keen to keep working on it so let me know if you’re up for a snow holidays any time soon! ☺

Posted by clairebear89 03:50 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Feeling pro :)

And by that I mean no major chair lift stacks today!!

sunny -5 °C
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Hello family ☺ (and anyone else bored enough to read this!) Feeling extremely lucky as today was another perfectly sunny yet freezing day in Queenstown. Weather has been so great and even though we turn to ice cubes every time we leave our room I keep telling myself it’s all part of the experience. We headed up Coronet Peak again early this morning (we even beat the sun up!) and spent a bit of time all together in the morning doing some of the easy runs and taking photos before we all split up and did some of our own level stuff. I went on a blue run which was going well and my turning and full circles were going great until I took a wrong turn and ended up on something that was certainly NOT a blue or green run!! Lots of stuff to avoid and crazy steep but I managed it by going falling leaf the whole way down. Felt pretty pro after that!! Knee does not feel pro though so I needed a break after that one and then stuck to the blue runs for the rest of the afternoon. Every one is really happy with how quickly we are picking up stuff and we all had far less stacks today, particularly coming on and off the chair lifts. We were accident free there today! The only really frustrating thing I am finding with snowboarding is when tiny little kids come skiing past me twice as fast and twice as professional looking… show offs!!

We made it back up the hill again this afternoon (I feel the need to document this every day as it really is an achievement!! I’m glad we are all fit people because a fat person would certainly not make it so many times in a week) and I had a stop off to get some strapping tape so that I could strap up my knee for our walk back into town tonight and our snowboarding tomorrow. We are all getting ready now to head out to a place called Fergburger for dinner. It was recommended to us by heaps of people but we haven’t made it yet as every time we walk past there are about one hundred people lined up outside!!! We have decided that tonight is the night and we will just have to wait.

Last night we headed up the Skyline Gondola to take some photos and check out the view over Queenstown. It was very cool but also very scary standing outside on the viewing deck looking down over the lake and the town. I stayed as close to the edge as possible while the others were brave enough for a closer look. Had some hot drinks up there while we waited for the sun to go down to see what the lights looked like (amazing) before taking the gondola back down and ending up at this awesome little place called The Cow in a tiny little lane in the middle of Queenstown. There were no tables inside so we sat outside in a sheltered corner that had heaters around but was still fairly cold. Our waitress was a very pretty blonde girl with a Swedish accent and after she left from taking our order Marc said “Where is she from? I want to make her my bride”. She was doing really well as our first pizza came nearly straight away but the second took so long we gave up waiting, went and reminded her about it and asked for it to be take away since we were freezing to death, then ran back up the hill to our lodge and heated it up to eat over a brutal game of Dutch Blitz. I am regretting teaching that game to these guys as they now beat me every game! Played that for a while but were fairly sick of the rugby boys (a loud school group that moved into our lodge yesterday afternoon) playing pool loudly and making me feel the need to go all teacher on them and tell them to be quiet, so headed to our room about 10 and after some more chilling in there went to bed about midnight.

Plan for tomorrow is Remarkables so hopefully it will be another beautiful day ☺

Posted by clairebear89 22:09 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

A Day Of Exploring

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Just when you thought cider couldn’t get any girlier, New Zealand found a way! Last night before dinner we found some Berry Cider by a company called Isaacs and had a few of those to warm us up for the freezing walk back into town for dinner (Oh and Zac managed to throw one of his bottle caps from the top bunk, under the table and into a bin that he couldn’t even see! I promised I would put that in here for him ☺ ). We managed to make it to somewhere other than the Pig n Whistle and had a huge meal at Lone Star. I was quite happy to find that they aren’t allowed to throw peanuts on the floor over here like they used to in Australia because I think that would have been fairly dangerous environment for me to be walking into! Our waiters name was Zac and he was very helpful (chose Louise’s whole meal for her as she kept asking what his favourite was) so we tipped him well. After that we had planned to check out the World Bar because heaps of people told us it was very cool, but we were all so wrecked that we bailed and headed back home with promises to go down to the common room and have a few games of 500 before bed. Needless to say we walked into our room, collapsed on our beds and didn’t move again….

Breakfast here finishes at 9:30am on Sundays and unfortunately this morning we only woke up at 9:28. This gave us the excuse to stay in bed for even longer though which was amazing because we were all so sore from all the snowboarding! Louise said she thought there were about 120 muscles in the human body and Zac decided that 300 of his were sore. Every inch of me complained as I dragged myself out of bed and pulling a jumper over my head and reaching down to put boots on was probably worse then waking up after my stomach surgery the other week!! Anyway, after a lot of whining and groaning and Marc’s comment that ‘His doona may as well be a bean bag because it has no structural integrity’ we all managed to make it out the door and head out for a day of shopping and exploring beautiful Queenstown.

I think we must be extremely lucky with the weather we have been having here because every day has been so sunny and even though it’s freezing cold it’s still really pleasant to walk around outside. Our aim for brunch was to find a chocolate place called Patagonia’s that had been recommended to us and we were certainly not disappointed once our meals arrived!! So much chocolate….. Mum I took pictures of the meals and the menu just to make you jealous ☺ After sitting for a while to let the epic amounts of cocoa sink in, we split up and Louise and I did a lot of shopping for people back home and got a few things for ourselves and then the boys took us to this gorgeous park they had found with a frozen pond and little ducks and amazing views across the lake to the mountains. We all took about a million photos each, including some very posed individual shots on a pier looking out on the lake. I had definitely forgotten how beautiful Queenstown is and after today am positive that I will be coming back here in the not too near future to see what it is like in summer and hopefully do some of the hiking trails/rafting trips that are advertised around the place.

At the minute we are back in the cabin, charging our cameras and having another cider before heading up the mountain on the gondola to take some pictures from up there of the sunset over Queenstown. Need to finish here so I can go layer up because I am assuming it’s going to be absolutely freezing up there at night time!!! Tomorrow is another day of snowboarding at whichever mountain has the best snowfall and visibility but I am hoping that our muscles all feel a little better by the morning or it’s going to be a long day! Hi to everyone back home and Dad I loved checking out the pics of your snow holidays!!

Posted by clairebear89 21:12 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

The Remarkables vs Coronet Peak

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So after spending yesterday on Coronet Peak we decided to give The Remarkables a go today. Every morning at breakfast they print out the snow conditions for each place and it had way better stats and lots of longer runs. The conditions said it would be really cold though and suggested double layering so we all headed back up to the cabin to get more thermals.

Our bus driver for the morning’s name was Tom and he had an amazing accent that charmed Zac and I immediately! The drive, however, was not so charming. It was windy and ridiculously steep and had guard rails about 30cm off the ground – not very assuring when you are in a huge bus!!! Once we arrived though we were blown away by how sunny it was and after a few runs had to all go inside and remove one layer before we passed out from over heating! The chair lifts at The Remarkables had much steeper exits at the top and this did mean that one of us had a stack every time we caught it, and every time we got on one I managed to squash Zac’s thumb between my back and the chair….. my bad! We were all feeling a lot more confident by the end of the day and there weren’t any major stacks. I did do a forward flip once and destroyed my knee because a crazy ski woman called out behind me and I turned around to look and absolutely ate it ☹ Need to get some strapping tape before I go again because I was in quite a bit of pain by the end of the day! Zac also tried to cut across me once and face planted which was hilarious but then as I dodged him and laughed I stacked it as well. One of the times Marc stacked it and landed face down it was way too tempting to slide in and kick snow in his face! He owed me a snowball in the face though so probably wasn’t worth it.

We spent all day at the ski fields and after the hike back up to our lodge (a real killer in all our snow gear but we keep focusing on how fit we will be!) we are now all showering and getting ready to go out somewhere for dinner. Last night we ended up back at the Pig n Whistle because everywhere was so busy or crazy expensive so we have now named that our ‘local’. Might end up there again but we are planning on trying Lone Star for dinner then heading to The World Bar to check out what it’s like.

My turn to shower so am going to head off ☺

Posted by clairebear89 22:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

We Made It! Despite the pilots best effort to kill us.....

Oh and my new snowboard is amazing :)

sunny 5 °C
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So after the most terrifying flight into Queenstown ever, we safely made it to Queenstown. I had no words to describe how awful the turbulence was for the landing but Zac cleverly likened it to the Superman ride. Once we landed and very happily retrieved our luggage and snowboards (nothing was missing!!!) we found the guys that came to pick us up from our lodge. They were very typical snowboarders and said ‘man’ about one million times on our drive back. The guy driving also spoke on his mobile while driving and I’m pretty sure we went round a round-a-bout on 2 wheels as well. Once we had checked into our room Louise made the comment that he was ‘a very erotic driver’….. This made us laugh a lot and she certainly won’t live that comment down in a while!

We wandered down into town last night and found the local ‘Pig n Whistle’ which was amazingly warm and had the best and the biggest roast dinner I’ve ever seen. Brussel sprouts were not cool though :/ Shopping stays open till 9:30pm every night so we looked around for a little while before heading back to our lodge. We attempted to play a card game but everyone was too tired so we crashed at about 9. LAME!! We had stayed up all night the night before though (aside from my hour long nanna nap) so I think we can be excused.

This morning we were woken at 8:30 by a knock on the door for last call breakfast. We would have set an alarm but Markcwas positive he wouldn’t sleep past 8, so we rushed down and had some breakfast then headed down into town to get some last minute gear before heading up to the mountains for our first day of snowboarding. Zac and I were surprised at how much we remembered from our past snowboarding and were extremely happy to find that we loved our new snowboards!!! Marc picked it up really quickly and Louise did not enjoy snowboarding at all and now has a rather sore butt and has swapped her hire board for skis for the rest of the week because she has done that before so will be more comfortable.

After the crazy steep walk up the hill back to our lodge (it has an amazing view over Queenstown but you pay for it with the hike every day!) we have crashed into our little room and are slowly getting ready for dinner. Probably won’t be able to put photos up until we get back home because there is no wifi here so we are all tethered to a little card that has a few gig. Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays back home!!! ☺

Posted by clairebear89 00:02 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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