We’ve had such a blast this winter! For the first time we bought ski season passes for Mt Ruapehu for the whole family – giving us freedom to ski on both sides of the mountain, at Whakapapa and Turoa ski-fields. It’s really great to be able to access the snow in under four hours, driving north from Wellington.
Our older two children have enjoyed some skiing in the past, but it was the first time for our seven year old and she loved it! We invested in a couple of lessons to get her going and she surprised us all at how fast she caught on – meaning my husband and I got to enjoy more skiing (boarding for him) away from the beginners area than we’d expected.
It really was a wonderful way to spend family time together and we made quite a few trips up the mountain over the season, meeting up with friends on the slopes and even taking an exchange student from Perth, who stayed with us for a couple of weeks and loved learning to snow board!
It was great that our older two, aged 11 and 14 were so confident to go off skiing on their own, or with friends. Meanwhile, we took turns skiing down the slopes with our youngest (though she quickly picked up speed!). We also enjoyed having fun in the snow at the beginners play area – where we made snow creatures, threw snow balls and had a blast on the toboggans (which we could use for free with our season passes! Yah!).
Near the end of the season we spent a week in stunning Wanaka, in the South Island of New Zealand, visiting friends (whilst our oldest daughter headed off to the sunshine, on a two week exchange to Perth). The Cardrona ski resort was the only one remaining open, and we really enjoyed being able to ski one day and kayak on the lake in the sunshine the next!
Dan and Sophie enjoyed a weekend of their own down there too – a few weeks before our trip, when the snow was much more plentiful and all the resorts were open. It was a lovely break for our Sophie (who was in the midst of rehearsals for the World of Wearable Arts Show in Wellington) and a great chance for her to catch up with a good friend who’d moved down to Wanaka earlier in the year.
They had an amazing few days together and really loved beautiful Treble Cone – a ski resort with the most amazing views!
We loved every moment of this winter and are so excited that this will now be a regular activity for our family to share together. Dan and I first learned to ski and board when we arrived in New Zealand from the UK, way back in 1997! We had a break from the slopes whilst the children were young, just visiting the snow to make a snowman every now and again, so it feels amazing to be able to get back to a sport we love.