Today we woke up to a stunning day, blue sky, bright sunshine and most importantly …. a thick blanket of snow covering the mountains!!! After a somewhat dismal ski season last year (the less said on that the better however!) the arrival of our first proper snowfall has left us excited for the upcoming ski season. Mount Roy, Mount Aspiring, Cardrona and the Treble Cone ski field are all covered in a heavy layer of snow, and despite the bright sunshine it is showing no sign of melting. Even the Crown Range mountain pass had a decent covering! I think it is safe to say now would be a good time to start waxing the skis (or snowboards), dig out winter gear and book a winter holiday! The anticipation for this season has been building for the past few months, with bookings flying in thick and fast from all around the world. We are excited to host guests from the USA, Australia, France, Germany, Thailand and many more far away locations, all with one goal in mind – a fantastic ski holiday! The local ski fields are working overtime to put together great package deals for guests, and this year there are more transportation options available for ever. So all in all, if you were hesitating about whether you should bite the bullet and spend some time on the slopes in one of the most beautiful places in the world, now is the time to book those flights and of course give us a call to secure luxurious (and warm!) accommodation. If you have any questions about a trip to Wanaka, or would just like to chat to a local about what the winter experience in our ski town is like, please don’t hesitate to call or email us at any time and we will do whatever we can to make your holiday one to remember!
Finally, here are a few photos taken today that may just make up your mind for you!
If you happened to step outside last night you may have noticed the amazing full moon – last night we witnessed a ‘perigee full moon’, which happens approximately once a year. According to astronomers the moon was 15,300 miles closer to earth than usual last night, and appeared to be 14% bigger and a massive 30% brighter!
As I happened to be up and outside at a ridiculously early time this morning (!) I was lucky enough to witness the moon lighting up Lake Wanaka before it set behind the mountains. Unfortunately my phone camera would not focus properly on the moon itself, but I thought the photo below showed how beautifully the lake was lit up! Truly a breathtaking moment.
We are extremely excited to let you know that Wanaka has been voted the world’s best adventure hub by high-profile US publication “Outside Magazine” as part of their 2012 Outside Travel Awards.
Wanaka has been receiving a lot of positive international publicity lately and we have found this year there has been a marked increase in bookings for our winter (read adventure!) season. While we can’t be sure that this is directly related to an increase in overseas exposure we certainly won’t complain either way! Outside magazine is a highly influential magazine with a large readership based not only in the US but also around the world so we can only hope this exciting award will bring many more tourists to our beautiful part of the world.
We were thrilled to open our morning paper and read that Wanaka has been ranked as the top ski town in the Southern Hemisphere. It is an honour to appear on a list that involves destinations such as Aspen and Chamonix!!
Every year we see a marked increase in the number of overseas skiers, both professional and recreational who travel to Wanaka for the winter months, and with such great exposure we are sure we will be getting a lot busier in the next few years! Already bookings are flying in thick and fast for extended ski holidays for the upcoming season, and plans are being laid by friends overseas to spend the ski season in Wanaka. We have also noticed that every summer more and more local skiers are heading overseas and ski at stunning destinations in America and Europe.
Even though I am not a great skier (to put it mildly!) I have to say Winter is my favourite season but even I don’t think I could manage two Winter seasons in a row. I would love to hear whether this is something you would do or have ever done and what your experience was like. I have a younger brother who is in Colorado until April and he said that it was the best decision he has ever made – he was lucky enough to go skiing in Aspen on Christmas day with a group of friends on an otherwise empty ski field and having seen the footage of them flying down the slopes and dodging pine trees in perfect weather I have to admit it wouldn’t be a bad way to spend Christmas morning as opposed to the windy, humid summer weather we are accustomed to in Wanaka over Christmas!
Also in the press was the article below, with a little gloating directed at Queenstown!
Sometimes it is easy to take the beautiful landscape around us for granted, we get so caught up in day to day life that we don’t take the time to stop and appreciate our surroundings. This photo I snapped on the way home from work yesterday made me stop and appreciate how stunning Wanaka really is and just how lucky we are. It also made me want a motorbike!
Another bright sunny day – it seems Winter was gone before it even began! The ski fields have now closed and suddenly our thoughts have turned to boating, water sports, BBQ’s and of course tanning!
I’m happy to report all Clearbrook staff made it through the season without breaking any bones on the slopes, although that could be because we didn’t get time to go up the hill very often! We had a very busy Winter season despite the snow taking it’s time to arrive and issues with the volcanic ash cloud delaying many flights. Bookings are already flying in for next winter which is a great sign!
We are now taking advantage of a slightly quieter period to get stuck into some spring cleaning and prepare for what looks to be a busy summer.
To give you a sneak peak of what is in store, here is a photo I took on my walk to work a few days ago. The best of both worlds – snow on the mountains but the sun shining and the lake still and calm. What’s not to love?!
Well the entire country has been covered in a blanket of snow, but we aren’t complaining! After a slow start to the season the extra powder was very, very welcome. And just in time for the NZ Winter Games – we’ve had more than a thousand athletes descend on us for two weeks of action packed events and some great parties! Today marks the second day of competition and already Wanaka’s own Jossi Wells has scooped two second place spots on the podium. If you are currently visiting Wanaka I urge you to try and checkout the action on the slopes, it’s not often we get the opportunity to witness some of the world’s best in action. And if you prefer to stay dry and warm (like me!) then head down to Kai on Ardmore street from 5:30pm onwards for the Winter Games prize giving’s and great live music. (Not to mention the occasional fire dancer!)
With the Winter season in full swing we are extremely busy here at Clearbrook, to the extent that we have been forced to employ some slightly unusual seasonal staff to cover the front desk … I’ll let the photos speak for themselves!