NEW ZEALAND TRAVEL WANAKA

Explore More Campers and Cardrona Ski Field

 

Me and my Explore More Campervan in the Lindis Pass

To celebrate the opening of their Queenstown Airport branch, Explore More in conjunction with Cardrona ski field are doing a deal for camper van rentals this month. Book before the end of August 2010 for travel before the end of October 2010 and the driver skis for free! Yup that’s 1 free lift pass for every aduItpass booked with Explore More.

Last weekend I was lucky enough to take up the offer and head down to Wanaka for the weekend. I have never travelled in a camper van before so was really excited to give it a go.

I picked up the camper on the Friday afternoon from their office on Moorhouse Ave and headed out for the great wild yonder in search of adventure, and what an adventure filled weekend it was and totally awesome to boot.

Inside our 'Queenie' Explore More Campervan

The “Queenie” camper van was fitted out with everything you could possibly need including the added extras of bed linen, duvet, pillows and towels. It had a small fridge/freezer, pots/pans/plates/cutlery, plenty of storage space, a table/bed and I even got the GPS unit.

My one bit of advice would be don’t leave it until too late in the evening to fill up with petrol or you might have to spend an evening at an unplanned stopping point – mine was Omarama instead of Wanaka. Was a great evening as it turned out though with everyone at The Omarama Hotel/Pub even if I did turn down the suggestion to see how many people could spoon together in the back of the camper van! (let me know if anyone does ever try it!)

All kitted out on the slopes of Cardrona Ski Field

The next day I got petrol and headed off to Wanaka stopping at a few lovely places on the way to do a bit of retail therapy! The drive was great and the Explore More camper van was really easy to drive. They are manual though so was a bit of getting used to at first after having an automatic for so long. 

On Sunday I headed up to Cardrona ski field. You can hire snow chains from Explore More and drive up there yourself or if that is a bit too daunting for you, you can always leave the van in town like we did and catch the snow bus instead.

Once up there I got fitted for all the gear and meet up with my American instructor, Biff. He was fantastic and by far the best instructor I have ever had. He was really patient with me (I haven’t been near a slope in 2 years since a bad snowboarding accident so was a little more than nervous at the thought of skiing) but took to it like a duck to water.

My instructor Biff and I on the slopes

I am surprised to say that I had the most amazing time – there was fresh powder on the slopes and although the visibility wasn’t great (this was a bonus for me as no freaking out about where I was going as couldn’t see it anyway!) I had a fantastic time and am longing to get back on the slopes skiing again.

Cardrona is amazing – by far the best ski field I have been to in NZ so far. Lovely wide runs and flags all the way down the middle so you can easily see where you are going. They have great facilities too and the food at lunch was great and well worth the wait. The staff were all incredibly helpful and really friendly too. For more info on Cardrona go to www.cardrona.com

Snowed in at Lake Tekapo but I didn't mind with a view like this!

All in all it was a fantastic road trip weekend, and even though I got snowed in at Lake Tekapo on the way home (thanks to the lovely British guys who dug me out), it was worth the view in the morning and I can’t wait to do another road trip soon.

For more information on the camper we hired and the current offer available go to http://www.exploremore.co.nz/driver-skis-free-cardrona 

 

 

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