Think of winter and your mind will definitely wander off to an open space setting fully covered in snow and people drifting on ski boots or sliding down the hills on ski boards. But these activities are not for everyone, particularly not for people from tropical countries. All winter visitors can still stay warm and even dry despite the cold temperature outside and the blanket of snow.
There are sporting events aplenty during the winter; The All Blacks have a lot of games in the winter so try your luck at scoring a ticket to experience an amazing sporting atmosphere. On the North Island Whakapapa and Turoa Ski Areas offer public and lift-accessed sledding areas for all ages to experience the exhilaration of whooshing down the slope. While on the South Island Curling, an ancient ice sport is on schedule for spectators to enjoy at the Maniototo Curling International ice rink. Snowshoeing is also a great way of staying sporty. Get off the beaten track and explore the snow-covered hills of the Pisa Range. Trails and routes take from 20 minutes to 2 hours to complete, with plenty of awesome photo opportunities.
Winter for some people is a time to stay laid back with a little sip of alcohol. Get on the Chondola at Cardrona Alpine Resort, a gondola cabin that can take you up to the top of the mountain (1,860 m) while keeping you warm and dry. Enjoy yourself a glass of Mumm champagne, a craft beer or a barista-made coffee. You can also spend your morning on the pistes and your afternoons sipping Sauvignon Blanc in the wine regions, such as Central Otago.
The expectation of staying warm during winter is made possible by the existence of these naturally heated thermal baths. Visitor may pick from many spots across New Zealand to take a dip in the warm water. One of the most famous is Hanmer Springs, known for its natural hot pools and stunning landscapes. Hanmer Springs is a picturesque alpine village 90 minutes’ drive from Christchurch.
New Zealand on a Plate
No holiday is complete without getting a taste of local dishes. Try the Traditional Geothermal Hangi, Hangi Pie or Corn Cob, a tasteful and refreshing experience. Winter also brings a whole new palette of colours; the deep reds of tamarillos, the mossy green on feijoas and the nutty browns of walnuts and visitors just might as well visit the Fielding Farmers’ Market that runs every Friday from 9am to 2pm in Manchester Square.
Local people are known for their nature of being courteous and warm. The Māori hospitality (manaakitanga) is omnipresent when visiting New Zealand, particularly Rotorua. A visit to Te Puia, Mitai Village and Tamaki Village will give you a sense of spirituality as one experiences the cultural performances of dance, singing, and haka (war dances) or explores the native forest and exposes one’s self to the native owls and glowworms. Visitors can also learn about how the Māori use the geothermal water to cook, bathe, and wash as part of their everyday life is visible at Whakarewarewa, the Living Māori Village.