People keep saying that travelling is all about new experiences and trying different things. I feel they must be right but sometimes it is a little annoying when you are terrible at the new thing you are trying…
I hadn’t done much skiing before our trip to Queenstown, but I had done enough to know that I both enjoyed it and was terrible at it. But like all things practice is needed if any improvement is to take place. I spent our first day at Coronet Peak trying to remember how to function in ski boots (why do they have to make them so uncomfortable?) as well as focus on trying to not out of control slide into groups of people.
When I felt a bit more confident I advanced a little higher on the mountain. My first run was good, which gave me too much confidence and the second run left me on my face in roughly 20cm of powder trying to get my skis back on and psych myself up to continue down the mountain without crying in shame. After this I decided maybe I had better learn a little bit more about the technique involved in those basic moves such as turning before trying again.
Day two proved a lot more productive! I think it was boosted by the amazing scenery that is the Remarkables ski field. With really great practise areas I knuckled down and practised until I was weaving, in control down, able to dodge the snowboarders who looked like they had given up after too many falls. I begun to remember the fun and was actually quite upset when the day came to a close.
Over my two days experiencing the snow in New Zealand at both ski fields, I learnt a few things that I thought I would share for those of you planning a ski trip.
Being such an amateur the cost of hitting the slopes really shocked me. Between gear, lift passes, transport to the mountain and food, you’re looking at a couple hundred dollars a day if not more per person!
Needless to say I felt it necessary to adopt some cost cutting behaviours when on the mountain!
So if your feeling a bit cheap like me, or just want to stretch your dollar a little further, here are my (a little unorthodox) tips to help you have fun at the snow in a cheaper kind of way!
1. Purchase your ski gear from the Aldi yearly snow sale. As most people on the slopes in NZ seem to be Aussies, you will fit right in sporting your Aldi fashion.
2. Rent your gear (skis or snowboard) in Queenstown and take them up yourself. You can get great deals on rentals from coupon sites such as bookme.co.nz which can easily cut your costs by half!
3. Awkwardly stand behind groups of people in ski lessons. Pick up a few tips and then quickly ski away before they realise you were listening!
4. Use the time on the magic carpet (the slow conveyer belt thing) to watch and listen to the instructors around you on the practise slopes. Just try not to get too jealous when they say things like “yeah I live half the year here and the other half in Austria”.
5. Have a huge breakfast so you only buy one main meal for lunch and split it between two people. The money you save on that second meal can be used for beer when skiing just gets too much!
I will be returning to Queenstown in the future and I look forward to improving my skiing abilities, I mean, it’s not like I can get worse!
What is your best tip when visiting the snow? Do you have any unorthodox ways to save money when travelling?
I have never skied, but I’d like to try it sometime. I don’t think most of your tips are unorthodox, just smart money saving tips.
Haha thanks! I am always on the look out to save a little if I can! It really is a lot of fun so I hope you get to try soon 🙂
Elaine J. Masters
Great tips. I’m not a skier but have learned so many things by being a good listener – whether it’s scuba diving or getting around a city on public transportation.