Who doesn’t love a good snowball fight? There’s something gloriously mischievous about balling up a good helping of powder, creeping up on unsuspecting prey and launching your initial strike. What follows is often mayhem, but what awesome mayhem it is!
On a New Zealand winter holiday, there’s a good chance you will encounter snow at some point or another. If you really want to engage in icy warfare while you’re here, make sure to check the weather in these locations and pop then on your itinerary planner!
On the shores of one of our most luminously blue lakes, Tekapo is a holiday hot spot for many a road tripper. Come winter, it’s also a cold spot, and a perfect battlefield for you and your mates. At 720 metres above sea level, this charming township often receives a dollop of the white stuff in July, meaning you have plenty of opportunities to stop on the side of the road and have at it. If you see none on the ground, drive up nearby Mount Saint John and you’ll more likely discover some.
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Otago’s heritage gold mining town pulls in plenty of visitors for its local attractions and scenery, not to mention the great eateries and simply the splendour of the buildings themselves. The official winter season lasts from the start of June until the end of August, during which the hills that surround Arrowtown on all sides come alive with brilliant, glittering snow. If you’re lucky, it will also drop on the streets below, meaning you simply have to pull up in a car park and dig in.
Plus, you’ll be within very close proximity to numerous ski fields, such as Coronet Peak, the Remarkables and Cardrona.
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If you’re a skilled mountain hiker, the world-famous Tongariro Crossing near Taupo is a must-visit. Imagine yourself battling your friends with volley upon volley of snow, framed by a volcanic backdrop that includes Mount Doom from ‘The Lord of the Rings’! Talk about epic. The season here can last until October, depending how the weather goes, so you have a large window of opportunity to visit.
Conveniently, Turangi is nearby to use as a base of operations, and includes a great camping/motel spot called Turangi Kiwi Holiday Park. Here you can also book tickets to a number of the Crossing tour providers, so if you don’t feel like going it alone, go with a guide.
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Milford Road, Southland
Between Te Anau and Milford Sound is almost 120 kilometres of truly breathtaking alpine vistas, and one of the most famous roads in the country. In winter, particularly when temperatures are coldest (June/July), you can expect snow to fall on much of the way, and more so the higher you get. Indeed, the Homer Tunnel is often surrounded by a blanket of white. Stop next to its entrance in the big car park, find a quiet spot and start chucking those
If you want to stay overnight, you can pop in to see our friends at Te Anau Kiwi Holiday Park. There’s a central log fire here to keep you warm, and plenty of cooking facilities if you don’t feel like going out for a meal.
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There are more places still where you can get a great snowball fight that we haven’t mentioned. If your Kiwi road trip takes you near any of the following, detour over to them and see what snow you can find.
- Lindis Pass, between Omarama and Cromwell
- Hanmer Springs, just less than two hours from Christchurch
- Mount Egmont, in Taranaki
- Desert Road, along the Tongariro portion of State Highway 1
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A rental car’s a rental car. A moving metallic shell capable of travelling at relatively high speeds from one point to another, safely harbouring people and said people’s material goods en route. It’s a means of getting from A to B, a functional requirement, a literal vehicle to something much bigger. An experience.
An experience is something that helps to deﬁne us, that inspires us, that makes us more alive, more human. It’s a breath of mountain fresh air. The feel of a wind on our face. The ﬁltered orange glow of a breaking dawn. The pulse-racing rush of adrenaline, the quivering anticipation of a journey unknown.
An experience is something that validates our sense of who we are. It becomes weaved into the fabric of our existence. It can be brought to mind on a whim to help us escape to a better time. It lives on in us. Forever.
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