I’ve been coming down to the Snow Farm for a lot of years and people are always asking me questions about this magical place down under. How long does it take to get here? whats the weather like? how about the food? The snow? The people? …. It really is a mysterious place that is so different than anywhere in North America it’s understandable why folks have so many questions. Thats why it’s fun to play the New Zealand Myth Busters game!
(photo: a few from the Snow farm parking lot)
Myth 1: Their Winter is our Summer?
TRUE: New Zealand is pretty far south in the Southern Hemisphere so although New Zealand is in very close proximity to tropical Polynesian island that make you think palm trees and beaches New Zealand actually has a pretty decent winter up in the mountains. The breathtaking mountains and medium to high altitude provide enough of a temperature drop that they can accumulate a decent amount of snow and there are several alpine ski areas in the Wanaka area. The Snow Farm where we stay is at about 5,000 feet and is the only place to cross-country ski in New Zealand…. they have about 40k of trails when everything is groomed.
Myth 2: It’s always sunny in New Zealand!
FALSE. Although we might tend to post pictures of just beautiful fresh corduroy the weather can actually get pretty bad on the mountain. This year since we are skiing down here in September we are hitting their spring so the snow has melted out a bit but so far conditions have been pretty awesome. A little windy some days… OK, really windy some days. And we even got poured on during one training session (we just aren’t out taking pictured then ) The beautiful days make up for it though!
Ben and I doing some skate speeds on day 2 in New Zealand
Myth 3: Veggiemite tastes like crap
Thats actually TRUE. But I like the taste of it, as do a lot of people. It’s a typical New Zealand breakfast to eat some Marmite or Veggiemite on some toast, throw some eggs on top and it’s pretty tasty. I’ve heard it best described as spreading super strong soy sauce on your toast…. and I guess thats pretty accurate. It’s a salty start to your day.
The food is actually really goon in New Zealand and they feed us well up at the Snow Farm. We make the 45 minute drive into town every once and a while and enjoy a meal at one of the cool cafes in Wanaka. Lots of lamb and British style food like meat pies!
Myth 4: You must be jet lagged like a mo-fo
FALSE. Although it takes a long time to get down here (roughly a 30+ hour travel day) once you are here everyone adjusts to the time zone really quickly and you are able to train hard and feel normal within a day or two. Most people who come down find it much easier to sleep at night and adjust here in New Zealand with an 18 hour time change than a 6 hour time change to Europe. It’s also a nice break from the sweaty nights of the New England summer and with chilly temps to curl up in bed we often joke that the best sleep we get all summer is in New Zealand.
Sophie and Ida skiing some intervals out on the rolling Snow Farm terrain.
Myth 5: The Blokes down there are sweet-as!
TRUE. New Zealanders and especially our friends here at the Snow Farm are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. We have many friends down here that work at the Snow Farm every winter and have become good buddies, we always look forward to sitting around the dinner table with everyone after a long day of skiing. Even when you head into town the general character of New Zealand locals are laid back and chill. lot’s of interesting slang to make you wonder what the hell people are taking about, and you kind of get the impression that everyone is joking around.
The first few days down here we were staying in the staff housing because there were a lot of people in town for the annual Merino Muster ski race. Not a bad view from your living room.
Myth 6: There are unexplainable things like flightless birds, Smeguls, Rings, and tress that grow out of water??
All TRUE…. and so weird.