With the Kiwis being our neighbours I felt pretty bad that I’d never even popped over to visit them. So after a passionate encounter with a travelling brit who was headed to New Zealand I decided to drop over and say “hi” during my holiday from work. I didn’t really think too much about how stupid this idea was from the start. I hate winter and it is the winteriest that winter gets where I was headed: Queenstown. Regardless, I decided to try my hand at some snowboarding… Disaster ensues.
Screw up #1. Trying to visit Christchurch
I thought I’d have a night in Christchurch because it was a pretty big city and I wanted to spend some time there checking it out a little.Well I thought wrong! I’d totally disregarded the fact that there had been a HUGE and DEVASTATING Earthquake in Christchurch that pretty much wiped out the whole city only five months earlier. I had thought that maybe some of the city would still be left, but there was absolutely nothing. The city was in ruins. Instead, I sadly drove past building skeletons with red spray paint saying “Don’t Demolish.” I later found out the council had just gone about casually demolishing houses whether the owners had given permission to or not.
Screw up #2. My plane couldn’t land in to Queenstown due to adverse weather
You’d think that with their two or so planes flying in per day they would have sorted out some sort of a system for bad weather conditions, but No! We had to land in a tiny town a four-hour bus drive away and then crawl through sleet and snow until finally I arrived at my destination. The bus had chains on its wheels to stop it slipping… Chains!
Screw up #3. The Ferg Burger I had really wasn’t that great
After all the hype about Ferg Burger I thought I would be dying and going to fast-food heaven. After starving myself for half a day, I marched in and ordered my favourite fatty thing in the entire world; a pork belly burger named ‘Chief Wiggum.’ Sounds good right..? Meh… The pork was really chewey and although the burger as a whole was OK, it really wasn’t that great. Could anything else go wrong?!?
Screw up #4. I didn’t even get to go on big the slopes when snowboarding due to adverse weather
We’re seeing a bit of a pattern here arent we? Ok so I’m practicing my sweet “wet-arse” moves while snowboarding for the first time on the baby slopes at the Remarkables getting all confident and ready to G-O. My friends come to pick me up to take me to the big slopes and I’m pretty excited. Suddenly the snow starts setting in with a forceful vengeance and instead of running for the sweet slopes we’re now running to the cafe for cover.
Screw up #5. I got stuck at the top of the mountain for five hours
AND one hour of that in the middle of the storm! We sit in the cafe hoping that the snow storm will ease but it’s just getting worse. We pass the time by eating dinner, drinking some hot chocolate and engaging in “this is how we will die” banter. All of a sudden we’re being yelled at and hustled outside directly into the blizzard. Wait, what? For what was probably the longest, coldest walk of my life we were then stopped for the longest, coldest wait of my entire life. Yep, there we were stuck on the edge of the road in a blizzard waiting for the bus that was only “five minutes” away. When the bus finally did turn up the adventure had only just started. The snow was coming down so thick that the bus couldn’t see more than a meter in front of it… And we were going down the side of a huge mountain. Obviously the best fix for this was to have a random guy walk down the mountain with us shining a light on the road to show the bus driver where the edge of the cliff was. Seriously.
Screw up #6. When I finally got to the bottom I had a fight with the guy I was seeing at the time
There’s not much more to say on this but it definitely sucked and ruined my last night there.
Screw up #7. I couldn’t get on my flight back to Christchurch because I’d stupidly booked the flight for a year in advance
Yeah. Everyone’s going to do it once right? I’d managed to press the next year button instead of next month and didn’t double check. It was just especially shit for me because I couldn’t get on any other flights due to the huge storm the day before. Completely booked out. The only way to get to Christchurch was on a 16 hour bus. So that’s what I did. And it was awesome.
Country: New Zealand
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
$1 USD = $1.23 NZD
I was there: July 2011