A few of my favourite things..

Winter Games


The first day in the snow was on the Remarkables.  We were assigned teams, and I confess I felt a little sorry for the competitive minded men in our team.  Having three little girls on your team was a bit of a disadvantage in this event.

mini golf

The second event was mini golf.  Yes, seriously.  No one in our team was able to hit the ball in the hole, so even when Blossy absolutely decided that she must participate, it couldn’t harm the scores too badly.

snow shelter

We had twenty minutes to design and build an emergency snow shelter, with points awarded for practicality, creativity, and how many people would fit inside.  Here, the little girls were quite useful.  We managed to fit 8 people in our shelter 🙂

snow tube

Can you imagine hurtling down the mountain on an inflatable tube?  Everyone loved this activity.  It was a definite for the do again wish list!

The last event for the day involved assembling a sled and dragging the smallest member of the team up the mountain.  It was no contest.  Our smallest member weighed about 25kgs, and the other teams had men of around 80kgs.  Dragging anything up the mountain at a run is …(insane, if you ask me..) challenging, but an 80kg man was just too much.  Our team was the only one able to finish, and so having the little girls turned to our advantage. 🙂   Winning this event clinched the day for us, and while the more adult members of the team celebrated with schnapps,  the little girls all received a furry kiwi toy that makes a noise when you press it (I assume it is the noise of the bird.  Whatever it is, it’s enough to drive you nuts after a while.)

Blossy and her snacks

I have no shots of the last event as by this time Blossy had exhausted her interest in the great snowy outdoors.  So while our team rode to glory in the final event, Blossy and I were winging our way back to relative warmth of the ski cafe.

Today, the rest have headed out to Coronet Peak to ski.  Blossy and I have spent the morning at an underwater observatory, watching ducks on the lake (they have cool ducks here!) and I’m hoping she will be up for a cruise around the lake later this afternoon.  You could easily spend a month here and not exhaust the possibilities.  Adventure sports abound and the scenery and places to explore are grand.  It has been very hard to see so many beautiful and amazing things, but have no time to stop and photograph them.  Being with a group (this is a corporate activity rather than a family holiday so the girls and I are just tagging along) is a different experience for me, and it has been interesting to say the least.


10 responses

  1. This looks like so much fun! I’m envious of all the snow… it’s been about 5 1/2 years since I’ve seen real snow (if you can call 5cm real snow!).
    So glad you and the girls were able to tag along.


    September 8, 2009 at 9:08 pm

  2. Fee

    Oh it looks like you’ve had heaps of fun. Little Blossy is adorable in all that rugged-up pink. 🙂
    Like I say … I miss the scenery, but I DON’T miss the cold. Brrrr.
    Safe travels home again.
    Fee x


    September 8, 2009 at 10:02 pm

  3. Amanda

    Team building in the snow eh? Sounds like something I would run a mile from, lol… but, if it was the means to be able to sample this beautiful country then so be it! You will now have the motivation to plan a real family holiday there.

    Did I mention my exciting plans to your Mrs BB? Lauren and I are stopping in a place called Kaikoura (South Island), where we will be swimming with the dolphines. This place has 100’s, sometimes up to a 1000, of a certain breed of dolphine. They also have furry seals and orca whales (at times) in this region. Check this out http://www.dolphin.co.nz/kaikoura/Dolphin_Tours/

    Mrs BB, I should hire you as my personal photographer cause I need someone to take photos for me when I’m in the water! 😛

    Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!


    September 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

  4. Michaela, it’s the first time I have ever seen snow (5cm or otherwise 😉 ) so I was very pleased to have the opportunity.

    Fee, yes, loads of fun, but the funny thing is that we have come home tonight and are actually cool. While it was about 7 degrees when we left Queenstown, the aircon everywhere was very hot. While we loved the scenery (really, I can’t rave about it enough – it was so amazing) I couldn’t live in that kind of climate. In winter I still like to have all the windows open during the day, and found the constant aircon was a bit oppressive.

    Oh! And I found the chocolate fish 😀 I haven’t consumed it yet, we only found it while cruising the Remakables Fudge Shop this morning.


    September 9, 2009 at 10:52 pm

  5. Amanda, lol! Yes, team building activities… Socially, this trip was quite an experience. Can you imagine me sitting at dinner where the discussion was on when to start using botox, how long it lasts, who uses, etc? What a struggle to find common ground! We did later discover a micro-biologist who offered us a great evening of conversation. It was hard work allowing my dignified business persona to win out over the homeschooling mother instincts. I was dying to call the girls over and have them listen to the impromptu science lesson 😀

    Your dolphin experience looks like it will be well worth the trip! It sounds…. lovely! I think you will find, though, that the tour organizers will take photos for you while you swim. And as it looks like there will be swimmers and watchers, you could always choose a nice, friendly watcher and give them your camera before you jump in. That way you will also have some shots on your own camera. Certainly it will be something you want to have a photo memory of!


    September 9, 2009 at 11:12 pm

  6. Fee

    Kaikoura is magical Amanda – be prepared for the beaches which are lots of stones, rather than sand! It was quite a novelty for my Australian-born kids when we visited a few years back. 🙂

    There is a big seal population in Kaikoura if you get a chance to see them – they lie on the rocks sunning themselves all day.

    Enjoy your trip. Swimming with dolphins has been one of my most memorable life-experiences to date! They are very special creatures.

    Fiona 🙂


    September 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm

  7. Amanda

    Fiona, I hope to see the seal also. I just love these creatures and dolphines are just so special! I love their gorgeous natures, and even though I am a little nervous because of my swimming ability, my desire to be up-close-and-personal with these beautiful creatures over-rides my nerves/fears.

    They mentioned that one should be competent snorkler. LOL, well that nearly counts me out… does one one trip snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef off Daydream Island in knee deep water count? I could swim to save myself… but that would be sheer survival mode, lol. My husband reassures me that the wetsuits will help me float as they are rubber 😯 😉

    Thank you Fiona for the added encouragement. I wanted to do one special tourist thing whilst in NZ, so it seems we have made an excellent choice. Pray for fine weather for us please 🙂


    September 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm

  8. Fee

    Hi Amanda,

    Your hubby is right – wetsuits are wonderful things. Probably the major danger is swallowing sea water as you shriek with excitement when the dolphins come close to you (speaking from personal experience here!). 🙂

    You will have an awesome time. Kaikoura is one of my favourite places in NZ – I grew up in Blenheim which is near the top of the South Island – and we often drove down to Christchurch, through Kaikoura – the highlight being stopping to see seals on the rocks. They don’t smell good (fishy!) – but they are very cute.

    Kaikoura have the best fush & chups in NZ too. You have to try a paua (abalone) patty and battered oysters. YUM! 🙂

    Have an awesome time. I know you will …

    Fee x


    September 10, 2009 at 7:10 pm

  9. GREAT! So much fun :O 😀 *envy*
    Who won the emergency snow shelter event?


    September 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm

  10. Nivin, our team thought we had it in the bag as the judge declared it the best so far, held the most people, and it should left in tact as an example.

    Of course, if we had been the last team that may have been fine, but there was one team left after us who copied the design, incorporated our actual shelter cavity into theirs, and wont the event.

    Pride comes before a fall… 😛 😉


    September 11, 2009 at 9:48 am

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