Gratia - Snow sports
A scenic trip through the most beautiful spots on your way to the snow
Driving from Auckland to Ruapehu takes around four and a half hours - but the incredible scenery along the way makes it feel much shorter. The views also make the drive feel much more dangerous, because at times it's a struggle to keep your eyes just on the road ahead. These photographs are from the eastern route around Lake Taupo (route 1), and this is the most beautiful way to travel - although either way, you're surrounded by mountains and vast greenery, so you can't really go wrong.
How to ski for the first time at 30 and actually enjoy it - at NZ's most challenging ski area
Last year I was roped into doing something I never thought I would try - skiing. As someone who had lived the first 29 years of my life in Mexico, this had been my prior experience with snow: I had never even seen it outside of a screen.
In fact, snow is such an exotic rarity in Mexico that 'nieve', the Spanish word for snow, has now been completely taken over with a new meaning - ice cream. If you hear someone discussing nieve in Mexico City, they're most likely deciding whether they want chocolate or vanilla; not where their next ski holiday should be. With this complete lack of experience, and the strong motivation of not wanting to make a fool of myself, I started to prepare for my trip to Treble Cone.
Between skiing and mulled wine, this is what we look at
I've travelled the Mt. Aspiring road since I was ten years old - when my parents decided that they were bored of skiing at Cardrona, and wanted to take me and my sister to Treble Cone. That first (and second, and third) experience was terrifying, and so became the drive. As the years went on and I grew my ski legs, the Mt. Aspiring road went from The Road To Where Scary Things Happen to a familiar stretch of land - a space that takes me between the fun of the snow and the pleasure of mulled wine and fries afterwards. But when I've taken the time lately to really see that land, I've come to the solid conclusion that however familiar or nerve-wracking this drive is to someone, there should always be time to appreciate the view - especially on a beautiful, still day such as this.