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QTMAGAZINE WINTER 2018
QTMAGAZINE WINTER 2018
“Snow shoeing has become popular for those
interested in venturing out into the 55km of groomed
cross-country trails on the Pisa mountain range.”
The Snow Farm Lodge offers a different on snow
accommodation experience, being situated just
minutes from the trails. It features a range of
comfortable rooms, with a restaurant and café
serving homemade and wholesome food.
For a more rustic experience, there are two
backcountry hut options with incredible views
of the Pisa Mountain Range.
“The Meadow Hut and the
Bob Lee Hut are very special
places to stay where you ski
or walk out to the location.
“Both are equipped with bunk beds, gas
cookers and an open fire where you can roast
marshmallows and enjoy the mountain vibe,”
“The Bob Lee hut was moved from the top of the
Pisa range when the Pisa Conservation Area was
formed and is in easy access to the trails. It’s just
a short ski back to the base building after a night
staying out there.”
For newcomers to cross-country skiingThe Snow
Farm has plenty of expert advice.
“Anyone can do it – basically if you can walk you
can cross-country ski and most people can get out
and enjoy the trails after just a morning lesson with
one of our instructors,” says Pip.
“The experiences offered at the Snow Farm are
quite different to other mountains. Access to all
the activities is easy from the car park and we are
the only mountain with an unobstructed view of
By Penny Simpson
After successfully operating the Snow Farm for
many years the Lees decided in 2012 to pass the
ski area over to the community and vest the land in
the Queenstown Lakes District Council, to be held
in perpetuity as a recreational reserve and leased
to the Pisa Alpine CharitableTrust.
The Lee family today retains an interest in the
specialist Nordic cross-country ski area and their
son Sam Lee manages the business.
Located high on the Pisa Range in the Cardrona
Valley, the Snow Farm facilities are considered to
be some of the best in the world.
“We are close to both Wanaka and Queenstown
with easy access from the main Cardrona Valley
road. It’s stunning up here with the beauty of
the wide-open spaces and 365-degree mountain
views,” says sales manager Pip Gillespie.
“The area is gentle allowing for a variety of
different experiences. We have a family friendly
snow play zone with tubes and toboggans where
kids can play, make snowmen and enjoy the snow.”
The Very Best
Local Craft and
Every Thursday 3-6
alongside Bullock Creek
(adjacent to Francescas
03 443 7542 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Snow Play, Snow Shoe, Snow Ski, Snow Fun!
Spaces are limited, book online and
use the discount code: QTMAG to
save 10% on your booking.
SNOW FUN ZONE
Level 1, O’Connells Mall, Queenstown
03 442 6148 // OPEN 7 DAYS
In 1926 a bridge across the Kawarau
River was opened to much fanfare.
Almost 100 years later a $22 million
two-lane bridge has been officially
commissioned providing a vital link in
Queenstown’s transport network.
The original bridge was built as part of a mining
company’s dam project, which aimed to dry up the
river and expose large quantities of gold believed to
be in the river bed. Crowds gathered to watch when
the dam gates were shut but while the lake waters
were trapped, the backflow from the Shotover and
Arrow rivers prevented the river bed from being
exposed, and the project was a failure.
However, there was an upside for the residents
when the dam structure became a single lane traffic
bridge opening up new opportunities, including the
development of the Queenstown to Kingston road.
For many years due to the increased traffic pressure
there has been talk of a new two-lane bridge which,
after two-and-a-half years of construction, was
officially opened in May this year.
NZ Transport Agency spokesman Jim Harland says
the multimillion dollar bridge is part of a wider
transport improvement plan for the Wakatipu
involving the NZTA, the Queenstown Lakes District
Council, Queenstown Airport Corporation and
Otago Regional Council.
“A fully completed two-lane Kawarau Falls bridge
is an important step toward that goal.”
Queenstown Lakes mayor Jim Boult was the first to
drive over the new bridge in a 1932 Packard V12.
He welcomed the new structure but indicated it
was time to begin planning to ensure the next
crossing was in place to meet the potential
population growth in the district.
The old single lane Kawarau heritage bridge will
be converted into a walking and biking amenity,
providing a significant link in the Queenstown
cycle trail network.
By Tom Kalliber
The Queenstown Events Centre is
aiming to get people off the couch
and keep fit and active this winter
by expanding its fitness classes and
The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC,)
which operates the Frankton facility, is also
trialling late night opening on Tuesdays, with
instructors on-site and climbers able to book
two-hour slots until 10.00pm in advance.
Additionally, the Alpine Health and Fitness gym
has extended its opening time by two hours, until
11.00pm every Tuesday, and has invested in all
new weights and an improved layout to open up
Alpine Health and Fitness also operates separate
studios for group fitness and bike classes.
Group Fitness coordinator Maria Bradley says it
is easy to find reasons to stay at home when it is
cold and dark outside.
“Lots of us feel the need to hibernate at this time
of year but having less outdoor options means it’s
even more important to find ways to maintain our
health and inner happiness.”
“We change our class timetable to match the
seasons and have just restarted our Les Mills RPM
Enduro sessions. Scheduled for the first Thursday
of each month over winter, these are perfect for
road cyclists who have less opportunity for long
rides when there’s ice and grit about,” she says.
“We also run specific classes like Cxworx that
provide excellent conditioning for skiing and
snowboarding, so bring on the snow.”
The vision and foresight of Wanaka
farmers and ski field pioneers John and
Mary Lee led to the development of
New Zealand’s only cross-country ski
area in the Cardrona Valley in 1990.
New Two-Lane Kawarau Bridge
By Tom Kalliber
Mayor Jim Boult drives 1932 Packard V12
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