Sunday, June 19, 2011

Not green about the white stuff

Though it's raining and dreary today, it's not cold: last month was the warmest May on record, and June is shaping up to be the same (yesterday it was over 21 degrees). And this is winter, people! The shortest day is on Wednesday, and there are still flowers on the hibiscus bushes and monarch butterflies floating about.

None of the skifields around the country are able to open yet, their beanied employees kicking their heels - or at least, in the case of Mt Hutt, lending a hand with shovelling silt in Christchurch. They're particularly worried down in Queenstown, because their big Winter Festival, beginning next week, is missing that one vital ingredient - though fortunately for the cold-freaks they've already arranged to bring in an ice-rink from America, to be erected on the Village Green. "It's a first for New Zealand!" the festival director said excitedly.

The festival is actually the biggest Winter Party in the southern hemisphere (how many contenders for that rather esoteric title, I wonder?) and certainly sounds pretty lively (if you discount the jazz element, yawn). For many people, Queenstown is a snow town, so it's odd that I've been there lots of times but only ever in the summer or autumn. Though the convention is for Kiwis to sniff at the town for being so touristy, it's still a beautiful, beautiful place, with heaps of things to do to suit all preferences. Even if it does look magnificent with snow everywhere, I think I will always prefer seeing the Remarkables bare, and the hills green, and the lupins in flower. Which they possibly still are, this year.


the queen said...

"already arranged to bring in an ice-rink from America" - you are joking. Or did NZ send us a swimming pool in exchange?

Magpie said...

are they bringing all of rockefeller center along with that there ice rink?

Pam said...

Never underestimate what a few Kiwis can do with a bit of time and a reel of #8 wire.


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