Queenstown has already helped Rugby World Cup-winning All Black hooker Andrew Hore’s integration into his new Super 15 Highlanders team.
Hore – who returns to the resort for a pre-season game against the Chiefs this Saturday – enjoyed a team-bonding tramp up the Greenstone Valley in December.
“Walking up was pretty tough work but it was the first pre-season camp I’ve been on where you get texted to bring your rifle and stuff so you can go off and have a hunt and do some fishing.
“If camp’s going to be like this, I might play for a few more years yet. I got a couple of deer so it was a pretty good trip.”
Hore shifted to the Highlanders after being controversially released after 10 seasons with the Hurricanes.
Normally, he plays in Queenstown for Central Otago side Maniototo so he should get more crowd support this Saturday.
“Getting up to Queenstown and beating Wakatipu on their home ground is pretty cool.”
Hore says his favourite Queenstown memories were social trips in the late 90s with his Dunedin club.
After last year’s World Cup, Hore says his main goal this year is to add worth to the Highlanders.
“The farm’s just up the road from Dunedin so everything’s pretty good for the stage of career I’m at,” Hore says.
Playing in the new indoor Dunedin stadium will be a bonus.
“You don’t have to worry about wet weather.
“If we can play like they started last year and get people coming, it’s going to work for both of us.”
What: Highlanders v Chiefs
When: Saturday, 5pm
Where: Queenstown Recreation Ground
Format: Four 20-minute spells
Cost: Free entry