PARTING SHOT: Surviving the shoulder season


Okay, so we’ve had an orgy of great events and a super summer – Motatapu, Queenstown Bike Festival, PGA Pro-Am golf … the opening of Club 88. 

And now we’re facing a shoulder season period where nothing too much happens for a few months. So here are some helpful hints for things to keep you occupied during the downtime. 

  • Go to World Bar on Monday night for a blow out amongst the backpacker crowd, usually with rocking covers band Mojo on the bill – good tunes, good people, good times.
  • Sort your firewood, if you haven’t done it already.
  • Take the water taxi trip over from Steamer Wharf to the Kawarau Village complex for a look around and a glass of red in the lakeside ‘Pinot Pit’.
  • Do a boot camp – you may as well, everyone else is. And it’ll help you get ready for the ski season.
  • Put anti-freeze in your vehicle’s radiator.
  • Buy a ticket for this Saturday’s dinner and drinks event aboard the TSS Earnslaw for a trip commemorating 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic.
  • Or do you not feel that comfortable about partaking in a night of eating, drinking and frivolity that marks the worst peace-time maritime disaster in the world and the deaths of 1517 people?
  • What? Too soon?
  • Read Moneyball, the book that’s now been made into a movie starring Brad Pitt. Sure, it’s about baseball which most of us know nothing about, but it’s still a cracking read. As Nick Hornby says: “I understood about one in four words … and it’s still the best and most engrossing sports book I’ve read for years. If you know anything about baseball you will enjoy it four times as much as I did, which means that you might explode.”
  • Read Queenstown Lakes District Council’s 10-year plan – in particular the proposal for tourism levy rates – and make your submission heard.
  • Get along to support local rugby by going to Arrowtown or Wakatipu’s upcoming home games – and who knows, if you’re lucky, Wakatipu captain Regan ‘The Sheriff’ Pearce might even take his shirt off.
  • Play ‘Guess who the next Destination Queenstown chief executive will be’.
  • Play ‘Guess who Queenstown Lakes District Council’s chief executive will be after September’.
  • Too soon?
  • Follow the happy hour crawl around some of the local bars and get absolutely messed up for about $40-50. Oh, except that you won’t be able to because all of Queenstown’s bar operators strictly to adhere to their host responsibility obligations. Right?
  • Preload?
  • If unhappy with your existing flatting arrangements, start looking for alternatives now because in the coming weeks onwards the pickings will get slimmer than a Bikram yoga instructor.
  • Start learning Portuguese so you can communicate better with a large segment of the Queenstown population.
  • Go give the Lake’s Leisure free outdoor fitness circuits a crack – no obligation, no fees. And if you’re lucky, you might see Alpine Health and Fitness manager Richie Heap out there – with his shirt off.
  • Save up money for Winter Festival events like the ball … oh, no sorry, that’s not happening … 
    I mean jazz night …. oh sorry, that’s not happening either. Amateur boxing fundraiser Thriller in the Chiller then.
  • Guys – come up with better lines because a girl who is relatively new to town told me the other day she’s been hit on by blokes using the following pearlers: ‘Wanna shag?’ and separately ‘Are you a real estate agent because I need you to get rid of my semi?’ (… as in semi-detached dwelling). Surprisingly, neither of these two gems worked.
  • The same girl on a first date with another guy had to deal with the following comment during dinner: “If you weren’t blonde, you wouldn’t be here.” This didn’t go down so well either. The girl replied: “The only reason I came was for the free meal.” Guys – better lines.