So that was winter, was it?


Somehow it’s spring already. So where was this big bad Queenstown winter I was warned about then? 

It’s beyond freezing, I was told – and given the impression I’d need merino underwear, an avalanche beacon and a husky just to get to New World. 

It’s all a big disappointment to be honest. 

I was expecting to snowboard on forehead-deep powder, to be snowed-in at home unable to get to work – internet and phones cut off too please – shivering uncontrollably. 

Most of all I was expecting to suffer through a bitter winter and be able to come over all Scott-of-the-Antarctic – “Day 53: Supplies gone, morale very low, considering eating ODT staff.” 

But as I speak, there are tourists outside our offices on Queenstown’s Village Green having a picnic. 

A picnic. Cheeky bastards. I hope for their sakes NZSki boss James Coddington doesn’t walk past them. 

Not really sure, by the way, what NZSki has done to offend God. Maybe one of the new runs they’ve opened means the ski map forms a perfect devil-worshipping pentagram. 

But it must be something. All winter they’ve been praying for adverse conditions – then just as the Parklife Invitational kicks off, the heavens open and torrential rain pours forth and as soon as it’s over the skies clear again. 

Meanwhile, over the Tasman, the Melbourne Age reports: “Heavy snowfalls this month have left Hotham with 186 centimetres of natural snow, the best coverage since 2004. It is only the fourth time in 20 years there has been so much snow this late in August.” Bastards, bastards, bastards. 

NZSki has done a great job to be fair, what with snow guns and all. 

Even though the weather has hardly helped – which they can’t help – you can still go skiing or snowboarding, even at night, and have a good day of it. I went to Coronet Peak a few weeks ago and it was decent. 

But what can you do? I must admit I was away on holiday for those couple of really cold weeks but since then it’s been pretty much bright sunshine. 

I regret heeding our council’s advice and buying snow chains. 

So anyway, that was the Kiwi winter – like a UK summer with a slight chill in the air. We’d be out on the beaches, tops off, having BBQs and ice creams. 

In Scotland, our Queenstown weather would be considered oppressively hot. 

Now it’s onward to summer. The ski rental shops will switch seamlessly to mountain bike and golf outlets, like that scene in Bugsy Malone, and the duuuude snowboarders will be replaced by lovely golden-brown tanned Scandinavian backpackers about town. 

Let’s just hope it doesn’t snow.