Sorrel takes the family to one of the most spectacular mountain ranges to learn how to ski.
New Zealand's southern alps are bigger than the Swiss, French and Austrian alps combined. They rise over 2000 metres, forming a spine along the south island.
The peaceful hamlet of Wanaka in the heart of the southern lakes region of the south island offers an enormous range of attractions. It's surrounded by tawny, tussock-covered hills and eclipsed by craggy, snow-capped mountains. The scenery is captivating and constantly changing.
Lake Wanaka is in a vast alpine basin, created during the last ice age, which provides excellent fishing and boating. Not far from its edge is Mount Aspiring World Heritage National Park.
Each season here has different appeal. September provides "spring corn" snow conditions, which are easy and pleasurable, with sunny days and the gradual burst of green growth, blossoms and newborn animals.
Summer is a time of long, hot days with little rainfall and low humidity. The lake is a playground of wind-surfing, yachting, water skiing, wake boarding and fishing. Picnics and walking, climbing, hunting and fly-fishing are some of the many activities which attract people.
Wanaka's trees turn crimson and gold in autumn and the light is perfect for painters and photographers and walkers love to wander through the leaves.
Winter is a special and magical time the air is crisp, skies are clear blue and the majestic white mountains provide a long ski season.
Cardrona Alpine Resort is a very family-friendly ski area and provides a crèche, ski programs for children of varying ages and experience, excellent snowboarding and good, reliable snow cover. Children's programs are flexible they can have private lessons or join a group and just have fun. The slopes are mostly south-east facing and are excellent for families and beginners, at the same time providing spectacular views.
Specially-designed ski lifts called 'magic learner lifts' are like a moving conveyor belt on the snow surface.
You can ski in and out of the Noodle Bar and parents can sit on the deck watching their children on the slopes.
Lakeside Apartments in Wanaka are set on the edge of the lake, a pleasant stroll from town. The 21 apartments are fully serviced and self-contained and have large balconies which overlook the pool and have 180 degree views of the lake and mountains. They have gourmet kitchens, full laundry facilities and each master bedroom faces the lake.
Locally-hewn schist stone stacked in the style of the region and old hardwood timber beams have been skilfully blended to give elegance and rustic appeal.
There are superior, deluxe, premier and penthouse rooms, each with one, two or three-bedroom combinations.
As well as Cardrona, Treble Cone is also close. It is truly beautiful. As you ski, you are presented with a bright, aquamarine lake, complete with tiny snow-covered islands, with blue sky and more mountains in the distance. The terrain is more difficult to master and possibly for that reason is rarely crowded.
The south of New Zealand's south island
Qantas flies daily to Christchurch.
Ski Max has six-day family packages, including return economy airfares, five-day car hire, five nights' accommodation at Lakeside Apartments and three-day Maxpasses at Cardrona Alpine Resort, starting at $4738 from Sydney, $4962 from Brisbane and Melbourne, $5884 from Adelaide and $6168 per family, based on two adults and two children. The ski season runs from late June to early October.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.
Ph: 1300 136 997 02 9267 1655
Fax: 02 9267 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cardrona Alpine Resort
PO Box 117 Wanaka NZ
Ph: 0011 64 3 443 email@example.com
9 Lakeside Road, Wanaka NZ
Ph: 0011 64 3 443 0188
Fax: 0011 64 3 443 0189www.lakesidewanaka.co.nz