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Braden and I spent the best part of our childhood skiing. Skiing was one of my greatest passions and also one of the greatest past times spent with my dad. Dad would take me out of school at least once a week to head up the mountain. He was a ski instructor and although its tough to make ski instructing a profession, dad managed some how. Winter was his favourite time of year and teaching others to ski was what he lived for.

As a result both my brother and I inherited a passion to ski, and although I went to University in Dunedin for 4 years when I finished school, I still managed to sit my ski instructors certificate, do an exchange at the University of British Colombia (I.e ski for a season at Whistler) and do two trips to Colorado in my summer break. When I finished Uni I got straight on a plane and went to the French Alps and spent two years skiing and ski touring throughout the winter and spring. I could not think of anything else I would rather do in the world than ski.

Spending the day at Cardrona on Saturday brought back the love I had for being in the mountains, for skiing and for winter. We have spent the last 4 years following the summers and I didn’t know if I actually missed winter, but having one good day in the snow has brought back all those memories and inspired me to make sure that skiing plays a big role in the life of my kids.

We were absolutely stoked to be able to enjoy a day up at Cardrona with the kids on the weekend. Being early season we were not anticipating “the best day in the history of our lives skiing.” But in all honesty, we had an amazing day.

Driving up Cardrona early morning, seeing the sun rise over the hills and seeing snow for the first time in over 12months, well I felt like a big kid and our kids were equally as excited.

 We knew it was going to be a matter of tag teaming for the day as Bella was likely to only achieve an hour or so on the magic carpet, where as Tarn could happily and easily ski the whole mountain from 9-4pm.

Braden offered me first runs and I took Tarn and his friend Max out for a few runs on the new chondola. The snow was in amazing condition and we snuck in 3 or 4 runs before I met Braden on the magic carpet. It was amazingly mellow and cruisy. Only the keen beans were out on the mountain, even though it was a Saturday. Its funny isn’t it, that we all sit back and wait until there is truck loads of snow on the mountain, but we miss out on some of the most amazing days when no one is up there and you literally feel like you have the mountain to yourself.

I met Braden on the magic carpet. He was doing laps on foot up and down the magic carpet as teaching a child to ski with a snowboard is not the easiest task. He was looking well ready to swap but luckily I inherited my dads jeans and actually enjoy teaching. Bella and I had a blast. She managed to nail going straight and fast, and the turning and stopping thing………well that is just going to be a work in progress.

Although somewhat like both her parents, she decided she was done with the magic carpet and insisted on going straight to the top. The chondola was on her hot list and she was completely mesmerised by the experience.

So we took her up the Chondola and she skied between my legs all the way down. It was super cool, and exciting to think that it won’t be long to we actually can ski together with both kids everywhere on the mountain.

Tarn, Max and myself headed over to Captains just after lunch, and the snow was amazing over there. I have to say that I have only ever owned a season pass at Treble cone and that I had never actually had a day skiing at Cardrona. But I think I am a convert when it comes to family skiing. What I love about Cardrona is the culture. It’s just a good vibe. The mountain is also incredibly spread out, which I think allows for a feeling of being able to adventure to different parts of the mountain.  I also believe the whole mountain is fully accessible for every level of skier, making it so much more accessible for families.  It’s terrain and features are awesome, for kids and for adults, and the staff are helpful, smiley and you can tell that they are genuinely happy to be there.

We managed a beer at the Cardrona pub to seal what was one of the best days out in the snow that we have ever had. It made me remember what a great sport skiing is for families and made me super excited to dream up all the ski holidays that I hope to do in the next few years. I am not sure if they are feasible but I am still going to dream about them, and you never know what you can squeeze into life given a little bit of imagination.

Thanks Cardona. You made our day!

Kids can pack is made possible with the support of:




Thanks also to Base in wanaka for getting Braden sorted with his snowboard get up

And outside sports wanaka for fitting out the kids with their skis and boots