I still recall the first time we visited Whakapapa skifield. It was 1990 and I must have been about ten years old. My parents had visited the University Ski Sale in order to kit us all out for the occasion. I was lucky enough to have a lovely chocolate brown ski suit. I was understandably thrilled at the prospect of been seen by my friends in brown. Remember - it was the 90's fluro Nevica suits were in. Brown was definitely not in! But I digress, this post is not supposed to be about my humiliation...
We would leave Auckland directly after school and head south. Traffic was not such a problem on the motorway in those days, at least not in my memory. We'd stop for dinner at the local chinese / fish n chip shop in Tamaranui, opposite the public toilets. There was no maccas there in those says and this was the only shop open.
Finally we'd arrive at the lodge in the pitch black about 8pm. Parking outside the lodge was a luxury - friends had to treck all the way up to their lodge in the middle of the night. On a good trip we'd be lucky enough to arrive after Peter Altman and his family who would have already dug out the door and had the fire raging. We'd race to our rooms then head into the kitchen to unpack our 3 potatoes, 6 sausages, 2 pieces of steak and the remainder of the required food list and then sit down to a briefing where we'd be allocated our jobs for the trip by the trip leader. We all had our jobs and pitched in to help the lodge run more smoothly from: tea duty and snow report; to cooking breakfast; washing up; dinner prep - peeling spuds for 16; to toilet cleaning the outside toilets.
These days the roster of jobs has gone but the family friendly atmosphere and pooling together is a made a lot easier with technology.
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Check out this article in the herald about the gondola. We're set to be in a great position - we just need to look at our membership... http://www.nzh...
Ruapehu tourism to be boosted by $25m mountain gondola by mid-2019