First Snowfall in Paradise
What a strange winter we’ve had here in Queenstown this year. For the most part, it’s felt like an elongated Autumn or an extremely early Spring. Smattered amongst these two seasons have been the odd winter day. The weather forecasts have been all over the place and it’s been one of the strangest winters we’ve ever witnessed.
Fairly late on a Friday evening we received a booking for our ‘Top and Back’ tour. Whilst there’s nothing untoward about the timing of this, looking at the weather forecast it didn’t seem as though we’d be able to get incredible photos for Hannes and Suki if this weather pattern materialised.
Ensuring that our clients receive breath taking photographs from their trip out with us is paramount. It would be really easy to take people regardless of the weather, but that’s not how we run our business. Thankfully we were able to get in touch with Hannes & Suki and we started formulating a new plan.
With the date changed to the Monday, which looked like the best day that they had free, and us being able to drop them back to the airport after the tour all was looking great. That was until the forecasts changed again. They had a flight to Milford Sound booked for the sunday which they’d just been informed had to be cancelled for the Sunday and there was a chance that it might be possible to fly on Monday. As you can image they really wanted to fit that experience into their time in Queenstown so we did our best to work around this.
As our attention turned back to the weather forecasts once again, it looked like Sunday was going to have a few interesting weather patterns rolling through which hopefully could work to our advantage. We scheduled the pick up time a little earlier than we had at first and knew that due to our Department of Conservation concessions we could work around the weather if it changed and turned into something really bad.
As it happens, the forecast was all over the place once again and the weather on Sunday morning was simply stunning. All the to’ing and fro’ing made us feel like we’d already met Hannes and Suki, so by the time we picked them up from their accomodation everything was feeling really relaxed and we knew we were going to have a great day.
Hannes had spent some time living and working in Queenstown a few years ago, although he had never made the trip along the Glenorchy road to the head of the lake. This was Suki’s first visit to Queenstown and she told us that she’d never seen snow before. Looking ahead to where we were going, it was looking like we might indeed find some snow for them both.
As you leave Glenorchy and head north, the sealed road ends and the gravel road begins. We enter the Department of Conservation managed Mount Aspiring Park and you start to see the signs warning drivers of back country road conditions lying ahead. Our Land Rover JAS is a certified passenger vehicle and built for roads like these, regardless of what the weather throws us. Our DOC concessions mean that we’ve done everything we need to in order to guide and photograph our clients on conservation land.
The landscape changes quickly, Hannes commented that it felt as though we were driving through a movie set, a million miles different from their home Hong Kong. We’d also packed some fresh carrots so we could feed the horses in the paddock at the side of the road, another first for Hannes and Suki.
As we drove along the road, the sky started to darken and huge snow flakes began to fall. This really was turning into a wonderful adventure for all of us.
As beautiful as snow is, it’s cold and after a while that starts to wear away the extreme joy. As we made our way back into Glenorchy, it was time to visit one of the local cafe’s for some warm drinks and food. If the weather allows us to eat outside, then we’ll have brought a beautiful picnic for you to enjoy. If it’s like it was on this trip then we'll take you somewhere warm and welcoming showcasing the best that our local cafe’s have to offer.
As the temperatures continued to drop, we decided that a trip to Moke Lake would be preferable to walking through the bush at Bob’s Cove. The snow was starting to fall again and this was a quick stop off with a drive that continued to deliver the movie set goods.
A trip to Queenstown isn’t complete without a photo in front of the Remarkables mountain range. The snow clouds were hiding the peaks, but their ruggedness was still visible as we stopped off at Sunshine Bay for one last set of photos and it was time to return Hannes and Suki to their hotel.
We had the most amazing day out with you both and we are so pleased with the beautiful collection of photos we created together, there’s over 170 of them in your Google Photos folder for you to enjoy for many years to come. We’ll also be capturing some landscape photographs as we adventure with you and we’ll include these and a few others from our archives of the places we’ve visited.
We’d love to take you out adventuring with us. You can have a look through the various set routes and packages we have available, or you can emailus@authenticAs.org to arrange your own custom tour.
Our Department of Conservation concessions allow us to guide you through conservation areas from Mount Cook all the way to the South Coast. Be it a trip around the Wakatipu Basin, an unforgettable adventure to Milford Sound, Start Gazing in the dark sky reserve of Aoraki National Park, we’ve got you covered. You can leave your camera at home knowing you’ll have an amazing set of professional travel photographs within a few days.
If you’re a keen photographer yourself, we can also arranger tuition tours taking you to South Island Points of Interest and iconic locations giving you tuition along the way. We’ll also capture a fabulous set of behind the scenes photographs to accompany your photographs.