As the week progressed more and more snow was falling around Dunedin. It was the first weekend that our full friendship group was available for the weekend and had enough cars for us all. Our original plan was to head to Te Anau and then to Milford Sound, beginning early Friday morning. Wednesday night the highway to Milford Sound was closed for severe weather and we decided to make an entire change of plans. We shifted the weekend to Queenstown and decided to embrace the snow with a weekend of snowshoeing and skiing. We were able to find an AirBnB that was designed to accommodate for six people, so we figured we would be able to manage for twelve.
We made good time on our drive to Queenstown but once we started up the road towards snowshoeing, we began winding up the mountains into the snow line. We were on the edge of cliffs winding, and soon were surrounded by white clouds. The roads began with light snow, but soon our car was struggling to keep traction. There was a sharp uphill turn and one of our back wheels began to spin out so we pulled to the side. We made the decision to go back down instead of risking it any further, but we got out to take some photos first in the snow.
It was a bit frightening on the way back down so we took the drive very slow. Since we could no longer snowshoe we decided to find a hike by Lake Wanaka. We thought we were going to do a very quick 20 minute return walk around a lake, but when we saw signs pointing upwards towards the mountains we couldn’t resist. The trails were at times covered in sheets of ice but we continued onwards and upwards for several hours, determined to make it to a beautiful view.
After our hike we ended up in Queenstown for some ciders and chips in a pub. And on from there were met back up with all twelve members of our group at our AirBnB. Our rental for the night was a three bedroom home that was extremely nice and well taken care of, set just below snow-topped mountains. What had begun as a weekend where everything went wrong, we had to be flexible as all our plans fell away, and we still were able to have an amazing time.
Of course the next day our plans to go to another hike ended with us not being able to make it up yet another slick road, but frankly we expected it at that point. We still made the best of our time in the mountains and in the town and overall had a successful weekend.