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Lots to do at the Snow farm

August 22, 2010

sledding at snow farmI visited the Snow Farm (near Wanaka) for the first time recently. I found it quite a different concept from  a ski field, where you are generally there for skiing or snowboarding. The snow farm predominantly is about nordic skiing and is set up with different runs you can do and lessons you can get (given New Zealanders don’t have a massive tradition of nordic skiing).

There is also a sledding area, which we had loads of fun on with the kids. We saw the dog sleds being set up (though the price was $250 for an hour – can’t be much cheaper than heli skiing) and in the distance I saw some people kite skiing plus they have biathletes training there and guests staying in the lodge buildings.

I like the idea of encouraging all different snow sports and activities. But we felt a bit miffed when we were going to go ski touring in the DOC conservation area to be told that we had to pay $20 each for someone to ski escort us across the vehicle testing area, which is part of the snow farm.

True, they are a business and supposedly the vehicle testing area is a highly commercially sensitive area. But you’d think they could have created an area to get past without compromising their vehicle testing business. And it seems a bit rich given that week I read in the paper that the owner John Lee has been prosecuted for an illegal reservoir, built partially on crown land without a resource consent.

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