July 27, 2009

Magical Mt Ruapehu: Finale!

So we woke the next morning wondering if there was anymore news on the massive earthquake that had hit New Zealand the night before, but as we pulled back the curtains all thoughts of this were lost in the stunning view from our window! Mother Nature had done us proud by bringing out the clear blue skies and the sunshine, giving us that view we were promised.

We were going to just head back home to Wellington if the weather was rubbish and probably stop off on the way back at places of interest, but we really couldn’t waste a morning like this. We packed our suitcases as quickly as we could, donned our snow gear and headed out once again to Mt Ruapehu for some fun in the snow.

The difference driving up was evident straight away, the roads were clearer, the paths easy to walk on. The main area was just a different place with the sun shining, so easy to enjoy and being able to see the peaks of Mt Ruapehu glistening in the sun was just divine.

No time for hiding in the cafe this morning, we wanted to be out there and part of the snow. As we really didn’t prepare for ski-ing of any type, it would have been nice to have done some lessons – and we were all willing, only problem was the limited time we had. It was ypical that the sun decided to show itself on the day we had to go home, but wonderful that it bothered to show up at all in winter!

We purchased some ‘Sightseeing’ passes which were $21 per adult and $11 for Bethany – not bad at all, and made our way to the first chair lift that would take us half way up the mountain. It was very interesting hopping onto the chair as they don’t stop for you, even more interesting that the dismount is the same! We saw so many people fall over we really hoped it wouldn’t be us, and luckily it wasn’t. Neither Lynn or myself are good with heights but we managed to have a great time and I think that Lynn even let go of the rail at one point!

We hopped off at the half way point and then joined the next lift which would then take us to the top, and to the cafe where we were looking forward to a cuppa! This time it was a 4 person express lift and in no time at all we were at the top, it was wonderful to watch the skiers and snowboarders under our feet. As we climbed we saw icicles hanging from the snow ledges, they glistened beautifully in the bright white background.

At the top we enjoyed a table which looked down over the whole mountain, we sat outside in the sun but within 5 minutes mist started to decend and we decided that the temperature had dropped enough and we were on our way back down!

We had a great time, such amazing memories for Grandma to take home with her, and lovely precious memories for Bethany to remember forever.

With all the excitement over with we got back in the car and made the journey back to Wellington. We had so much to talk about on the way home, in only 3 days we built snowmen, climbed and enjoyed a snow covered mountain, we went thermal dipping, Geothermal walking, sightseeing, sledging, all this topped off by drinking tea at the top of a Mt Ruapehu – not bad at all.  

Thats not all either, the journey home brought a whole new experience, something truly amazing – but I will save that for the next post – so keep reading!

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