Running is ever popular, as judged by the streets teeming with partakers at all hours of the day. Aside from the collection of events listed here, there are many weekly run clubs in suburbs all over the city and at Hagley Park every Saturday ‘Parkrun’ is a free 5km event (see parkrun.co.nz).
It doesn’t matter how far or fast you go – if you run, you are a runner. If you have not caught the run bug yet, it will likely get you in time and you’ll wish you started forever ago.
Four Southern Lakes ski areas will open soon, heralding a winter of thrills and spills on the slopes. Here’s a taste of what skiers and boarders can expect… after all, it’s all downhill from here.
The Remarkables is extending its learner terrain by a massive 70 percent this season, as well as installing a new conveyor to access the area. Ski Area Manager Ross Lawrence believes this will significantly improve the experience for novice riders. “The learner experience is about progression, so providing another step will get guests feeling even more comfortable and capable as they gradually move up the mountain.”
Remarkables Snow Sports Academy will also continue. The freeski and snowboard development programmes offer season-long and school holiday courses for children aged 6-18. For those who love jumps and bumps, there are extensive freestyle features across three dedicated terrain parks. The Remarkables is a 40-minute drive from Queenstown and three-quarters of the road is now sealed.
Coronet Peak offers the longest skiing hours in the Southern Lakes. Mornings start with First Tracks, when earlybirds can watch the sun rise as they glide down freshly-groomed trails against the backdrop of panoramic views of Lake Wakatipu. As twilight arrives, families and friends can catch up over a pizza or burger, watch the sun go down and take to the slopes under lights.
“People love night skiing – it’s a magical and fun experience,” Ski Area Manager Nigel Kerr says. “And it’s extremely convenient at just 20 minutes from downtown Queenstown.” This winter, night skiing runs three times a week, with Wednesday added to Friday and Saturday nights. “We have key events teed up for our guests to enjoy, bringing some well-known and loved DJs and bands to Coronet.”
Treble Cone is renowned for its unmatched terrain and leg-burning vertical, new General Manager Toby Arnott says. “To complement this, visitors can expect a fresh approach to the Treble Cone experience; wide open, uncrowded terrain, and short lift queues,” he says.
It has a northwest-facing learners’ and beginners’ area, so it’s bathed in sunshine and warmth all season. For hard-core types wanting advanced terrain, Saddle Basin and Summit Slopes offer plenty of challenges with open powder faces, natural half-pipes and fun drops. New for 2018 is a Snow Shoe Experience, which includes a scenic chair ride to the top of the ski area; snowshoe and equipment rental, and a fully-guided walk with a qualified instructor.
Cardrona Alpine Resort is handily situated between Wanaka and Queenstown. It has three wide, open basins featuring some of New Zealand’s most progressive terrain and promises that every family member will find a favourite trail. It also boasts New Zealand’s only gondola cabin-style lift on a ski area, McDougall’s Express Chondola.
Spokesperson Jen Houltham predicts “another epic season” this year. “Highlights of the 2018 winter up at Cardrona will be the Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival; the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, and the Jossi Wells Invitational,” she says.
The temperatures have begun their downward descent and winter is on the seasonal horizon. But that’s no reason to hunker down at home.
Without the evolutionary need to hibernate like our animal ancestry, there’s still plenty to do and see to make the most of the chilly season. Here are our top picks!
Rise and shine
The sun rises a bit later in winter, giving you plenty of time to get up in the morning and make your way down to the beach. Just before the sun rises, the temperature drops and the sand freezes over, creating beautiful patterns. Definitely an Insta-worthy sight!
The natural next step to ‘rise and shine’ is, of course, coffee! There’s a strong café culture in the city, so we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a favourite, but Black & White Coffee Cartel, Room 205, Villa 23 and 43 Degrees Café are just some of ours.
Star light star bright
When it comes to silver linings, the fact that winter is one of the best times of the year to observe the stars is just that, with frosty mornings creating stunning clear nights. The view from the Godley Head Reserve or the Sugarloaf is a beautiful spot to enjoy the night sky.
Let there be light
Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights is a mid-winter light extravaganza, which transforms the harbour into a magical space with lights, art, music and festivities on 29 June. The famous Street Party on London Street has a spectacular parade, buskers, performers, music, an outdoor street market with winter warmers, quality art and craft and an epic fireworks display.
Christchurch is somewhat of an attention seeker when it comes to the social scene, in the very best of ways, of course. We are lucky to have theatrical options right here in the city. Top spots like the Isaac Theatre Royal and The Court Theatre will keep you warm this winter. Or try one of the many boutique cinemas in the city to enjoy the latest films.
The highest point on Banks Peninsula, Mt Herbert often has a sprinkling of snow on top, while the view over Lyttelton Harbour and the Port Hills, with the Southern Alps standing proudly behind, is next-level fun, in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.
The ’coolest’ attraction
When it comes to getting your winter fix, there’s nothing cooler than the International Antarctic Centre. There’s nowhere else you get to survive an Antarctic Storm, bounce along on a Hagglund and hang out with Little Blue Penguins.
On thin ice
One of the coolest of winter sports, ice skating can be a whole lot of fun. Alpine Ice has been operating in Christchurch since 1985 and offers casual skating sessions, as well as holiday programmes.
A neo-classical conservatory in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, Cunningham House is always full of colour – even in the winter.
According to the Book of Genesis, ‘God said “Let there be light,” and there was light. A group of dedicated Southern Lakes locals may not have divine powers, but each year they deliver an innovative light festival that takes people on an interactive sensory journey like no other.
Central Queenstown will shine brightly for four nights over Queen’s Birthday Weekend when the LUMA Southern Light Project comes to town. The free public event, now in its third year, attracted more than 35,000 visitors in 2017 and has gained a loyal following among locals as well as people from around New Zealand and overseas.
Set within the idyllic Queenstown Gardens and along the waterfront, the festival will transform the giant natural amphitheatre into an illuminated winter wonderland full of art, curated collections of stunning light sculptures and thought-provoking installations.
Luma was the brainchild of SILO, a collective of Southern Lakes professionals which – along with its wider group of fellow hard-working volunteers – is highly motivated to give the region more exposure to culture and creativity, to foster and enhance social wellbeing and develop a stronger sense of community.
Duncan Forsyth, whose day job is General Manager and Winemaker at Mount Edward, contributes countless hours of his ‘spare’ time while wearing the hat of Luma Light Festival Trust Chairman. For him it’s all about wanting to “give something back” by providing an event that is entertaining, accessible, family-friendly and joins everyone together.
“It looks like all the streets are paved with gold in the Southern Lakes,” Duncan says. “But the reality is that it can be a very difficult and costly place to live in and to enjoy. Families are working hard and trying to hold down two jobs… sometimes that sense of community gets swamped.”
Although Queenstown has firmly cemented its reputation as a hub for outdoor activities and adventure sports, Duncan believes the rich and thriving creative side of the Southern Lakes district is often overlooked. “We see Luma as really helping to put our region on the map as a respected cultural and arts destination.”
Without spoiling too much of the surprise, Duncan says this year the aim is to “pull people down a rabbit hole of visual delights”. It’s safe to say that the audience will be stimulated, and enlightened – literally and figuratively. “Every year we want to change people’s expectations of what Luma is about. If you’ve been before you’ll have a new and different experience this time.”
Aucklander Angus Muir, who has been recognised internationally, returns as principal light installation artist, featuring alongside creative art luminaries such as Daniel Brown, Jon Baxter, Puck Murphy, Mapping Mondays and Nocturnal.
Luma Southern Light Project is at Queenstown Gardens/Marine Parade for Queen’s Birthday Weekend (Friday 1 June to Monday 4 June), 5pm-10pm. Entry is free however, a gold coin donation would be appreciated. Car-pooling or taking public transport into town is advised. For more information, visit www.luma.nz.
Autumn is often rated as the most picturesque time of year in the Southern Lakes region, and Queenstown Trails Trust Chief Executive Mark Williams says it’s the perfect season to explore the area by bike or on foot.
With the trees now displaying the full spectrum of golden-bronze to rusty-red hues, mild temperatures and plenty of daylight hours, Mark believes the pre-winter conditions and stunning scenery are ideal for both cyclists and walkers. He’s on his bike most weekends in the 120-kilometre network of trails and tracks that make up the Queenstown Trail. And, after a year in the job, he is more passionate than ever.
“The Queenstown Trail is very multi-purpose,” Mark says. “It’s a fantastic ride experience for visitors from out of town, but also a great commuter trail for residents. With Queenstown under a bit of infrastructure pressure, it means people can use a different mode of transport to get to work. So it serves a wide range of users.”
From April to June, the views along Queenstown Trail are breathtaking. It traverses two impressive suspension bridges, crosses three rivers (the Kawarau, Shotover and Arrow) and circumnavigates Lake Wakatipu and Lake Hayes.
“At this time of year, you get a beautiful mist. It’s pretty spectacular seeing the mountains poking out from the mist. And you get the first snowfalls, so it looks like a dusting of icing sugar on top of the mountains. With the golden trees and snow, it’s a really nice mixture of colours.”
Mark recommends trying Arrow River Bridges Ride during autumn. For more information, visit www.queenstowntrail.org.nz.
As a continuation of Flow Hot Yoga’s dedication to healing and safe yoga, it is offering yoga therapy training with New Zealand’s foremost yoga instructor and teacher trainer Vincent Bolletta.
He is the founder and director of the Hañsa Yoga International Studies and co-founder of the Centre for Contemporary Yoga Studies in Auckland. Vincent travels all around the world leading teacher trainings in the art and science of yoga therapy and has worked alongside New Zealand’s top athletes. He will present training at Christchurch’s Flow Hot Yoga.
Yoga therapy is a practice. The term used for learning the therapeutics of yoga at a deeper, more involved level, it supports the practitioner and teacher more than basic yoga training. It is part of an advanced yoga teacher’s toolkit but even those with no yoga experience can do this training as it is a fantastic qualification to have. There are cross overs in careers such as massage therapy, occupational therapy, and body workers, many of whom learn yoga therapy and apply its principals in their work.
New yogis on their teacher journey will find Hañsa yoga therapy training a wonderful way to support their students. It expands the conversation into other modalities such as mediation, irest Yoga Nidra, Yoga Therapy, Anatomy and, of course, their training of choice in practical and theory on yoga Asana or anything from Ashtanga to Vinyasa to kundalini. Visit www.flowhotyoga.co.nz to book your space at this sought-after event.
More than 54 million people around the world have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! And, in May 2018, it will be performed for a limited season at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre, with a stellar cast, live band, amazing custom-made touring set and costumes.
The Ashburton Trust Event Centre was born out of the necessity to replace the aged Regent Theatre that had occupied the site for many years and was in very bad repair. “It would not have survived the Christchurch earthquakes had it still been standing,” Ashburton Events Centre Manager Roger Farr says.
“The brickwork was crumbling, the dressing rooms leaked like a sieve and there were broken trusses in the roof.”
Now ten years on, the Ashburton Trust Event Centre is gearing up to celebrate its first milestone by staging the box office extravaganza Mamma Mia. Leading the production team will be Director Roger Farr, Musical Director Richard Marrett and Choreographer Madison Tew Keyworth from Australia.
“I couldn’t think of a better show to pick for a celebration than Mamma Mia,” Madison says.
“It’s such a fun show; one of those shows that you just cannot help but smile when watching! It’s a clever storyline woven throughout Abba’s greatest hits.”
Mamma Mia runs from Friday 18 May to Saturday 26 May. For more information and to purchase tickets, drop in and see the team at the Event Centre, or visit online at www.ateventcentre.co.nz.
New Zealand’s biggest combined jazz and blues event is returning to Christchurch for its 23rd year, with more than 30 shows across five days. Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz and Blues Festival will see international, national and local artists performing in 10 different venues across the city from May 23.
James Morrison kicks off the festival in the Isaac Theatre Royal on 23 May and international jazz singer Fantine performs two nights of jazz, soul and funk on 24 and 25 May.
Favourite local performers include The Eastern, this year teaming up with local master chef Richard Till for Country Eats, and two great food and music shows on 25 and 26 May at the Lyttelton Arts Factory.
Food, wine and jazz lovers have it all matched up with a three-course southern food dinner menu at Hotel Montreal, accompanied by live music of New Orleans by King Tubbs and wine pairings from award-winning Black Estate, on 24 and 25 May.
For three days Christchurch will be humming to the beat of free music from the River City Jazzmen on the Christchurch Tramway from 12 noon to 2pm on Thursday 24, Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May, while Jazz for lunch at The Piano highlights the sounds and souls of Georgie Clifford and Alice Tanner on 24 and 25 May.
To wrap up, local singer Roslen Ulaula will present a Jill Scott tribute at Christchurch Boys’ High School on 27 May, before the festival after-party jam hits Blue Smoke that evening.
For more information visit jazzbluesfestival.co.nz.
Whether you’ve got fantastic rhythm, or two left feet, we’re going to help you find your groove. Balboat, ballet, ballroom and other traditional forms of toe-tapping fitness have received a major facelift with a new generation of dance taking the world by storm.
We’ve got the rundown on the moves you need to make your own with some fabulous dance fusions.
Bollywood Kathak Fusion Dance: Pioneered in New Plymouth, this new flavour of Indian dance sees traditional Indian choreography paired with contemporary, upbeat tunes with a good dose of Bollywood thrown into the mix for eclectic measure. It involves plenty of over the top animated movements and works everything from the face to the feet.
Lyrical Dance: This is all about expressing yourself. Resembling ballet and honouring the technical elements of classical ballet, it loses its conservative streak by paying homage to the fluid and freedom focused aspects of jazz, comtemporary and modern dance. It’s based on choregraphy as well as self-interpretation of a musical beat with emotion leading the way.
Zumba: Perhaps one of the most famous exports of the 90s, Zumba blends hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue and mambo. It remains a viral fitness programme with approximately 15 million people taking classes across the world every week. Capable of helping participants burn up to 600 calories per session, it targets the abs, thighs, arms and muscles throughout the body.
Clubbing collectives: Inspired by the nightclub scene, people throughout the world are taking their cues from sweaty dance parties to meet their fitness needs. Live DJs and disco lights inspire you to dip a little lower and bring those knees just that little bit higher for those who want to seriously let loose without having to stay out quite so late on a school night.
Hula hoop dancing: A total body workout that offers a great level of fitness, hula hooping is as much fun as it is a recreational option. Set to music, hula hooping is a complete core workout (cue the killer abs!), activating some 30 muscles in and around your body’s core, but the best part about this is the fun factor, with hooping classes offered at many gyms and dance fitness studios.
What’s worse than a boring wedding, function, or event? It sounds like the start to a bad joke and in a way, it is. But fear not! Giant Game Hire is here to elevate the enjoyment factor on your important day.
You may have seen the giant Tumble Tower down at the Night Noodle Markets, but there is so much more to Giant Game Hire than that. No longer stuck at the wrong table talking to Great Aunt Ethel, you can join in with other like-minded fun seekers and play some entertaining games to get some great conversation started and, we’re sure, a few fun memories.
Don’t subject your guest to a BOMB (Bored Out of My Brain) event. Spice it up with the challenge of Giant Tumble Tower, Pick up Sticks or Noughts & Crosses. Go to Giantgamehire on Facebook for more information or call Simon on 021 892 098. Let the games begin!