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Winter thrills and spills: hit the slopes in the Southern Lakes

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.

Opens 9 June, closes 7 October*

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.”

Opens 16 June, closes 30 September*

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.

Opens 28 June, closes 23 September*


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.

Opens 16 June, closes 14 October*

*All dates subject to weather and snow conditions.

Winter activities

Winter wonders: nine things guaranteed to get you out and loving Christchurch this winter

The temperatures have begun their downward descent and winter is on the seasonal horizon. But that’s no reason to hunker down at home.

Winter activities

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!

Café culture

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.

Show-stopping spots

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.

‘Next-level’ fun

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.

Blooming beautiful

A neo-classical conservatory in the heart of the Botanic Gardens, Cunningham House is always full of colour – even in the winter.

Made in the Shade

All about knitwear: loving the winter fashions at Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade is a boutique filled with fabulous New Zealand and European labels that make dressing up in winter a pleasure.

Made in the Shade

From jazzy detailed cardigans and colourful capes, to slinky jerseys in possum and merino, it’s all about knitwear this season. Optimum Knitwear is what Made in the Shade is famous for and Ali has been taking calls from Tauranga to Timaru for this iconic brand. “You can choose a style from the rack, our catalogue, or online and we’ll order it in any colour or size. It will arrive in three or four weeks. Made of 100 percent of the softest, finest merino wool, there is absolutely no pilling.”
Ali has coordinated her clients’ wardrobes for more than three decades and Sharon has a skilful eye for styling. Now, Marian has joined the close-knit team after her 25-years’ experience at Untouched World, a premium brand in natural fabrics. “We’re are getting a lot of compliments about Marian’s service and expertise.”

Made in the Shade Ali says winter is the time to invest in versatile outfits that take you from office to evening – from Anne Mardell and Bittermoon’s spectacularly designed dresses, through to gorgeous Italian-linen pieces. The perfect fit of NYDJ and Lisette-L pants team exquisitely with gorgeous winter tops and jackets.
A 70 percent sale of head-turning summer outfits is still going strong – for those running away to warmer climes.
Made in the Shade has easy parking and is easy to find at 151a Colombo Street, Beckenham. Opening hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm or visit

TRELISE COOPER, Leopard coat, $799

Coat tales: what to look for when shopping for a new season coat

Louise Heller, Fashion Editor – Magpie Style
Louise Heller, Fashion Editor – Magpie Style

The hunt for a new winter coat can be an arduous task if you don’t know what you are looking for. The looming winter season brings with it a huge display of styles, colours, textures, prints and lengths to keep your appetite for coats satiated – if not a little confused!
Here’s our hit predictions (peppered with a little advice) on how to cut through the clutter.

Ask yourself, what function do you need your coat to perform?

Let it reflect your personality and most importantly lifestyle. Is it loud and eccentric or tailored and subtle to last year after year? Do you want a coat that’s less function, more high-fashion, or weather-proof and practical? Giving yourself some time to think through this will help focus the mind.

What is its key purpose? Do you want to be able to cover up (read: snuggle up) or wear it as a statement piece with much warmer layers underneath?

Are you looking for a life-time of pleasure or short-term satisfaction?

There’s no hard and fast rule around how many coats you buy in one year, but one idea is to try one style this year and another style the next. Go for natural fibres such as wool, cashmere or goose down for warmth and longevity. If there is one purchase not to scrimp on – it’s a new winter coat. Save your fast-fashion purchases for lower ticket items as the fabric quality is always much reduced. When it comes to fabric, you generally get what you pay for.

So what’s in fashion for winter coats?

Some of the strongest trends coming through for winter are soft hues in baby blues and pinks, camel (did that ever go out of fashion?) and strong animal textured prints like leopard. It’s oversized if you like the man-style look, belted coats featured heavily on runways as did faux fur.

Leopard: Victoria Beckham featured leopard-print belted trenches in her latest collection. Leopard as a print is timeless to a point of being an almost neutral tone.

TRELISE COOPER, Leopard coat, $799
TRELISE COOPER, Leopard coat, $799

Tapestry: Full-length and for the statement lover, tapestry coats are thick with heritage style. Either layer up on accessories for a more subtle look or pair back with denim and muted tones.

Tapestry Coat

The Glam Puffer: The glam puffer is a hot ticket item this winter. As seen on many street style blogs, this can be transitioned from the football field to a dinner out. Belted and worn cinched adds a whole dimension to what would otherwise be a practical-only look.

PAULA RYAN Long Reversible Glam Puffer, $550
PAULA RYAN Long Reversible Glam Puffer, $550

Oversize Me: The oversized and man-style look can be a god-send for those who feel the cold. Unstructured and generally roomy, it will allow you to layer up to your heart’s content while still allowing a little style and your fashion-personality to shine through.

Terra Viva

Make winter a big old softie: Terra Viva Director Peter Worsp on how to soften the winter chill

Driving through heavy new snow in early April, I got the impression that winter could be early, long, and none too clement. Which is all fine if you’re a hibernating bear, but for those who have to carry on as per normal, despite sub-zero temperatures and limited daylight, home becomes a refuge against the outside world.

Terra Viva

Once inside, everything can change into a warm haven and the trends this year are certainly towards a cosy feeling of luxury with an emphasis on enhancing winter white with silvers and greys, using mossy greens, foam/French blue, lavender, plum and blush pink to add colour and warmth.
By adding a few key softening elements and moving furniture around for a ‘winter’ look, you can breathe a whole new feel into living areas.
Texture features strongly again this winter with linen making a real comeback in cushions, and quilted velvet adding a touch of sumptuous luxury in throws and ‘comfort blankets’. Wrap yourself up in a tasselled woollen throw on the sofa and you’ll find it very hard not to feel enclosed and cossetted. Add in plenty of cushions and the scene is complete.
Texture is definitely what it’s all about in cushions this season with cotton, linen, fur, Indian cotton, and velvet with a linen backing featuring.
Lighting is a key element in creating that warm haven to come home to at the end of a cold day and we have plenty of lamps at the moment, including both side lamps and floor lamps, with lots more to come yet.
Separate lampshades are also available if the home lighting scene needs a bit of a revamp. And, of course, candles never go out of favour – what beats a hot bath surrounded by candles to soothe and re-invigorate after a trying day? The range of scented candles is huge and some of the favourites are Sweet Grapefruit, Gardenia, and eucalyptus and lavender.
The houseplant trend is as strong as ever as an essential part of home décor and provides the finishing touch to the cosy winter scene. There’s something about houseplants that adds life to any interior décor, and of course they’re brilliant air cleaners and filters.
If you’re emphasising the luxurious look then Phalaenopsis orchids definitely add the right touch with the bonus of months-long flowering.
There are plenty of easy-care varieties like Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Peace Lilies (one of the most effective air cleaners), Dracaenas, Monsteras, and Fiddle-Leaf Figs available.
And if you want years-long flowering the artificial option will give you just that. Our faux collection this winter is strong on both flowers and foliage with lines like grey gum nuts and amber coloured eucalyptus to add to the feeling of warmth. The peonies, iris, and artificial Phalaenopsis are so lifelike that most of our customers are fooled by them and for those who are confined to indoors for the winter the artificials are an easy way of bringing colour indoors. For smaller posies check out the bunches of heath or the soft lavender for smaller spaces.

The Gift Box of Lincoln

Celebrating the beauty of winter: looking forward to colder weather with help from The Gift Box of Lincoln

With a wide range of ponchos, capes, little coats, snoods and scarfs at The Gift Box of Lincoln, it is obvious the store is looking forward to all the best parts of the coming season.

The Gift Box of Lincoln
Also in stock are a range of beautiful throws for beds and chairs and lanterns that create a romantic, cosy ambiance on darker, cooler evenings. “We have become quite well known for our range of winter accessories with customers telling us they travel far and wide to come and see our new winter fashion,” The Gift Box owner Helen Meechin says.
With such fabulous stock it is easy to see how it has become a destination store.

Twentyfour Catering, photographer Tegan Clark.

Winter eats: get inspired to eat healthy this winter

Conventional wisdom has it that in lieu of thermals and scarves, the cooler temperatures trigger a biological change that make animals inclined to eat higher quantities of energy-dense food to keep warm.

Twentyfour Catering, photographer Tegan Clark.
Twentyfour Catering, photographer Tegan Clark.

And, although we humans may not put on our own winter coats in this evolutionary sense, fact is cooler temperatures, fewer daylight hours and more time spent inside can all have a significant effect on when, how much and even what we’re hungry for.
While we don’t see anything wrong with indulging a little over the winter months, our diets can be an integral ally in the war against the sniffles and snuffles.
So how can we pack a nutritional punch powerful enough to wage a strong dietary defence?

A perfect pairing

A healthy slow-release breakfast designed to keep you full of energy until lunch, porridge is a great way to start the day and makes a perfect pairing with nuts or seeds and some seasonal winter fruit like apples, pears, cranberries or dates.

A powerful punch

Foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits pack a powerful vitamin C punch and, when it comes to immunity and energy, vitamin C is top of the nutritional charts.

Iron-rich inspiration

Red meats, lentils and green leafy vegetables are good sources of iron, which supports a healthy immune system and what better opportunity than this to incorporate some inspiring eats like the pictured lamb cutlets from Twentyfour Catering Co that made our delicious cover this issue.

Zoom in on zinc

When the temps start to plummet, we can come into contact with cold and flu viruses. Zinc can help contribute to a well-functioning immune system. Oysters, spinach and legumes are good sources.

At the root of health

You’ve likely heard of the traditional ‘comfort foods’, but there’s actually plenty of nutritious options out there too. Roasted root vegetables are a delicious and sweet option, or soups packed with vegetables – and garlic and ginger for an added nutritional kick.

Back to B12 basics

Fish such as salmon and cod, as well as milk, eggs and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. A nutritional immune system support, B12 also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.


Throw caution to the wind: snuggling up with a luxe blanket

Though hibernation is strictly associated with the wild of both house and heart, it’s not far removed from the human instinct to hunker down at home in the cooler months.


Each passing season brings with it the perfect opportunity to introduce a new aesthetic to the home and, with the cold weather encroaching, it’s time to rug up. If there’s anything to look forward to when it comes to winter, it’s the seasonal selections it offers. After all, when the going gets chilly, the chilly get… a good throw.
Moody bedrooms in deliciously dark greys, inky blues and muddy greens are expected to top the trends over winter’s 2018 incarnation, and they look so inviting when teamed with the textures and layers of snuggly throws and rugs.
So throw caution to the wind and layer up, your home will thank you for it.

Wedding planning

For every season : weather and weddings when to tie the knot

Whether you want a winter wonderland or a spring soiree, every season can play to its strengths; it just comes down to which of the weather gods you want to work their magic on your big day.

Wedding planning

While we don’t like to deal in cliches, we are keen advocates of what each season is synonymous with when it comes to creating a beautiful vibe, so here’s what you can expect or strive for if you’ve got a certain season in mind for your matrimonial celebrations.

Spring: Nothing can beat the blossoms and sweet smells of spring, from the delicious produce to the romantic blooms. All things bright and beautiful come with dependable spring, which also provides a gorgeous backdrop for photos.

Summer: It’s the most wonderful time of the year when guests have great energy; the weather is usually quite consistent; you can enjoy your gown without having to cover up; there are more options for an outdoor event. What’s not to love?

Autumn: Who wouldn’t gush over this seasonal showstopper? It’s arguably the most picturesque of the seasons with its rich colours – yellows, golds, chocolate brown. The perks of an autumn wedding are multitudinous. The chance of rain isn’t as high; it’s harvest time so there’s an abundance of delicious foods; costs are still reasonably affordable.

Winter: Think roaring fire; mulled wine; amaryllis, orchid, greenery and berry bouquets; furs (faux, to be kind) and snow if you win the wedding weather lottery. This glorious season has many benefits – potential increases in vendor availability in the ‘off-season’; a honeymoon in the sun to escape the grey skies; the divine details – wreaths, candles, a cosy ambience.

Lagoon Pools

Prime time for pools: Julie from Lagoon Pools tells us why winter is the best time to get your pool installed

With colder weather approaching, it may not seem like the time to be thinking about a swimming pool. However, now may be exactly the right time, says Lagoon Pools’ Julie Hastings.

Lagoon Pools

The busiest time is from September onwards, with people wanting their pool in by Christmas,” she says. “Pools can be put in all year round. Winter installs are very popular and allow for a no-rush, stress free time.”
While the actual installation of a pool only takes four to five days, there are a number of other things to consider and plan.
Julie and husband Warren are the owners of Lagoon Pools. It supplies most of the South Island with pools by ‘Leisure Pools’, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of composite fibreglass swimming pools.
Julie and Warren will help with every stage of the planning and installation, if required. Council consents generally take at least 20 working days to secure. Landscaping can take time, especially when you consider designing the layout, choosing pavers and fencing and having them installed. It can be a lengthy process, so it pays to get started early.
The Leisure Pools website – – has lots of information about the pools available,
as does the Lagoon Pools site – – which provides information about the accessories available to make your new pool even more enjoyable. Automatic cover systems and hidden covers are popular. Fountains and strip lighting can make your pool a focal point of your landscaping, even in the winter months.
Contact Julie on 0800 92 72 82 or via  the website.