As my now-husband and I met working in the Victorian ski fields together, became engaged on a skiing holiday in North America and got married on a day when it snowed on a nearby hill, it was fitting that when we rang Wyndham to book our honeymoon they could accommodate a 7 night stay for us in Wanaka, NZ during the school holidays.
We landed in Christchurch and caught up with a friend who showed us much of the devastation caused there by the 3 large earthquakes over the past 12 months. It was terrible to see how many houses and buildings had been destroyed or damaged and our thoughts are with the citizens all battling forward to rebuild their city.
Our time in Wanaka was both relaxed and busy. Once the local resorts recovered from the sudden downpour of snow, we were able to ski at Snow Park, Cardrona and Treble Cone in fantastic conditions. We also awoke to snow in Wanaka, where the lake was even more picturesque surrounded by snow, and drove through the snow in Queenstown on a visit.
The definite highlight of our honeymoon happened on our final day in Wanaka. Wyndham Wanaka teamed up with local company Southern Lakes Heliski to provide discounted heliskiing to Wyndham owners. I have always dreamed of doing this, so it really made our holiday unforgettable. Julian and the gang from Southern Lakes Heliski came out to an Owners Drinks evening to show a video and explain what they did. This discount, combined with the great Aussie dollar, meant a heliski day would be affordable! This led to a group of 6 Wyndham vacationers being picked up from the resort and driven out to the helicopter base, where we were promptly nicknamed “Team Wyndham”. After a helicopter briefing and avalanche safety course (including getting beacons – a bit scary but part of the safety!), we were up and away to begin the first of our 4 runs out the back of the Wanaka ski fields. We were led down the powdery mountains safely by our guide Tim, who was very patient with our frequent stops for tired legs and photo taking! Once we made it down, the helicopter was called and took us up to another landing for our next run down. After our legs were completely exhausted from extremely long runs in deep powder snow, we returned to the base for a great lunch of sandwiches, soup, pie and cookies. Although the weather turned bad at the end of our day, the views whilst skiing and in the helicopter were priceless.
Back at Wyndham we swapped email addresses with our “Team Wyndham” members so that we could share our photos and videos. Whilst the other team members retreated to the spa (a perfect end to any ski day, along with happy hour drinks), we said goodbye to Wyndham and drove down to Dunedin to spend a relaxing last two days.
A huge thank you goes out to Wyndham for working with Southern Lakes Heliski to provide such an unforgettable experience, and be sure that we’ll be back soon for another amazing adventure!
Nat & Chris