For those lucky to have been, you'll probably concur with me when saying that New Zealand is one of the best places on earth. The landscape, environment, people, you'd probably find it hard to not like something over there, and the fact that the population is nearly half of that of London, it's a super chilled place to live.
For those who haven't been, then what are you doing? Get onto the internet when you've saved a pocket of cash, book some flights and go experience one of the raddest places around. Hopefully these top 5 spots will give you something to shout about when your there too...
1 - Treble Cone Resort
Known for its terrain and natural off piste pipes, Treble Cone was our home for the season back in 2011. There's only 2 chairlifts, but you can access some of the best riding in the South Island at this place and if your more into your free riding, this is the place for you. If you head over to the basin and get the chair to the top, a whole range of runs become more accessible if you hike to the summit. Definitely one of our favourite places to ride in NZ and always the best for a powder day.
2 - Queenstown
It was so hard to single out somewhere in Queenstown so we thought we'd just say the whole place itself! If your in the South Island, you need to go here and spend a few days exploring the town, lakes and resorts. Around Queenstown you have a couple of mountains but Remarkables is probably the stand out place to ride, there's some awesome powder bowls on a good day and the park is rad. In terms of food, theres so much to go at but if you fancy a bit of fine dining and a few cocktails one night be sure to check out the Bunker, some incredible Beef and Lamb dishes up for grabs there. Of course you can't go to Queenstown without doing a bungee and for some gear go hook yourself up at NZ Shred with the best snow, street, surf and skate brands.
3 - Red Star Burger
I said it, the guys in NZ do burgers better than anywhere else. And there's one place in particular you NEED to go see when your in Wanaka, Red Star Burger. Here was me when I first landed in the South Island thinking I was heading to a McDonalds type joint for some quick hangover food, but Red Star just take burgers to the next level! I won't ruin it for you, but be sure to taste 'The Mofo', you won't be disappointed.
Oh and get a shake as well!
4 - Lake Wanaka
You could pretty much have guessed by now that Wanaka was our place of residence and always will be our choice whenever we head back to NZ. The people, bars, restaurants and shops just make this small village a pretty special place to live. What tops it all off however, is the breathtaking Lake Wanaka that spans far and wide to make the village itself seem tiny. I think the lake gives you that lifestyle some of us always dream of, its an awesome place to chill at the end of the day with some friends, or in the summer why not go hire a boat! The people and terrain of this place are what makes me want to go back year after year.
5 - Cardrona
And finally, it wouldn't be a trip to the South Island in the winter without checking out Cardrona Resort. I know we have already mentioned Treble Cone, but Cardrona is so different it just gives you every aspect of riding you could want within a mountain. Not only are the Burton NZ Opens held here every year, but the park and superpipe is just insane, and since the unfortunate closure of Snowpark just across the road, the kickers and rails have got better! The colours and architecture of the resorts main buildings really portray what the NZ riding culture is all about, fun, friendly and relaxed, and thats why you definitely need to head up here with your friends next winter, as Im sure you'll all have the time of your lives.
There's obviously a lot more places to visit in NZ and these views are completely our own, we can't guarantee you'll have the time of your lives just like we did but you've got to be a pretty miserable person not to appreciate how good New Zealands south island can be. Be sure to go check out these places websites below and if you've been here before let us know how you found it?