Thursday, March 12, 2009

The First Snow

Image supplied by Bayview Chateau Tongariro. March 2009.
In the last two or three days most parts of New Zealand have been swept by a chilling southerly. The first snow has fallen in the far south and we’re all thinking that our delicious hot summer is already over. It’s no better in the North Island it seems. This was the view that the team at Bayview Chateau Tongariro in the central North Island opened the curtains to this morning – cold but beautiful. The ski season doesn’t start for several months yet but the first dusting of snow has already fallen at Whakapapa Village, Mt Ruapehu. Needless to say skiers are already polishing their skis in the hope of another bumper season like the one they enjoyed last winter. I’m no skier but every year I promise myself I will visit Tongariro National Park in the summer to walk the tracks and photograph alpine flowers. It never seems to happen. I’m invariably passing through in winter – but, snuggled up in that faithful old matriarch of the mountains – The Chateau – I’m not complaining. This architectural icon turns 80 this year - I wonder how many people have stayed there in that time. If you click on Bayview Chateau Tongariro in the label line below this post, you’ll be able to see that Chateau – looking magical in last winter’s big snowfall.

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