Destination Queenstown

  • Elsie’s Dream

    Elsie’s Dream

    A winning story. This year, the Queenstown Writers Festival team held a mini festival featuring author talks workshops, as well as, for the first time, a writing contest. The Anna-Marie Chin Writing Competition saw writers from Otago and Southland given a range of prompts and 48 hours to write an original response, either fiction or…

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  • Simply breathtaking

    Simply breathtaking

    Taking the plunge with freediver Kathryn Nevatt. “It’s all about the breathing – even though it kind of seems like it’s about not breathing,” Kathryn Nevatt explains. A Queenstown-based architect, Kathryn is also a record-holder in freediving. She can hold her breath for more than seven-and-a-half minutes, and she has dived to a depth of…

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  • The festival season is upon us

    The festival season is upon us

    The 1964 guide to the best music festies of the South Island. Down here in the roaring forties, summer comes with the kind of long days and warm nights that lend themselves to the wearing of small amounts of clothing and to dancing in fields until the sun goes down, and then comes up all…

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  • Home sweet home

    Home sweet home

    A Queenstown-based film-maker wants us to think globally, shred locally. Sage Kotsenburg once said, “there’s no blueprint to snowboarding, you know? You can really just make your own mark.” In 2014, Sage won the first-ever Olympic gold medal in men’s snowboard slopestyle, and his words still ring true for Ryan Quirke. With the mountains up…

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  • A gig in a hut

    A gig in a hut

    On stage and off the grid in the Pisa Range. A single bulb hangs from the roof, casting direct light on the musician below, his eyes closed, his face contorted. The crowd, if you can call it that, sits on wooden benches in near darkness just a few metres away. They are completely silent. At…

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  • Winter mixer

    Winter mixer

    Onwards and upwards at the Remarkables Ice & Mixed Festival. A four-limbed creature moves across the vertical face with careful agility. The rock is plastered with blobs of freezer ice. The creature’s extended arms end in singular sharp hooks and its lower limbs are adorned with multiple spikes, which it places carefully. It looks terribly…

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  • The cutting edge

    The cutting edge

    Zambonis and the business of smoothing the ice in Aotearoa. THE HILLS OF THE CROWN RANGE ARE ALIVE WITH SECRET CARS. THEIR MAKES AND MODELS ARE HIDDEN UNDER DARK CLOAKS, LIKE NUNS’ HABITS. THESE ARE THE CARS OF THE FUTURE (HENCE THE SECRECY), SENT HERE BY INTERNATIONAL AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURERS TO HAVE THEIR ICE HANDLING PUT…

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  • Living in a fantasy world

    Living in a fantasy world

    ​Trolls and Tolkien and the landscapes of the far south. A FOREBODING CLOUD CLINGS TO THE UPPER PEAKS OF A GREY-BLUE, SHARP-EDGE MOUNTAIN. YOU STAND ON A ROCKY OUTCROP WITH A GOOD VANTAGE POINT OF THE ICY LAKE IN FRONT OF YOU AND BREATHE IN THE MOSS-SCENTED AIR. THE LAKE IS UNFATHOMABLY DEEP AND FAERIE…

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  • The rice is right

    The rice is right

    When is gentrification a good thing? When it happens to gruel, that’s when. ​Congee is comfort food. A traditional Asian rice porridge, or to be Victorian about it, gruel, congee is a nourishing, reassuring and inexpensive dish that has been a go-to in households across Asia for thousands of years. It has also, of late,…

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