New Zealand in winter is a wonderful place of high mountains, open valleys, friendly people. We stayed mostly in the Mackenzie High Country near Aoraki. We stayed in the Plateau hut high on Aoraki on a glacier with large crevasses and seracs and had the place to ourselves for a few days. A huge storm came in and the heli came and brought us out before it got too bad. We had a couple a nice clear windless days.
We met up with friends Ash Cotter for a ski in Twin Stream valley and caught the best powder of the trip. Its a 7 hour flight from Hawaii. The prices are very cheap due to a good exchange rate. The food is delicious. They allow young people from Commonwealth countries like Canada, Scotland to travel and work there, so there are young people from all over traveling and working.
We dropped into Dunedin and met our longtime friends Rod Rust, who is the granddaddy of surfing in South Otago. He ran the surf shop there for years, and now his son Leroy has taken over the business. He lives in a cool place just above a world class point break with runs half a kilometer long.