Snow Farm, Wanaka, New Zealand

While I was staying in Wanaka, I visited the Snow Farm to go for a walk. The ski field was closed because there was insufficient snow for skiing so we saw very few other people. Several groups had brought bicycles to cycle along the tracks, which were above the cloud layer shrouding the valleys below. I was surprised how much development there had been since my last visit, which admittedly was probably a couple of decades ago.Snow Farm is a centre for cross country skiing unlike the other ski areas in the area, and boasts stunning views of the Pisa Range. The ski field operates back country huts which are very popular, making it possible to do multi day hikes on skis.

Adjacent to the ski field is a vehicle testing area known as the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds. Here, winter testing facilities are provided for automotive companies from all over the world. These facilities are behind a big fence and the associated structures have grown substantially more than buildings on the ski field since my last visit. It appears to be a highly successful operation. However, snow and ice being in short supply, it is likely to be a few weeks before the facility is operating. Normally it is open from June to September each year.

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