Last weekend my friends and I went cross country skiing at Snow Farm in Wanaka. Wanaka is about a 5 hour drive from my school, very doable. The ski place itself is another 40 minutes or so from Wanaka. It's at the top of a mountain and you can't even see it from the road. It's a dirt road and very steep and windy, the drive itself was quite an adventure.
We had to ski 7km with our 30lb backpacks to the hut where we would be staying. The hut was one of the only places at the ski place where you actually had 360-views of the southern alps. The view was incredible.
The place had over 50km of cross country ski trails and is the premiere cross country ski location in the southern hemisphere. There were a lot of olympic teams training while we were there. Also interesting is that the site is home to a proving ground for high end cars. While I was there they were testing Mercedes AMG. It was a bit weird to be quietly skiing and then here the loud rev of a racing engine.
On the way back we were fortunate to catch the sunset behind Mt. Cook. Mt. Cook is the large peak in the center and is the tallest mountain in NZ at 12,316 feet. This is the view at Lake Pukaki.