10 Reasons to do a Basecamp Course in New Zealand
The country – Postcard perfect
New Zealand is arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. Nestled on its own in the South Pacific at the bottom of the world, NZ is split up into two islands cleverly named the north and south islands. It’s the best part of other countries all swirled into one neat little package. From tropical beaches to pristine lakes, lush forests to high alpine terrain there is something for everyone down here. The drive from the airport to Ohakune will blow your mind and the views from the top of Ruapehu are second to none. Its easy to see why this region was host to a lot of the filming for lord of the rings movies.
The Mountain – NZ’s Largest two resorts at your doorstep.
Set in the middle of the north island, Mt Ruapehu will be your home mountain during the course. You get access to NZ’s two largest ski resorts set up on one mountain, Turoa on the south side and Whakapapa on the north. Skiing here is like being on another planet, there are no mountain ranges on the north island, just 3 massive volcano’s. Only in NZ would someone put a ski resort on an active volcano, a hike to the peak is mandatory so you can have a look at the 40 degree Celsius crater lake.
The Snow – New Zealand’s most consistent snowfall!
The Town – Ohakune, where adventure begins
Situated on the central north island in Tongariro national park, Ohakune is the jump off point for everything that happens in the Ruapehu area. Its got a great small town feel, different from anywhere else in the world. There is not a single traffic light in town but don’t let that fool you, there’s and insane amount of activities to keep you busy and it provides everything you need. The best part is the chairlift is only 15 minutes away.
The Accommodation – In the middle of it all
The Basecamp program is based out of the LKNZ lodge, right in the heart of Ohakune. Its got all the comforts of home which can be pretty rare in Ohakune, twin rooms, two kitchens, drying room for your ski gear, pool table and an awesome mountain view. There is a restaurant and bar in the building where meals are provided for basecampers 5 nights a week. If that does not work for you the grocery store is a two minute walk away as are a stack of great restaurants.
The people – Amazing crew from all over the globe
The people you meet doing a season at Mt Ruapehu are one of the best reasons to go there, you get people from every corner of the globe converging on this tiny corner of the world to share their love of winter. The mix is amazing, from first timers seeing snow for their first time to seasoned veterans with countless back to back winters under their belts. Everyone is there for the same reason and because its such a tight community its impossible to go anywhere without running into a stack of your friends.
Then you have the kiwi’s, the friendliest/ most easy going people anywhere in the world ( lets still give the Canadians some credit though….) They will do anything to make sure your having a great time and they will be down for whatever adventure you through their way. Be prepared to make some lifelong mates.
The Parties – North Island party capital
Being the main ski area on the north island goes hand in hand with being the winter party capital. Things kick off with the Mountain Mardi Gras, a massive music festival and the party does not stop until the snow is gone. The Ohakune Junction is stacked with great bar that host local and travelling bands and DJ’s and host the best themed parties throughout the winter.
The Timing – Summer Skiing!
A season at Ruapehu is perfect weather your looking to score some summer snow between school or if you’re looking to jumpstart your snow-sports career. The season runs from late June to early November most years and our course take place from July 11th– Sept 21st. If your on the way back to school you have enough time to do the course before you have to be back in the class room. If you want to go on to a career as an instructor your ahead of the curve as the northern hemisphere winter typically starts mid November so you can be certified and ready to go!
Fake winter- Its only winter on the mountain.
Winter in New Zealand is nothing like winter in the northern hemisphere, while it can be epic on the hill there is rarely any snow in town. This means that you don’t have to deal with any of that nonsense like scraping ice off your car or shoveling snow. You can have an amazing day on hill then come home to 15 degree weather and have a BBQ.
Activities- So much room for activities!
The awesome climate in NZ is part of the reason that this is the adventure capital of the world. There is no chance of you being bored in Ohakune, we have great mountain bike tracks, an indoor skatepark, and lots of great hikes. The whole area is geochemically active so there’s lots of hot springs in the area as well. The ocean is just over an hour away so surfing and skiing in one day is easily a possibility. Throw in some rafting, fishing and a national park and we have all bases covered.
The Training – World class trainers
The on snow training is provided through the Turoa Snow School who have an amazing crew of ski and snowboard examiners. The training program is headed up by two NZSIA examiners who have countless back to back seasons under their belt. Occasionally there will be other trainers from different parts of the world dropping in to give you a different perspective on your skiing or riding.
Ski on the inside of a Volcano Crater!
Not many places in the world you get to do this!
How awesome does all this sound! Want to be a part of it? Check out our 10 week ski and snowboard insutructor instructor courses in New Zealand at Mt Ruapehu NZ