Waking up to expectations

It’s been a cold and dreary month here in little ole New Zealand. So we decided to take advantage of the recent snowfall around the country and go for a wee drive out to Apiti for the greatly promised Snow Hunt. We woke up with great expectations that this was the day we were going to Find Snow, looked outside only to find the sun shining brightly and bold blue skies taunting us.

Nevertheless, we dug out our gloves, hats and jackets, jumped in Agatha (my faithful wee car) and set out for the day filled with anticipation. We stopped off in Feilding to pick up some friends then headed towards the general direction of the Ruahine Ranges where our chance of finding snow was greatly increased.

I was starting to lose hope as we drove further out. Everything was too green and not nearly white enough. After about 20 minutes we arrived in Kimbolton, a small rural town that boasts a pub AND a cafe. Practically a metropolis. We saw little pockets of snow dotted along the road so our hopes lifted slightly as the temperature dropped. After a quick stop for a mini snow fight, we determinedly set off again.


Perfect BBQ spot
Lovely day for a BBQ in Kimbolton
Off to Apiti

As we wound around and down into the rolling hills we saw snow more and more frequently. By the time we hit Apiti the ground was like a Christmas postcard (not a New Zealand Christmas postcard, as New Zealand has Christmas in summer), delight filled the car. I haven’t been to the snow in years so I was like a kid on their birthday. Mildly excited…

Apiti is another rural town, this one nestled amongst the hills and is a gateway to the Ruahine Ranges. If you like hiking (or tramping as we call it here), the Ruahine Ranges is a must. There are many different tracks to walk ranging from shorter ones to multi-day ones all in untamed wild New Zealand bush. I’ve been up a couple of times since I arrived back home in March, I have posts planned for those in the coming months. You can check out my latest post of Rangiwahia Hut here.


The snow

We parked down a side street and made a beeline for the snow. Miss 9 had never felt snow before, she was surprised at how crunchy and wet it felt and Mr 11 hasn’t been to the snow since he was a wee babby so he was racing back and forwards skidding into the ground and hurling snowballs at everyone.


We settled down to make snowmen but I quickly lost interest and went for a wander while my friends stayed on snowmen building duties. The little town looked very picturesque with the snow covered rolling hills in the background and gardens snuggled in a blanket of white. It was very peaceful walking around the deserted streets with just the occasional farm animal looking out from behind a fence. Possibly wondering where all the grass had gone.

When I said Apiti was a rural town, I mean, it is very rural! The town is filled with paddocks nestled amongst the occasional house and the main street consists of farms and a pub. It would be called a village if it were anywhere else in the world. But for some reason, we don’t really call small towns villages here.


A garden snuggled up in a snow blanket


A stroll around town

Once the fun of the snowman building and snow fight wore off there was only one thing left to do. Snow Angels. Obviously. After our slightly lopsided angels were in full flight we went for a stroll around the deserted roads. Apiti is a proud farming town and the theme is carried throughout the streets with bits of rusting machinery resting in retirement between the houses and sheds. I would say shops but the only places we saw was an information centre, a school and a pub. At least the people of Apiti have their priorities right.



All adventured out

On the way back home after we were all snowed out, we stopped off again in Kimbolton at Hansen’s Cafe. They have the best-tasting pizza this side of Italy and lovely steaming hot chocolates to warm our bellies. We had planned on going up Mount Ruapehu to visit the snow. However, the bad weather meant the roads were all closed. Apiti was a fantastic Plan B with some wonderful memories to take away and treasure.


Sometimes it’s not about the big, exciting places. It’s the little ones with good company, lots of laughs, car music (with enthusiastically loud off key singing) and anticipation. These make for valuable experiences to deposit into the memory bank, in my humble opinion, the most important bank.



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Apiti, New Zealand is picturesque in the winter. Experience rural New Zealand with it's quirks and charms

48 Comments on The great snow hunt

  1. I love snow! ? So I totally understand you feeling so excited. I would use some right now though as we are in the middle of summer and having a majir heat wave here in Czech Republic! Your blog cooled me down a little though ?

    • For sure, you have to find joy in the small things or else you’ll be constantly waiting for something big and exciting which isn’t always realistic

  2. I went on my honeymoon to New Zealand in the summer, now I plan to someday go back and see it during the winter. Looks beautiful in all seasons and sounds like you had a great time! Beautiful pics.

    • All the classic car trip songs! Bohemian Rhapsody (obvs!), psycho killer, had a wee rap to Eminem, hotel California etc! Not all in tune or even at the same time as each other but ho hey! We thought we were fabulous and that’s all that matters 😉

  3. I’m so not a fan of snow and cold weather, so I get why you were mildly excited about it. :)) I grew up in a mountain town and we had snow and cold weather for 3 months a year and even more. Not fun.

  4. It’s the same in South Africa – we get so little snow and when it does snow, everyone rushes off on a road trip chasing the snow. Glad to know we’re not the only ones! Also, we have a hot, sweaty Christmas here too! Such a great post – love your style of writing and your pictures!

  5. This sounds like an awesome day out!
    Lucky kids to be able to get in a car and then get out into snow!

    I didn’t know that you don’t have villages in NZ! I wonder why not!?

    • I’m not sure why we don’t? I had never thought about it until I went to the UK and villages were dotted everywhere. I guess we technically have them, we just don’t call them villages!

  6. We road tripped round New Zealand back in 2011 and would love to go back again, especially when there’s snow! Hansen’s Cafe sounds amazing – love Italian food and love hot chocolate. Perfect!

  7. You’re definitely right… Priceless moments does not need to be somewhere exciting, as long as you’re with someone you care about, then that’s all that matters! Your snowman are just too cute! <3

  8. Reading through this post has just made me miss New Zealand – I lived and traveled there for just over a year. And Although I’m from England and hate winter ( English winter makes you do that) I loved Winter in New Zealand. During Winter I lived in Queenstown (Don’t judge I’m a backpacker and Queenstown or ‘neverland’ as like to call it) it was the best winter experience I had 😀 ….I wanna come back haha (Although I did pass over Hawaii once just to return to NZ for a lil holiday when I lived in Bali, as you might be ale to tell, I’m quite random haha)

  9. snow is so wonderful. although it would be difficult for me to live in it constantly. I have great memories of traveling to snow and once experiencing my first snow storm in a city that rarely ever snows. thanks for sharing!

    • I love the snow but like you couldn’t live in it either! I don’t like being cold ? sounds like a lovely memory you have to hold on to x

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