How many people do you know who can say they've skied New Zealand? Join SKI BUMS for a late summer
adventure in the ski capital of the Southern Hemisphere:
Queenstown. Discover the kind of natural beauty
that's inspired the name "The Southern Alps," as we participate in New Zealand's annual
Gay Ski Week. For
five nights in Queenstown, we'll have an award-winning bed & breakfast all to ourselves. Then, it's off to the
cosmopolitan city of
Auckland, where we'll stay in a stunning, swanky hotel, over the harbor.

Escape the summer heat for a gorgeous getaway to one of the world's most beautiful countries!
Friday, September 1 to Saturday, September 9th
Click each image to enlarge. Better yet, click here to view a slide show.
Imagine a town with the beauty of Lake Tahoe, the rugged sport-loving spirit of Jackson Hole, and the class
of Aspen, and you'd have
Queenstown. A real nature-lovers paradise, you'll find hiking trails, mountain
biking, bunjee jumping, waterskiing, and every possible outdoor adventure sport you can imagine. Just above
the town, you'll see the aptly-named Remarkables, as they stretch their snowy peaks into the stratosphere.
And then, there's the town itself, complete with great shops, restaurants, and top-notch hotels that welcome
visitors from around the world.
One of the most remarkable things about skiing and riding in New Zealand, other than the stunningly beautiful
views, is the fact that
their ski resorts have no trees! Pick your line on the world of snow beneath you,
and enjoy some of that
uninterrupted skiing and snowboarding that we dream about!

We're planning four days on the slopes, with trips to a variety of resorts in the area
aboard our own private
bus.
Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona are less than an hour's drive from Queenstown, while
Treble Cone, the largest ski resort in the southern part of New Zealand (and the most picturesque) is about 90
minutes from our hotel. It's all a part of the
Queenstown Gay Ski Week, which lures over 400 skiers and
boarders each year to Queenstown at the start of their spring skiing season.

Not a skier or snowboarder?  

Queenstown is one of those destinations where there are simply tons of things to do, which makes this trip a
great choice if you've got a travel companion who doesn't ski or board. Spend a day at the shops, take a wine
tour, go for a hike, speed down an alpine slide, or relax at one of several excellent spas!

Learn more about the myriad of things to do in Queenstown
Meet the others who
are taking this trip
at AVALANCHE!
The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel
Savor delicious homemade breakfasts in a historic room dating back to the 1920's. Get cozy in front of a
stone fireplace that welcomes you home from the slopes each day, then invites you to linger and enjoy a
warm mug of mulled wine with friends. This is
The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel, and we've got the entire
property reserved just for us! With comfortable rooms, an outdoor spa, a private library, free internet access,
and an "honesty bar" with a selection of award-winning local wines, it's no wonder why the Queenstown
Chamber of Commerce just named it
the top mid-size accomodation venue in Queenstown!

Learn more about The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel
After our week's adventures on
and off the slopes, join us for a
Friday trip to
Auckland for some
big-city fun. We'll stay the night at
one of this waterfront city's top
hotels, The
Auckland Hilton. It's
not merely on the water; it's
actually built
over the water: it's
located 300 meters out to sea on
the picturesque Auckland Harbor!

The Hilton is home to
The Bellini
Bar
and restaurant White, two of
the hottest spots in town, which
will prove to be great launching
pads before we take to the city to
enjoy some of the local gay
nightlife!

After a complimentary breakfast
at White the next morning, you'll
be invited to spend the day
exploring Auckland!
Kiwi bird.
This trip officially begins and ends in Los Angeles. Although most of our trip's participants will be coming
from the NYC area, you're invited to arrange your own airfare to and from LAX. (JFK, LGA, and EWR offer
numerous flights to LAX, but SKI BUMS will designate one "ideal flight" that many of us will choose to take.)
A kiwi.
Departure: our Air New Zealand flight departs from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 11:30 P.M.
Return: We depart at 7:45 PM, and we'll arrive back at LAX at 12:20 P.M. on Saturday, September 9th.

Flight times: The outbound flight to Auckland is a mere 12 hours and 45 minutes. The connecting flight to
Queenstown is 1 hour and 50 minutes. The return to LAX from Auckland is a quick 14 hour, 55 minute jaunt
across the Pacific.
(in-flight cocktails, anyone?)

Plan your trip to LAX wisely. Please plan to arrive at LAX no later than 8:00 PM. This will allow enough
time to re-check your luggage
*, and still allow the 3 hours we need for group international travel check-in.
If you want to save yourself some stress -- in case of a delayed flight -- plan to arrive earlier.

*luggage checking: if you fly to LAX on United Airlines or US Airways, you won't need to re-check
your luggage; these airlines have a luggage agreement with Air New Zealand, and can check your bags all
the way through to our final destination in Queenstown.

Spend Saturday night in Los Angeles? Some of you will be eager to return home to have a full day to
recover before starting a work week, while other SKI BUMS may want to take in a Saturday night in L.A..
Visit the
message board to coordinate plans with other members!

Note: Unfortunately, you may not book your own air travel from LAX to New Zealand, or redeem frequent
flier miles for the New Zealand Air flights. Our trip price is calculated based on the number of airline tickets
we're purchasing for this trip. Also, our tour operator does not permit you to use frequent flier points to
upgrade to business class.
A kiwi fruit.
A kiwi.
A kiwi.
A kiwi.
Here are the prices for this trip:

$2449 -- see payment schedule below

This price includes:

- Round-trip coach airfare from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Auckland
- Connecting round-trip coach airfare from Auckland to Queenstown
- 5 nights in double occupancy accomodations at The Dairy Private Luxury Hotel in Queenstown
- 1 night in double occupancy accomodations at the Auckland Hilton
- 4 days of private bus coach transportation to and from the local ski resorts
- 2 private bus transfers from the Queenstown airport to our hotel

SKI BUMS also offers these optional upgrades:

$100 -- single occupancy upgrade for Auckland
$515 -- single occupancy upgrade for Queenstown
$150 -- extension of your stay in NZ (any other air or hotel is up to you; SKI BUMS will help arrange
          a later return to the US.)

This price does NOT include:

- Air travel from your local airport to LAX (see "Flight Arrangements" above).
- Lift tickets (most NZ resorts are about $50 USD for a lift ticket)
- Equipment rental (we will provide a list of serveral sport shops where you may rent skis or a board)
- Transportation from Auckland International Airport to our hotel (about $30 USD for a cab)
- Lunches and dinners, gratuities
The sign up for our New Zealand trip is closed.
Here is the cancellation policy for this trip.  If you cancel:

Before June 1st -- full refund, minus any credit card processing fees
After June 1st, before July 1st -- a $200 fee and any processing fees are subtracted from your deposit;
the balance is refunded to you.
After July 1st, before August 1st -- a $400 fee and any processing fees are subtracted from your
deposit; the balance is refunded to you.
After August 1st -- no refunds, except in case of medical emergency or death in the family

SKI BUMS recommends the purchase of
travel insurance, which can offer a full refund for your trip, even
if you cancel just days before traveling. We will recommend a travel insurance coverage plan for all those
who sign up for this trip.
I'd like a double occupancy room, but I don't know anyone else who's going. Do you assign
roommates?

First, you should plan to join us at one of our social events so you can meet other members who are going!
As the date approaches, we'll ask our trip participants if they'd like to request a roommate. For those who
don't submit a request, we'll arrange roommates for you. We tend to put people together who around the
same age.

Do I need to be a New Yorker to join this trip?

Not at all. We've designed this trip to depart from Los Angeles to include those of us who live outside NYC.
Everyone is invited to join us for this trip!

I've heard that the mountains near Queenstown are not as big as the European Alps or the
American Rockies. Is this true?

The "ski fields," as they're called in New Zealand, are beautiful, picturesque, and wide open -- there are no
trees
-- but they're not as large as many resorts out West. New Zealand's ski areas are part of larger
national parks, and they're intentionally kept to a certain size, to protect the land. Of the four areas near
Queenstown,
Treble Cone is the largest, with two wide-open basins that provide roughly the same skiable
area as Telluride in Colorado (just over 1,600 acres). It's also the most challenging of the four; 50% of its
trails are marked with black diamonds.
The Remarkables and Coronet Peak are more geared toward
beginners and intermediates, and they're smaller. They're both about the size of Pico Mountain in Vermont
or Hunter Mountain in New York.
Cardrona, however, is larger than most ski resorts on the East. Its skiable
terrain would fit somewhere in between Vermont's Okemo and Mt. Snow resorts.

Check out these trail maps:
Cardrona  Treble Cone  The Remarkables  Coronet Peak

Although you'll love the treeless bowls and basins you'll find in New Zealand, and there are ample slopes for
any skill level, the best reason to visit New Zealand is the beauty of the land itself, the charm of
Queenstown, and the chance to spend the week with new friends in an truly unique country. This is the kind
of place that wows everyone who's fortunate enough to visit; the skiing and boarding may bring you here,
but it's the country itself that will make you want to return.

What will we do if poor conditions keep us from spending a day at the slopes?

Although it's quite rare during the first part of September, occassionally there can be very poor visibility on
the slopes of New Zealand. If heavy fog closes the ski resorts, we'll host another group activity, such as a
group wine tour, taking in several local vineyards and wineries. If that doesn't appeal to you, there are
always
numerous things to do in Queenstown!
If you're interested in this trip, bookmark this page. This will be your home for up-to-date information,
with everything from sign-up procedures to the important details you'll need before we depart. Check back
regularly for additional features!
Countdown to departure:
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Copyright 2005, SKI BUMS.


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