Skiing in Kitzbuhel

Kitzbuhel is one of Europe’s premier ski resorts and boasts, alongside its 185km / 115miles of ski runs, the legendary Kaiser run which is a staggering 8.3km / 5.2miles long, one of the world’s longest continuous runs from a chairlift and is part of the renowned Hahnenkamm-Rennen annual downhill race.  For sure enjoy the slopes, but its also a very pleasant place to be for non-skiers.  For example, I went with my family all of whom are are non skiers, and they loved the town which is a wonderful combination of pretty and sophisticated (the Austrians, of course, do this effortlessly).  You also have the options of heading up on some of the cable cars for the experience of the restaurants at the top and the views across the mountains.  I would in particular recommend the Kitzbuheler Hornbahn Cable Car which has sensational panoramic views from the 1996m / 6550ft Kitzbuheler Horn

Skiing in Niseko

Niseko has a strong shout for being the world’s best skiing destination. Yes, yes, I know the North American sites have vast slopes and every other room has a hot tub; the Alps are wonderful for their apres and interconnected communities; and I get that Queenstown has bungee jumping, but there are 3 killer reasons for why Niseko has to take the crown:

  1. It is the undisputed King of Powder, with 15m / 50ft of wonderful light powdery stuff on AVERAGE each year
  2. Its Japan.  This means that everything works perfectly, people are 10/10 polite (no fighting over chair lifts), you finish your ski with an Onsen and the food . . . even the most basic of meals demands a quality zat wud mek even ze french jelos!
  3. The views.  Think less endless mountain chains, and more looking at the perfect conical volcano of Yotei-zan, aka Hokkaido’s Mount Fuji
It can be expensive, especially around the holidays, but a must experience if you’re a skier

Seeing the spectacular sights of Dubai

Dubai gets a slightly bad reputation for being a bit fake, manufactured, crude etc.  The thing is, it is all of these things, yet it is exactly because it has gone so far toward the non-authentic end of the spectrum that makes it such a fascinating place to visit.  I’ve enjoyed Dubai each of the 3 times I’ve visited – loved the fountain performance of the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa, sitting on the beach by the world’s only 8 star hotel the Burj Al Arab drinking cocktails, seeing the giant aquarium in the world’s largest mall in the Mall of the World, taking a boat over to the Dubai Old Town and would have LOVED to experience the skiing!  But I’ve visited mainly for work or in a time before we had the simplicity of taking photos on the phone.  For these reasons, I don’t think I can really do the place anywhere near the justice it deserves by writing a full review, so haven’t shared photos and tips.  Instead, I’ve given it a score based on how I found it – can’t miss out on such an obvious global city stop in the ratings

Ski trip to Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway

One of the major benefits of Vancouver is that it is less than a 2 hours drive from world-class skiing in Whistler, and the drive itself along the Sea to Sky Highway is one of the highlights of the trip.  Make sure to give yourself a bit more time to stop and gawp at the views, in particular along the coast near Howe Sound

Just a note on skiing in North America vs Europe, which I do find very different.  In Europe, you tend to find seemingly endless interlocking valleys, ski-fields and genuine alpine villages that have often developed before the boom of skiing.  North American is very different and Whistler is the classic example of this – much more commercialised, even if often more subtle.  For example, the alpine village and lovely wooden chalets that look like they’ve been there for hundreds of years, get given away a touch when you notice they have 5 floors of modern car park below them.  But, then again there are some very pleasant modern benefits – for example, sitting in the hot tub after a day of skiing is . . . ahhhhh.  In terms of the skiing itself, you don’t get the endless mountains – but you do get two, with Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, which are more than enough to keep you busy

Skiing in Queenstown

Queenstown offers the best skiing options and best adrenaline capital for anywhere within a 10,000km radius, so it is certainly the best choice to get your fix of either without traveling 20 hours on a plane.  It’s beautiful scenery of the nearby valleys and Lake Wakatipu, plus the wonderful Kiwi way of making sure everything works without a hitch ,makes its a great option when in this part of the world


That being said, its a very different experience to the larger snow fields you may be used to in Europe or North America, mainly because of the smaller sizes of the two skiing options Coronet Peak (4 ski lifts total) and The Remarkables (also 4 ski lifts total), and with no interlink between the resorts.   When you compare this to some of the giant interconnected ski spots of the world, it can make Queenstown feel a little underwhelming.  So, to counter this, don’t see Queenstown as one of those week-or-more ski holidays.  Instead, I’d suggest aim to spend a day at each site and combine your trip with getting involved in the various other activities that Queenstown and this part of New Zealand has to offer – in particular,Paragliding through the mountains and clouds in Queenstown, Bungy jumping the Thrillogy in Queenstown and the nearby experiences of Taking a boat trip through Milford Sound and Climbing the Frans Josef Glacier

10 days campervanning around the South Island of New Zealand

New Zealand’s South Island has some of the most rugged natural beauty of anywhere in the world with world famous sites such as the fjords of Milford Sound, the Frans Joseph and Fox glaciers, and the adrenaline sports of Queenstown, yet is also super accessible by road and very compact to get around.  The combination of these factors makes it one of the most appealing places for a roadtrip and I’ve listed below a great 10 day itinerary to get the best of the island