This winter holiday I finally got a chance to go to the ski area in the central part of New Zealand’s North Island, the Whakapapa (pronounced ‘fa-ka-pa-pa’) Ski Area. Didn’t get the chance to try skiing or snowboarding though, gotta do that another time. There were 10 of us and the ski/snowboard rental was pretty expensive. I’m gonna come back again one day and take the proper ski/snowboard lessons!

The snowman that we built. Borrowed that cap from my friend when my ears started to go numb.

For someone who comes from a country with hot-and-humid climate all year round, the ski area with snow all around was really, really cold. Touch your skin against the snow for a just a few seconds and you feel the burning sensation already, literally.

I got to experience that first hand when we had to perform the prayers at the ski area and I didn’t have any cap to cover my head, so I had to put my forehead on the snow during one of the parts of the prayers. And yes, spreading snow on your arms and face and feet for the ablution wasn’t exactly something you wanna do repeatedly either.

But it was a really fun excursion, and we built the biggest snowman that day. Truth is, we didn’t see anybody else making any other snowman, so apparently it was just us who bothered to make one! Heck, that was the first time we got to play with snow for some of us, and we weren’t gonna leave without at least leaving a decent snowman.

Before that, me and another went for a visit in the Wellington city. It was just a half-day sightseeing around Wellington, and another friend of mine who’s studying in Wellington was kind enough to show us around (thanks Naddy!!). We went to see the Victoria University of Wellington (Maryam, seriously it’s so much more beautiful than the University of Auckland which primarily consists of old buildings), took the in-town cable car, and went to see the Parliament (which is ugly from afar, okay from up close, ours is much better).

We also spotted an electric bus in Wellington, and I was quite surprised. When I said electric bus, I don’t mean a bus with electric batteries, like electric cars. Instead, the bus is connected to power lines above it, much like the KTM trains back home.

I will probably return again to these places for a more proper visit in the future. I will even probably do a hike in Tongariro National Park during winter when there’s snow up in the mountain. But as for now, it was a good enough winter break before the second semester of uni starts again next week.

And of course, pictures!

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Video of us making the snowman: