I couldn’t help but choke on my cornflakes when I saw the ‘story’.
Appearing in the venerable Fairfax mastheads of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, the headline drew me in: ‘The Aussie brand everyone will be wearing this winter’.
Everyone eh. Go on, tell me more.
“Templa crosses the boundary of gritty urban wearability with ski slope luxury”.
Hmmm, sounds like a bit of a wank, but tell ’em the price son.
Ummm, $4,000 for that leather puffer. Oh and it gets better …
Well that was a shock.
I was there last month and while it’s hard not to love Queenstown it’s also hard to ignore how expensive it’s getting.
Yes there was the $9 avocado, but also flights which per mile travelled are some of the most expensive in the world. Accommodation ain’t cheap (a pretty average 2 bedder for $1500 in low season anyone?). And those adventure activities? You may well be gasping at the price as much as high octane thrills.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Anyone who’s been knows its a majestic and fun place so the trick is to find a few gems that might save you a some dollars on your next trip.
Here’s my five money savers:
It’s that time of year again, innit snowlovers?
You know the ski season is nigh when you see the ads crop up on social media or perhaps the catalogue flitting about at your local shopping centre. Or maybe your next door neighbour is dusting off his knuckle dusters and mouthguard and you’re wondering why …
Yes, it’s the annual Aldi snow sale this Saturday.
But I’m calling for an end to it in its current set-up and here’s why.
The initial word about a new resort area in the Myoko Kogen region of Honshu, Japan wasn’t exactly that enticing.
Firstly, Lotte Arai, or Arai as it was formerly known, was actually a fully functioning resort up until its closure in 2006.
Secondly while refurbished hotels (the centrepiece of the ski area) get some people going, as a bit of dirtbag at heart I often find the sell on these things about as enticing as watching snowboard PGS.
But in the days leading up to my visit, any mention of Lotte Arai to those who’d been there was generally met with a knowing nod and simple acknowledgement I can best sum up as: “this place is the goods”.
There’s not much need to duck ropes in Madarao. Why? Because unlike a lot of Japanese resorts there simply aren’t that many.
In skiing as in life, you tend to look for quality over quantity as the years roll by.
While the Chamonixs, Revelstokes and Whistlers of this world have their lengthy charms there’s a lot to be said for the small, uncrowded ski hills that pack plenty more in their size suggests.
Now I’m happy to add another little fire cracker to the list: Madarao.