RPM Clothing’s Creative Director Ben Parry’s Top 5 New Zealand Winter Weekend Escape

When I first started at RPM about 6 years ago I was also doing all of our sales, I used to drive the country top to bottom about 4 times a year. Before then I really hadn’t seen a lot of our beautiful country. It was a really good way for me to see pretty much all of it! 

Winter tends to be a time when you bunker down & stay at home, but you just have to embrace it, Winter escapes can be just as fun as getting away in summer!

My Top 5

  1. Queenstown, Wanaka - No surprises there right! You really can’t beat the place, theres so much to do, see, eat. Just being in the southern lakes region with the breathtaking scenery is something pretty special. Air New Zealand now have a late night Friday & late night Sunday flight so its really accessible to get there for a weekend! Make sure you grab a big breakfast at Atlas, take some turns up at the Remarkables or Coronet Peak & head over the Crown Range to Queenstowns little sister Wanaka. Post up with a few coldies on the lake & watch the sunset. Then you’ve got your choice of Cardrona or Trebel Cone for your next day on the Hill!

  2. Dunedin. Dunedin has to be one of my favourite cities in NZ. Yea its freezing cold about 9 months of the year but the city has the best vibe. Full of over excited students in which the locals seem to embrace pretty well. Dunedin people are probably some of the most welcoming & warm people in the country. But the best part, theres so many uncrowded waves! just make sure you go prepared, that water fill freeze you solid in a matter of seconds & you’ll be sharing the lineup with a few sea lions & the odd shark. Make an arvo trip up to Oamaru, one of the coolest & oldest little towns in NZ. Its full of original buildings from the 1800’s. Theres plenty to look at & a bunch of good coffee.

  3. New Plymouth, If you haven’t been to New Plymouth, you really need to. Its my home town so call me biased but that place is amazing. It has so much going on for it for a small town. Theres a bunch of cool new café’s & Bars. Theres a mountain, full of amazing walking tracks & water falls which also has a little club ski field on it. Theres also over 150km of coastline full of some of New Zealand's best waves. The Perfect Day… Up early, in the water for a few hours of Waves, Coffee & Breaky in town then up the Mountain for a few hours of Snow. Theres literally a handful of places in the World you can do that.

  4. Kaikoura. Kaikoura is about a 2 hour drive north of Christchurch. When I was a road warrior this was my favourite stretch of road. I Even used to stay a night there instead of Christchurch. Its quite a crazy landscape where the mountains literally fall into the ocean. The road runs right under these mountains & next to the sea. Distraction levels are very high while driving… & you have to be careful as you might drive around the next bend & find a couple of seal pups making their way across the road. The place is abundant in sea life, you’ll have some of the best seafood you’ve ever had in you life. Theres also some really fun waves & Mt Lyford which is a short drive up the ranges in which there is a small club ski field to get some turns in. You might see a pattern appearing here…
  5. Taupo. Taupo is pretty well geared up for weekend tourists. Theres so many novelty things to do, I usually end up playing mini putt, taking a look at huka falls, & up a river trying to snag a few trout. Its a great option to stay there if you’re heading down to the Mighty Ruapehu for the weekend, its only a hour drive to the Whakapapa Car Park & if the weathers bad you’re still going to be able to do things in town rather than ending up sitting inside all day in Ohakune. Theres plenty of retail to keep your lady happy & a bunch of cool little places to eat & drink.