How to Tread Carefully this Spring Snow Season
Spring is in full throttle, and for the snow enthusiasts among us who love transeasonal skiing, the mountains in Wānaka are something to write home about. While travel is officially back, it’s not entirely back in the way we once knew it. Where once, we’d book a trip and head off without a second thought, we’re now thinking more consciously about why, how, and where we travel. With the international border to New Zealand recently open to Australian travellers, it’s also a time to pause and reflect on how to tread carefully as we collectively ramp up tourism.
Obviously when considering how to reduce your individual carbon footprint one of the easiest ways to cut back on emissions is to fly less often. However, with international travel by Australians projected to increase by 360.8 per cent in 2022-2023 to 8.28 million departures, we need to consider how we might make our trips more sustainable and regenerative. In order to prevent further damage to the environment, and future-proof those ecosystems and local environments we’re coveting right now, it’s never been more important to consider where you go, what you pack and what you plan to do when you get there.
To put things in perspective, climate change is already having an effect on New Zealand snow sports. Locally, the New Zealand Alps have lost a third of their ice snowpack since 1977, snow lines are rising, winters are shorter, and the past decade is the warmest on record. Fortunately, Destination Queenstown, Lake Wānaka Tourism and Queenstown Lakes District Council, working with Kāi Tahu and the Department of Conservation, have come together to create a destination management plan that maps a pathway to regenerative tourism by 2030. And while the rollout out of this plan will ensure a clear pathway to successful travel in the future, today it’s all about making small steps that will have a big impact.