Dale Goodwin visits New Zealand for skate and explore!
Queenstown, New Zealand is pretty much the furthest you can fly around the world, 25 hours of flying, but I knew it’d be worth it. The weekend before leaving, a small crew gathered in Wales for a weekend of skate and I had a chat to fellow UKDH friend, Cam Deegan, who had been to Wellington, in the North Island of New Zealand earlier this year, to ask about what to expect. Wales has some beautiful places to skate, but literally everywhere is stunning in New Zealand.
Upon arrival in Queenstown, exhausted from a total of 30 hours of travel, I was greeted by my friend I got to know through Mountainboarding, who also Freebord’s, so we’re generally after the same kind of Downhill roads. I simply had to try and sleep as much as possible the first night, to try and shift the jet lag, ready to skate the next day.
I awoke the next day, to go for my ‘morning run’, the road I was staying on (Marina Drive) was a 1km run, double hairpin, gnarly surface with gradient varying between 9‐19%. A pretty good warm up for anything!
Later that day, early evening, we went to a local spot 5km away that had been on my mind since before arriving, a road called ‘The Remarkables’. A ski slope access road I’d seen a video of Patrick Lombardi do. 8 switchback corners of absolute perfect surface, 8‐16% gradient, quiet car wise (due to the ski slope being closed in Spring/Summer) and a stunning view of Mountains hiding Queenstown/Frankton within.
That evening we met up with Budi, a Queenstown local has been in New Zealand for a year, a real cool guy who also turned out to be an amazing follow car driver/filmer. We filmed the below run during a beautiful sunset:
The rest of the first week was mainly spent trying to find new nearby spots. There is great variety of spots in and around Queenstown, from 30% odd steep slide hills to perfect multiple hairpin side streets. What I found strange was how the residents of Queenstown barely blink an eye when they see a Longboarder bombing down their road, a world away from the usual ‘The Police have been called’ UK residents. Everyone I met was friendly and most people do some sort of extreme sport, most commonly Downhill Mountain biking or Snowboarding. I even walked past a school that teaches Street Skating as part of their curriculum.. how cool?! Despite this, almost every day we ended up back at the Remarkables, nothing comes close to it.
A “BTR’d” up sign at the top of Remarkables:
When the first weekend came around, we went on a road trip to the City of Dunedin. A 5 hour journey, through the beautiful South Island countryside. After checking in at a motel, I got in contact with Dunedin shredder, Gabe Kennedy, ready for a full day of skate on the Sunday. We met up on the Sunday at 11am at a local 20% odd slide hill named ‘Signal’. 4 shredders were in attendance (Gabe, Liam, Jack & Korbi). I was shown such a variety of amazing spots, all close together and seriously steep! It was the best day of skate in a very long time and I felt very welcome, a nice feeling when you’re on the complete opposite side of the world. I highly recommend to anyone going to the South Island of NZ to skate, visit Dunedin, you won’t regret it.
We headed back to Queenstown on the Tuesday morning, for my last 3 days before leaving. As you’d expect, a lot more time was spent at the Remarkables, mostly practicing pre‐drifts on the first 2 corners with the occasional full run, taking it in turns to do uplifts. Skating almost every day on spots like this, definitely improves your skating and gives your confidence a big boost, even in as short a period as 2 weeks.
Luke Jeffery took the amazing cover photo and the photo below on the Tuesday evening, some of the best skate photos I’ve ever seen and a nice reminder of the amazing time I had in NZ:
Luke also made a film, here is the trailer: