by Lost At E Minor in Cool Travel on Saturday 11 August 2012

Lara Bingle recently touched down in Queenstown to film the latest episode of Kiwi Sceptics for Air New Zealand. Having not spent time in New Zealand prior to the trip, Bingle considered New Zealand to be just ‘off her radar’ Air New Zealand collected Lara straight from her fabulous 25 birthday celebrations for a 5am check in, ready for an activity packed few days in Queenstown. Advertisement

During her trip, Lara was paired up with Kiwi guide, Hayley Holt. Hayley really is Lara’s Kiwi doppelganger, being a former WAG and reality show star herself. Hayley treated Lara to an itinerary that would have impressed the most sceptical of Aussie snow lovers. The pair spent time snowboarding on Coronet Peak and took a breathtaking helicopter ride to the back bowls of Wanaka where they were left with nothing but the untouched powder, the snow-capped mountains, their boards and a steep, yet exhilarating journey down to the base. Lara then spent the night on The Remarkables, sleeping in a snow cave up the mountain.

When the sun went down, Lara got to check out some of the city’s top night sports and eateries including Zephyr Bar, Botswana Butchery and The Bunker.

Hear what Lara had to say about holidaying in winter and her Kiwi Adventure:

Describe yourself in three words?
Spontaneous. Loving. Happy.

Before you went on this trip, what were your thoughts on New Zealand?
New Zealand was never a place that was on my travel radar, I would always consider Europe or the USA alps for a winter holiday.

What did you do while you were in New Zealand?
You mean, what didn’t I do?! I was taken heli-boarding and snowboarded on some pretty amazing fresh powder. I stayed in an igloo, in minus degree temperatures, and was taken to my first ice-hockey match.

What did you think of the snowboarding in New Zealand?
To be able to board in fresh powder like I did was second to none! Queenstown’s mountains were beautiful and wide and long enough to get a long run in, every time.

What was the most memorable moment from your recent NZ trip?
Staying in an igloo in The Remarkables and standing on the peak just before sunset and seeing the twinkling lights shine on the opposite mountains. Besides the freezing temperatures, it was one of the most surreal, once-in-a- lifetime experiences I have ever been through. I was lucky enough to be able to hop into three sleeping bags and went to bed with a hot water bottle to keep me warm throughout the night.

Are you still a Kiwi Sceptic, or has New Zealand won you over?
Now that would be telling. You’re going to have to check out my experience at kiwisceptics.com to see what impression NZ left with me!

Tune into Kiwi Sceptics to watch why New Zealand made a lasting impression on Lara Bingle.