The action-packed second day of the 44th Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival spanned lakeside alternative sports, mountain-top canine chaos and incredible public entertainment.
A bluebird day at Cardrona proved to be the perfect setting for the inaugural Mountain Fun Day featuring the hilariously-challenging Snow Skate Slalom, speedy snow tubing, Monteith’s Dog Derby and Barking Village where over 100 burgers were washed down with a cold brew in under an hour by Festival goers.
Festival favourites, the Monteith’s Dog Derby and Dog Barking events, drew a huge crowd as dogs of all shapes, sizes, temperaments took to the snow with their fur-parents in an all-terrain, fast-paced demonstration of their running, slipping and sliding skills. Derby veteran Sean Beale and sidekick Sox topped his second placing in 2017 with a convincing win in the Townies race this year however the 2017 Country race winners, Jacob Mackie and Rev were pipped at the post this year by Mike Wilson and Jessie from Wanaka.
A cacophony of canine noise had the crowd in hysterics as Blue Heelers, Huntaways, Cocker Spaniels, Bearded Collies crammed into the back of a land cruiser to bark on cue when called by their owner. Gore canine, Jim and his human, Tom Falconer used great teamwork to take out the title this year. Those whose dogs weren’t up to the task dropped to all fours to bark on their behalf with Kya’s owner Fiona Farquahar taking out those honours.
A full line-up of 32 teams went head to head at the Old Mout Dodgeball Champs at Earnslaw Park where Christchurch team ‘Duck Out Game Strong’ emerged victorious. A vocal crowd of supporters were on hand to cheer on each team as the live music in the Festival Village kept everyone pumped up. Another line up of Kiwi music artists including chart topper Maala, and Leisure took to the two stages tonight and locals and tourists alike filled every spare vantage point for the spectacular fireworks display.
For the second night in a row, live comedy rocked a full house at Queenstown Memorial Centre, with Kiwi comedy legends Jeremy Corbett and Paul Ego teaming up with Justine Smith, Ben Hurley, Jeremy Ellwood and David Correos keeping the crowd in stitches.
Festival director, Rae Baker said that new host mountain, Cardrona was a hit with organisers and Festival fans, “It was terrific to have the team at Cardrona bring to life an amazing day of activity for the Festival while the action in town was very well attended by locals and visitors alike. We’re excited for a big weekend ahead.”
Weather conditions for Saturday’s event programme are looking sunny with light cloud as the Festival prepares for a jam-packed entertainment schedule in town including the JUCY Undy 500, The Hits 90.4 Birdman competition, jet sprints and Go Orange Rafting Rampage, live music and heli-bungy.