We were going to Raratonga first thing last Monday. Just one problem - it started snowing during the night. By 5:30 am when the taxi picked us up there was about 75mm of snow on the ground. Twice the driver had to stop because a car in front had skidded and ended up facing the wrong way. Then there was the red light just before the over-bridge, but we just managed to get over it. Finally we arrived at the airport and the connecting flight to Auckland was cancelled. After waiting for 1hr on the phone to re-book we got bookings for the same time the next day. By mid-morning the snow was worse so we decided to stay at the Clearwater Resort nearby. It has a long drive in and (you guessed it) we got stuck. I don't think the driver had seen snow before. We had to push the car out, which took some time thanks to his driving. To be fair, the snow was now quite deep (about 20cm). Here is the lovely picture from the hotel dining room. Hard for us to enjoy, as we have missed our holiday in the tropics! And to cap it off in all the turmoil I lost my Aussie sunhat. We went back to the airport the next morning (at 5:30am again), only to be told that there were still no flights to Auckland. So...back home it is. Today we went to collect the dog and the cat and both were out of town. I took the tyre chains, expecting the snow to be deep (I had already got stuck just getting out our drive). The strange thing was the further we got out of town the less snow there was. Even at Oxford there was no snow even on the hills. This snowfall was a special present for Christchurch, with the coldest day for nearly 100 years (2º) and snow literally down to the sea.