Insiders guide to Ohakune: Annah Dowsett

Annah ‘Moo’ Dowsett is as known around town as the big carrot that welcomes visitors to the gateway town, Ohakune. You can’t miss her big hair and big laugh.

Like most folk in these parts Moo works on the mountain, or rather the active volcano known as Mt Ruapehu, home to Whakapapa and Turoa ski fields.

How long have you lived in Ohakune?

I was born here in Ohakune so that makes it a few years now – somewhere between twenty and thirty…I was lucky to be born in a small town that’s snow is its main passion. I feel really fortunate to have grown up in the snow industry – I thanks my parents daily for buying a pub here!

What do you love about Ohakune the most?

Ohakune is a small town with a twist. It is not your typical small town New Zealand – we are situated on the outskirts of a Dual world heritage national park – the sunrises and sunsets are second to none. The people that this town attracts are from all walks of life, passionate snow lovers, creative artists and just bloody great people.

How has your life changed for the better since moving to Ohakune?

I met my partner here and we have a daughter Ruby who is nearly 9 years old and certainly trying to out ski us already.

Best place for coffee?

OCR Cafe

Best place for après?

The Powderkeg

Best place for breakfast and favourite dish?

OCR Café and my favourite breakfast dish is between the good old kiwi favourite – mince on toast with Bec’s famous salsa or the salmon bagel with capers.

Special occasion dinner spot?

Bearing point or the Matterhorn

Best place for sunrise or sunset?

The Turoa Ski Area Car park

Best place to keep the kids entertained?

When they are not skiing, entertainment can be found at the climbing wall, mountain biking the old coach road, lapping the pump track, skating at the indoor skate park, horse trekking and the local golf course.

What is your favourite event on or off the mountain during the season and why?

The Bikini downhill is my favourite on hill event – raising money and awareness for a great cause. Off the hill would have to be the annual Ohakune Mountain Mardi Gras.


Where do you take out of town visitors to WOW them?

I’ll take you when you get here

Where do you ski the most during winter?

I ski mainly at Turoa Ski Area in the winter as this is where my office is and it is easy to pop out for product testing.


Your favourite Ohakune local character and where would we find them?

Freddy Campbell – Groomer driver extraordinaire – you will find him at Turoa Ski Area

What can you get at Ohakune you can’t get anywhere else in the world?

The Giant Chocolate Éclairs that are available at the Skiers Inn – they are world famous – not just any old éclair!

If you had to buy one thing to take back with you as a visitor to Ohakune what would it be?

Anything from our local talented designer Janelle Hinch and her fabulous merino clothing – my wardrobe loves her.

Don’t just take Annah’s word for it, check out our other Insider Guides to Wanaka, Queenstown, Methve, Ohakune, Jindabyne, Mt Beauty and Mansfield as they are updated daily here.

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.



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