All aboard the Mt Hutt snow express


Cara Luxmore in her 22-seater bus ready to head to the ski slopes at Mt Hutt. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Cara Luxmore in her 22-seater bus ready to head to the ski slopes at Mt Hutt. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
A love of the ski slopes and an adventurous spirit will take Cara Luxmore to the ski fields of Mt Hutt this winter.

Cara, a tour bus driver, is offering a bus service from Rangiora to Mt Hutt five days a week when the ski resort opens on June 14.

Courtesy of her mum Lynn Proctor, and stepdad John, Cara will drive their 22-seater bus to the slopes from Thursday to Monday with eight pick up points along the way.

A solo mum and a tour bus driver for Oceania in the summer months, Cara decided to give the Mt Hutt run a crack to fill in the winter months and help pay the bills.

Cara, whose adventurous spirit has seen her involved in extensive touring and truck driving, including underground gold mining, has Class 2 to 5 driver licences.

She describes herself as slightly mad, funny, easygoing, professional and friendly, and says she is not one to sit around waiting until the summer months to get back to work.

Her first stop to get her venture off the ground was North Canterbury Enterprise where she was encouraged to go to Work and Income to see if there was any assistance available to help her hit the road to Mt Hutt.

There she was introduced to mentor Judy Celmins, who has encouraged her to get the venture on the road and help with a business plan to help her access a grant through Winz to help the project become a reality.

Cara says having the bus provided by her mum and stepdad, with whom she has a great relationship, gave her the momentum to get the show on the road.

A few alterations mean the bus can accommodate passengers' ski gear.

A website - - is up and running where bookings can be made for the $55 trip to and from the skifield.

Cara plans eight stops along the way - Rangiora, Cust, Oxford, Waddington, Coalgate, Glentunnel, Windwhistle and Mt Hutt Lodge.

"Then it is straight to Mt Hutt by about 8.30am to allow people to start skiing by 9am," she says.

"People will book and pay online. If people who haven’t are waiting at one of the stops, they will miss the bus if there is no room for them.’’

Cara’s website will also have tips and ‘‘tricks’’ on how to keep warm on the mountain and she will also run a blog.

As she prepares for her first trip up the mountain she is also considering making the service available to Waimakariri school groups.