The ski industry says an early snow dump has set it up perfectly for a long and busy winter season on New Zealand slopes.
Sun worshippers in New Zealand may bemoan the swift arrival of icy winter temperatures but the ski industry is celebrating the perfect season kick start.
“We couldn’t be happier,” says Paul Anderson, chief executive of NZ Ski, which operates The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt ski fields.
“Our mountains are looking absolutely magnificent right now, which is setting us up perfectly for opening day on June 7.”
Storms and sub zero temperatures have not been welcomed by all, causing chaos with downed powerlines, slips, car crashes, school closures and the cancellation of the iconic Bluff Oyster Festival.
But conditions couldn’t be better on The Remarkables, where 50cm of snow fell overnight, and Coronet Peak, which has had 40cm since Sunday.
Snow makers have churned out 22 million litres in the past 24 hours, enough powder to fill 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Jetstar has boosted flights to Queenstown from both Sydney and Melbourne this winter, increasing flight capacity by 40,000 over the winter months.
New Zealand school holidays also align with those in New South Wales and Queensland this year, making for a very busy three weeks on the slopes.