The ski season is starting in New Zealand with the opening of Coronet Peak but Mount Hutt is on hold because of bad weather.
New Zealand’s ski season is under way with the opening of Coronet Peak ski area near Queenstown but Mount Hutt, the largest field in Canterbury, is delaying its opening.
Coronet Peak opens on Saturday with prizes given to the first people to use the Coronet express lift. The Greengates express chairlift and Rocky Gully T-bar are scheduled to open on June 21.
Canterbury’s Mt Hutt ski area was due to open on Saturday, but recent warm temperatures and a poor forecast for the weekend delayed this for a week.
“After encouraging early snowfalls in April and May, and an unprecedented 110 hours of continuous snowmaking over the past few days, we’ve got a viable snow base from the top of the quad chair down to the base area,” Mt Hutt manager James McKenzie said.
He added that the immediate forecast was for rain before temperatures drop to bring more snow early next week.
The Remarkables ski area is scheduled to open on June 21.
The three fields are operated by NZSki Ltd.
Further north, the Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas on Mount Ruapehu in the North Island are opening on June 28.
Jetstar has boosted flights to Queenstown from both Sydney and Melbourne this winter, increasing flight capacity by 40,000 during the winter months.
New Zealand school holidays also align with those in NSW and Queensland this year, making for busy weeks on the slopes.