Southern ski field operators are finally hailing a decent dumping of snow – and expect more to come.
Snow started to arrive in ski areas on Wednesday whilst Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski areas – and Wanaka’s Cardrona – all report snowy conditions yesterday (Thursday) as part of a wintry blast hitting the country.
Coronet Peak ski area manager Hamish McCrostie says Coronet Peak and The Remarkables each received 10cm – and counting - of the white gold this morning as snowfalls continued throughout the day.
“The forecast is looking very promising with good snowfalls expected from now until Tuesday and the freezing level dropping,” he adds.
McCrostie says both ski areas were still snowmaking as much as temperatures allowed on all main trails. The new snow meant Coronet Peak would open its six-seater Greengates chairlift on Saturday. More trails would open progressively at all mountains in the region.
Cardrona marketing manager Nadia Ellis says mountain staff are excited about welcoming customers to the first day of the 2011 Cardrona season today (Friday).
“We had 10cm of snow overnight and consistent snowfalls today has resulted in at least a further 8cm over the mountain. And there’s more forecast,” she says.
Destination Queenstown chief executive Tony Everitt says the natural snow and promise of more to come has led to an awesome vibe around the town.
“The mountains and low lands are turning white and this fall heralds promising snow cover for the New Zealand school holidays which start at the end of next week.
“Loads of people are already here enjoying the slopes and with more white gold falling we’re delighted our season is now cranking up.”
Mr Everitt adds Queenstown is proving an attractive short-haul destination for Australians this winter.
“A high Australian dollar combined with regular, direct and inexpensive trans-Tasman access makes for a wonderful break in Queenstown where there’s just so much to do on and off the slopes.”
Trans-tasman flights between Queenstown and Australia now number 30 per week.