Massive amounts of fresh snow in Oceania created good conditions for the start of their ski season. Snowfall of over a meter (over three feet) across most New Zealand ski resorts last weekend created all-weather conditions to start their season. On the other hand, the high avalanche risk and wind drifts have limited the amount of open ground at the moment. For opening days, please note that New Zealand ski areas are 18 hours ahead of EST in the US, so when I refer to mountains that opened today, it is currently early Saturday morning for them.
Hanmer Springs Ski Area: Stuff reports that Hanmer Springs was the first to open in New Zealand. However, he’s busy clearing his Poma of snow, which means a lot of his land hasn’t been opened up yet. This is the second season in a row that Hanmer Springs has been New Zealand’s first ski area to open.
Cardona: The South Island ski resort opened its beginner slopes last Saturday according to Stuff, but was then closed for a few days due to the massive winter storm that hit last weekend. They reopened Thursday with McDougall’s and Whitestar elevators.
Top of the crown: Coronet Peak opened for the season on Thursday. They currently have a base of 60-120cm and have six of their eight lifts open.
Mount Hutt: They opened for the season on Friday and opened the following lifts: Ski Lifts, Nor’West Expres and Triple Chair. The Summit Six chair will remain closed until the next storm due to high winds from previous snowfalls. After the major addition of the magnificent Nor’West Express last season, Mt. Hutt purchased a new snow groomer and added new snowmaking equipment.
The Remarkables: The Remarkables open today (June 18), having received a meter and a half of snow from last weekend’s storm.
Image/video credits: Mt. Hutt, Cardrona Alpine Resort, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables