Queenstown blanketed in snow ahead of ski season



Queenstown and the surrounding region has been covered in snow this morning giving the local ski areas a good boost before their scheduled opening days in a few weeks’ time.

Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd says there is a real buzz around town now as fresh snowfall signals that the ski season is fast approaching.

“Coronet Peak and Cardrona Alpine Resort are both scheduled to open on 13 June with the other mountains following suit in the weeks after so we are really gearing up for winter now, ” he said.

Paul Anderson, CEO of NZSki, said the latest southerly storm has given Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and The Remarkables the best possible start to winter with up to half a metre of snow blanketing both ski areas. 

“This sets us up for a great start to the 2015 season. We’ve got our groomers out working to pack down the snow on piste and, with cold temperatures expected for the rest of the week, we can continue to make more snow on top of a fantastic natural base. The snowfall will help to ensure ideal conditions for guests on opening day.” 

Cardrona Alpine Resort’s General Manager, Bridget Legnavsky, said they have had 30-50cm of snow fall with wind drifts of up to two metres in places across the mountain.

“Having this snowfall on top of what was already a pretty good base is just fantastic. We started snow-making last week and now we have some really good snow, especially where the wind drifts are, so we can collect that and spread it out on the trails. Our priority today is to get the groomers out there packing the snow down. We are really excited about opening day in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Queenstown will officially welcome the start of the winter season on 19 June when the annual American Express Queenstown Winter Festival kicks off for ten days of activity. The award-winning Festival is the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest and brightest winter celebration and boasts a calendar filled with fireworks, live music, street parades, comedy, quirky races and mountain mayhem.

Mr Budd says Winter Festival celebrates the start of winter and is a great excuse for both Kiwis and Aussies to plan a trip to Queenstown.

“It’s a short flight to Queenstown from New Zealand’s major centres and only three hours from Australia which makes it very accessible for a winter holiday. The ski areas are world-class and the range of activities in Queenstown itself are second to none. Don’t hibernate this winter – book a fun-filled winter holiday in Queenstown and you’ll create memories for a lifetime."

Scheduled ski field opening dates:
Coronet Peak - 13 June
The Remarkables - 20 June
Cardrona Alpine Resort - 13 June (Beginner facilities) 20 June (full mountain)
Treble Cone scheduled 25 June