New Zealand Ski Fields Are Preparing to Open for the 2022 Season
Resorts across Aotearoa are starting to roll out plans for this year's ski season, which is set to be one of the biggest yet as the country finally welcomes back Australian tourists.
After the disrupted and predominantly domestic-only ski seasons in 2020 and 2021, thrill-seekers from both sides of the ditch could be hitting New Zealand's pristine slopes from as early as June.
That means it's less than 70 days until some of our major fields, including Coronet Peak and The Remarkables in Queenstown and Canterbury's Mount Hutt, are up and running for winter. If you're making the trip across the ditch, you're in luck: there's plenty set for this season, including new trails and night-skiing events.
Mount Hutt is set to be the first to open from Friday, June 10 until Sunday, October 16. It will be open seven days a week, with capacity on the mountain having increased thanks to the last year's recently opened Nor'west Express eight-seat chairlift. With a ride time of only two minutes, the lift has the capacity to carry up to 3000 skiers per hour. It also features a loading carpet to assist those who are new to using chairlifts. The field's full moon skiing event will also return on Saturday, June 11.
Coronet Peak will be open from Friday, June 17 right through until Sunday, September 25. The ski field plans to operate its popular after-hours night skiing nights every Wednesday and Friday from June 22 onwards. The 48th dog derby is also on the cards.
Fellow Queenstown favourite The Remarkables will be open every day of the week from Saturday, June 18 through to Sunday, October 16. The mountain's Sugar Bowl development includes two recently opened trails and a new snowmaking system, which means better snow coverage on the Serpentine side of the mountain.
Cardrona Alpine Resort's Olympic-sized superpipe will be open from Saturday, June 11 until Sunday, October 16. The ski field also added another chairlift to its network last year, which opened up a new major section of skiable terrain on the southern face. Sibling ski field Treble Cone is scheduled to open from Saturday, June 25 until Sunday, September 25, and for cross-country skiers and snow-shoers, Cardrona's Snow Farm is intending to open for the 2022 winter from mid-June — dates are yet to be confirmed.
The largest ski area in the nation, Mt Ruapehu, is preparing to open its Happy Valley (Thursday, June 23), Turoa (Saturday, July 9) and Whakapapa (Friday, July 8) fields, too, which will give skiers and snowboarders access to the mountain's natural pipes, steep chutes and a vertical drop of 722 metres. The alpine village says the opening will be subject to snow conditions.
With the borders set to open, quarantine-free, to Australian tourists from Tuesday, April 12, this ski season will definitely see a rise in visitor numbers across all the country's fields. Tourists will be required to test negative for COVID-19 with a PCR or RAT before leaving for New Zealand, then provide negative tests on day one and day five of their stay. If you need a refresher on the rules, check out the Government's COVID-19 website.
All ski field 2022 season plans are dependent on snow conditions, as well as COVID-19 guidelines and expectations set out by the New Zealand Government.