New Zealand Ski Fields Will Be Open from Early June
Resorts across the country are starting to roll out plans for the post-coronavirus season.
UPDATED 29 MAY, 2020.
In line with New Zealand's move to Alert Level 2, local thrill-seekers could be hitting the slopes from early June, as ski fields across the country roll out plans for the post-coronavirus season.
Queenstown fields Coronet Peak and The Remarkables and Canterbury's Mount Hutt have all announced they will be up and running for winter, though details about how they will operate under the new alert level are still yet to be confirmed. NZ Ski CEO Paul Anderson revealed that the organisation is working with the Government on how to implement physical distancing and gatherings, contact tracing and hygiene.
Mt Hutt is set to be the first to open from early to mid-June, though it will start the season by only operating three days a week. From 1 July, it will open for the five best weather days of the week to give visitors more certainty on opening days.
Coronet Peak will be open from the end of June, just a couple of weeks later than scheduled as the mountain team catches up on maintenance. The ski field plans to have its early morning session and after-hours ski nights running. Fellow Queenstown favourite The Remarkables will be open daily from the start of July in time for the school holidays. Following, it will operate across weekends at a minimum.
Cardrona Alpine Resort has now revealed its Olympic-sized superpipe will be open from 26 June, with sibling ski field Treble Cone scheduled to open a day later on 27 June. General Manager Bridget Legnavsky previously suggested that both ski fields won't be able to have all lifts open at all times, will be able to contact trace with its lift pass system and is looking into protective gear.
For cross-country skiers and snow-shoers, Cardrona's Snow Farm is intending to open for the 2020 winter from 19 June. Its building space will be limited to 100 people, but the trails will not be subject to the same limitations.
The largest ski area in the nation, Mt Ruapehu, is preparing to open both Turoa and Whakapapa fields on 1 July, 2020, which will give skiers and snowboarders access to the mountain's natural pipes, steep chutes and vertical drop of 722 metres. The alpine village says the opening will be subject to snow conditions.
With borders still closed to international visitors, a dramatic fall in numbers is expected across all fields, and until the discussed trans-Tasman bubble is open it will be a domestic-only market. All ski field 2020 season plans are dependent on guidelines and expectations set out by the New Zealand Government.
Published on May 14, 2020 by Stephen Heard