SKI SEASON STARTS DOWN UNDER
5th June 2019 | Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Last modified on December 19th, 2019
It’s been a pre-season ‘snow-mageddon’ in Oz. Many resorts have swung into action with the best start to winter in years.
Many resorts in Australia opened for skiing at the weekend on Saturday 8th June.
It has been the snowiest start to winter since 2002.
Thredbo posted it’s official Winter ’19 video, as well of one shot a little later, stating ‘Apres season is here!’
A look at Opening Day:
“Thredbo saw a record number of visitors enjoying the good early season conditions and sharing the famous village atmosphere” said Stuart Diver, the resort general manager.
Then the huge stoke come nightfall – the apres scene:
Hotham ski resort, in the state of Victoria, also swung into action on Saturday 8th:
Views on the morning of Opening Day were beautiful:
Falls Creek had its biggest ever opening.
“Not just with seven lifts spinning but with over 2,000 guests coming through the gates on Saturday,” the resort reported.
Falls Creek, Australia
Winter 2019 is off to a grand start for all in Oz, though of course it is far too early to tell how it will develop.
Resorts have just a handful of lifts open, but that is more to do with staffing and demand rather than snow cover:
Perisher resort in Australia has been skiing longer than this weekend just passed.
The resort’s natural snow depth is 72cm.
Perisher on Saturday 8th
In New Zealand, resorts opened up at the weekend too.
Bluebird conditions welcomed the season in Mt Hutt, one of NZ’s highest resorts at 2,086m.
In fact, conditions were described as ‘near perfect’ by news outlet stuff.vo.nz.
The first skiers and riders were showered in champagne as they rode the first chair.
2,000 were recorded to have taken to the slopes on Saturday 8th June, 6,000 people over the three day opening weekend.
And… 12 camped out to ensure they caught the first lifts.
Cardrona resort near Wanaka was the first to start skiing this winter in New Zealand, on June 1st.
Around 10cm has fallen in the past few days, and 10cm more is expected on Wednesday.
Next to open in New Zealand is Coronet Peak on 15th June, with Mt Dobson, Ohau and a few more Christchurch resorts to open by the end of the month.
So, what’s it like skiing Down Under?
Last year PlanetSKI toured some of the resorts of Australia and New Zealand:
PlanetSKI hit the resorts of Perisher, Mount Buller & Thredbo:
FRIDAY 7TH JUNE
It all kicks off in many resorts on Her Majesty’s Official birthday – this Saturday, June 8th.
Mt Hotham in Australia has had some of the best recent snowfall out of the Southern Hemisphere mountain resorts.
91cm is the season’s snow total so far.
There’s been 4cm in the past 24 hours, so riders this weekend will be riding a 57cm base.
Thanks to huge early season snowfall in Perisher, the resort is already skiing.
The early snow has also led to the brand new $4.2 million Leichhardt Quad Chairlift loading its first passengers.
Perisher is experiencing its best start to the season in two decades.
10 lifts are currently operational, and over 20 are expected to open across all four resort areas this Saturday on official opening day.
Perisher shot this rider enjoying the fresh snow on Tuesday 4th June, enjoying a 60cm base.
Falls Creek in Australia reports it’s to be the best opening weekend on record.
There’s over 48 cm of snow on the ground, and plenty more in the forecast.
Check out this stoke
Selwyn Snow Resort opened early for riders and skiers to enjoy the fresh snow.
Official opening is Friday, like many others.
“Beautiful conditions just two days out from the official season opening!” the resort writes on its Facebook page.
“After a few flurries yesterday, our snowmakers were out overnight making sure the runs are packed with plenty of snow for Friday.”
Thredbo has a fresh dusting ready to open on 8th June:
Mt Buller has had a little less snow than others, with around 33cm of natural snow.
The resort has pumped around 37cm of man-made snow to top it up.
The snow guns are on:
Read here for more early news from Australia’s ski resorts as we tracked the snow Down Under:
And our even earlier piece on New Zealand:
New Zealand often outdoes Australia when it comes to snow.
Not the case this year.
Australia has been getting the best snowfall, better than in recent years.
The Queen’s birthday always marks the opening of the winter season in both Australia and New Zealand, and often the resorts open up patchy due to not enough early snow.
So, although with not as much as it might like, many of New Zealand’s ski resorts aim to open this weekend too.
For a full PlanetSKI feature on where you can ski in the summer months across the southern and northern hemipshere then check out our article:
Friday 7th sees Mt Hutt opening on South Island.
75cm has fallen in the past 7 days which is pretty much the season’s snow total.
Cardrona in NZ is covered in white as the guns have been firing:
Whakapapa workers are stoked, the enthusiasm for winter shining through the mist and rain:
Treble Cone, a Wanaka ski resort, has the guns pumping with low temperatures.
Up high there’s a depth of 60cm, so plenty more to come before it opens on 27th June.
We’ll roll on out snow and winter news as more comes in from the resorts Down Under.
Keep checked in.