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FURTHER SKI AREAS OPEN DOWN UNDER - Katie Bamber, Senior News Reporter
Tuesday May 22, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

Snow is arriving in Australia as resorts open this weekend. New Zealand has been rolling a little longer - PlanetSKI reports. UPDATED




The forecast snow has arrived. Cool


It's coming in...

Perisher recorded a fresh 10cm of snowfall on Thursday morning.

Perisher Thursday ski dayPerisher Thursday ski day













Thredbo is expecting half a metre through the weekend, just in time for opening.

The Victoria resorts have had a dusting of the good stuff too.

Mt BullerMt Buller

Falls Creek is counting every bit with 12cm recorded on Thursday morning.

Hotham records 25cm of fresh over Thursday.

HothamHotham 14th June

Coronet Peak over in New Zealand is opening this weekend, too.

And it's looking a little whiter than its Aussie mates.

Coronet Peak, New ZealandCoronet Peak, New Zealand

And it's good news at Treble Cone:

BREAKING NEWS - The snow's THAT good that we just have to do it - Treble Cone is opening early!

Our team has been working around the clock (literally) to make your dreams a reality, so we're opening at 9am on Saturday June 23.Spread the word - WINTER IS HERE

... wrote the resort on its Facebook page.



So as New Zealand's season really gets going, Australia's ski resorts are largely in need of snow.

Some, though, is in the forecast so watch this space...

Thredbo's riders are keeping upbeat and doing the dance:


Snow is forecast this week; the first front will bring isolated showers developing into snow as temps drop.

But on Thursday will come the second front with more cold air and moisture, with snow expected down to the village to last through next Sunday and perhaps 30cm.

The party isn't going to wait for the white gold as Thredbo opened this weekend.

Perisher kicked off Winter '18 on 7th June. 

Here is the resort's Opening Day video.

But perhaps it doesn't quite reflect the actual snow cover and people have been posting their own pictures on Facebook:

PerisherPerisher on Sunday, the opening weekend















Our advice through the season wherever you are, folks, is check the conditions through webcams and weather sites.

News straight from Mt Buller's Monday ski day before the snow arrives:


Mt Hutt is the latest resort to open with 2,000 people turning out for one of its snowiest openings in many years.

Proceedings kicked off on Friday and have been going on across the weekend.

It is one of New Zealand's highest resorts at 2,086m and is usually one of the first to open for winter.

The "icing on the cake" was having the triple chairlift open on the first day of the season for the first time in more than 20 years, said the Mt Hutt area manager James McKenzie.  

"This is the best opening we've had for years," he said.

Mt Hutt, New ZealandMt Hutt, New Zealand

Mt Hutt, New ZealandMt Hutt, New Zealand

So, how do you make sure you get the first lift as a ski resort opens.

Perhaps sleep in you car to ensure you can get first in the queue?  

Or camp at the head of the queue?  

Ben Yorston had a fool-proof way of being on the first chairlift at Mt Hutt in New Zealand on Friday.  

He sleept on it.  

He bedded down on the Summit Six chairlift, ensuring a front-of-line spot at the weekend.

He said riding the first chairlift of the season was an annual tradition of his and he loves it. 

Ben Yorston, Mt HuttBen Yorston, Mt Hutt

"When I got here there were loads of sets of skis and only six people can get on the first lift. So, I thought I'd earn it by sleeping on the lift as everyone else slept in their cars," he said.

And here is Ben in No1 spot:

First lift of the 2018 season for Mt HuttFirst lift of the 2018 season for Mt Hutt

Check out the resort's video of its Opending Day 2018:

See lower down this article as we report on other resorts opening in New Zealand after some good early season snowfall.

This year at PlanetSKI we are keeping an extra sharp eye on the snow in Australia and New Zealand. 

We're heading there in August and September for some skiing Down Under! Cool

See the link below for a full review of the ski areas in Australia and New Zealand.

Mt Hutt joins The Remarkables that opened on 7th June.  

So, where else is open in NZ and when are some of the other resorts firing up their lifts?

Cardrona and Coronet Peak open next Saturday, June 16th.

Both have had a "taster" day with all the recent fresh snow.

Cardrona has 90cm on its slopes.

Here at PlanetSKI we'll keep you posted...

However it is not looking so good in Australia.

Traditionally resorts open on the Queen's Birthday Weekend - though often it is too early for Mother Nature to provide.

This year is no exception.

There is just a dusting of snow at Thredbo and Perisher.   

Thredbo remains closed, while Perisher has just one lift running, the Village Eight Express chairlift.  

Mt Buller opened its Blue Bullet chairlift at the weekend.

"Thanks to the amazing work of our snowmakers and groomers Mt Buller is excited to be the only Victorian resort to run a chairlift this weekend for skiing and boarding, and of course sightseeing," said Laurie Blampied, the general manager of Buller Ski Lifts, to local media.  

The resort is trying to be as optimistic as possible:


Skiers and snowboarders are praying for snow, or at least a drop in the temperature so the snow guns can get to work.


It's show time as the ski season gets underway with more resorts opening.

Perisher is the first resort to open in Australia and has just posted this video:

We will have more details later of the opening day.

And The Remarkables in New Zealand has also opened today, Thursday 7th June, as we reported earlier.

Conditions were described as "groomed packed powder".

The Remarkables, New ZealandThe Remarkables, New Zealand



"WE'RE OPEN! Come on up and get some freshies! All lifts are running and there's even some features up in the park," said a statement from the resort.

And here is what it looked like on the opening day:

The Remarkables, New ZealandThe Remarkables, New Zealand

The Remarkables, New ZealandThe Remarkables, New Zealand

The Remarkables, New ZealandThe Remarkables, New Zealand

The Remarkables, New ZealandThe Remarkables, New Zealand


Yet another New Zealand ski resort opens early.

As snow continues to fall through New Zealand, bringing a fantastic start to the season, resorts speed up their preparations so keen riders can get in early.

The most recent to spin its lifts before planned is The Remarkables.

It's opening two days early, Thursday 7th June, and it's looking to be a powder day for the opening.

Yesterday the resort had a 10cm covering and it's STILL SNOWING.

The RemarkablesThe Remarkables

Mt Hutt up by Christchurch is due to open Friday 8th June for Winter '18, pipped to the post by its South Island bud.

As we reported earlier, Mt Ruapehu on North Island opened a day early on 1st June.

And Mother Nature is still delivering the goods.

"Whakapapa welcomed 3,685 visitors over Queen's Birthday opening weekend, smashing last year's opening weekend record of 2,700 visitors," the Ruapehu lift chief executive, Ross Copland, has said. 

Cardrona is also open for business, perhaps it's the time to get down there...

WhakapapaWhakapapa skiing


It's the first day of winter 2018 and the ski season Down Under is officially underway.

A metre of snow, keen riders and the season is off in New Zealand.

Happy Valley on Mt Ruapehu opened a day early for its ski enthusiasts raring to get up the hill.

"Blue skies, free lift passes, epic June snow conditions & even a kiwi snowboarding" is how it went.

"We're absolutely stoked to see so many people loving their first taste of the early snow this season. There was around 500 people up here before 1pm, and the numbers just kept on increasing into the afternoon," said Mt Ruapehu Marketing Manager, Matt McIvor, to local media.

 Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand













The early season opening is thanks to Mt Ruapehu's new snow making technology and large natural snowfalls in May.

The Turoa ski area may also open earlier as well if the weather keeps delivering snow and cold temperatures.  


See below for a separate PlanetSKI feature as we begin our coverage of the ski resorts Down Under.

First up it's a look at the ski resorts in New Zealand, where a team form PlanetSKI is heading to in August.

And in Australia the resort of Perisher is counting down to the 2018 season.


The next time Cardrona sees the sunshine'll be ski day #1 for Winter '18:


So excited are the resorts in New Zealand with the early snow (up to a metre base!) that as well as Cardona's early weekend opener teaser, Mt Ruapehu is offering FREE SKIING on 1st June.

Celebrations at a very Happy Valley indeed...

No cost for skiing on Friday, 11am - 2pm.

Ruapehu is the first commercial ski area to open in NZ, a day early before it's official start on 2nd June.

Last season's opener saw 2,700 hit the slopes so check back in to see if all this early snow has drawn more in.

Next to open in the Ruapehu area is Whakapapa's lower mountain on 16th June, upper on 20th with Turoa resaort on 29th June.




The New Zealand resort of Cardrona has received nearly a metre of snow in the past week, three weeks before it is due to open.

"Snow in May does not stay" the saying goes in the Wanaka ski area.

But after requests to open early on the resort's social media accounts, prayers have been answered.

A teaser weekend, the first in June, will see runs open for keen skiers and riders.

"We've been absolutely frothing to get out skiing and snowboarding when it's looking this good - and it's amazing to be able to bring all our guests up to get their fix too," general manager Bridget Legnavksy said.

Cardrona, 28th MayCardrona, 28th May
















Guns are blazingGuns are blazing













25th May, 2018

The season in Australia and New Zealand is approaching with resorts opening next month.

So why are we so excited about it this year here at PlanetSKI?

We're off to the ski fields of Australia and New Zealand in August so we're keeping a vigilant eye on things.

We will have full reports from there later in the summer and will shortly have a guide on the ski resorts Down Under, but in the meantime we're just excited to see the current snowfall.

Going into the 2018 season:


Perisher in Australia has 2 weeks to go until opening, 9th June.

And the snow spray above is boasting about the snow from there...

Patchy snow in Thredbo isn't curbing the excitement of the resort's 'Sergeant Stoke' there, though:


Mt Hotham in Australia is prepping to open on 9th June.

Mat Alcock image - Alcock image -














North Island in NZ is currently having no break from the heavy hitting storms, thunder, hail and heavy rain.

Up to 400 lightning strikes were reported to hit last Friday morning.

Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu is the largest ski area in New Zealand.

Skiing extends up to an altitude of 2,300m and is atop an active volcano.

Hear the snow news here, straight from the mountain:

Mt Ruapehu Happy Valley area is set to open on 1st June, while Whakapapa aiming for 16th June and nearby Turoa at the end of the month on 29th.

On New Zealand's South Island it's clear but cold, at -4 C in areas.

Winter has certainly arrived.

There's been heavy snow at Coronet Peak.

"What a huge week! Coronet Peak is looking it's wintery best with 50-70cm packed bottom to top and there's still more coming!" the resort has posted on its Facebook page.

Opening day is 16th June.

Coronet PeakPatrol at Coronet Peak














Coronet PeakCoronet Peak















Nearby resort The Remarkables will get going for the 2018 season on 9th June.

Since 19th May it's seen snow all week.

20th, 21st June saw 20cm a piece, and it hasn't stopped snowing lightly.

It's time to dig out the gear...

The RemarkablesThe Remarkables














Fellow Queenstown resort (to Coronet Peak and Remarkables), Mt Hutt, will kick off the season on 8th June.

Here's how it looked, two weeks from opening, from the valley floor:

Mt HuttMt Hutt from below












And up top, 23rd May - a clear day:

mt_hutt_500_03Mt Hutt, Wednesday 23rd May















And then there's South Island's Cardrona to be skiing on 16th June.

"Winter is on!" the resort reports.

It's onIt's on
















See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number 1 for ski news

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