Kiwis Crush Delta: NZ Ski Resorts Open Tomorrow

“We have to learn to live with Delta!” is the politician’s catchcry in Australia.

But the Kiwis don’t: they crushed their Delta outbreak so well NZ ski areas are back open tomorrow across both islands!

Yes, most of country except Auckland is back on their Level 2 restrictions from tomorrow. Which puts skiing back on the menu all over the place.

Mt Hutt today, which is pretty wild as a big nor-easter rips through. They’re back open tomorrow

That includes at Mt Ruapehu, which is scheduled to kick on through to the end of October for those who can go.

New Zealand’s 4 level Alert covid restriction system is well understood by the population, and they are well versed in following the restrictions when neccessary.

So despite claims you can’t control a Delta strain Covid outbreak from politicians who didn’t manage that in Australia, the Kiwis are enjoying the fruits of their success in doing just that.

they won’t re-open the travel bubble with Australia till they, and we, hit high vaccination levels – and even with that, given their current outbreak stemmed from a traveller returning from Sydney they are unlikely to do so till case numbers are much lower here too.

Level 4 is pretty much total lockdown, except for genuine essential like food and medicine. Harsh, but effective.

Groomers working hard for re-opening at Turoa © RAL

Level 3 allows most worksites to function, and under this recently the ski areas have been able to get back to work to be ready to re-open as soon as Alert Level 2 came back. This was the level they operated under for much of winter 2020.

“Alert Level 2 is a game changer for us at Mt Ruapehu as we can all return to the maunga and invite you back to join us too” says RAL CEO Jono Dean says. “Although unfortunately Aucklanders [ed – and Aussies!] will have to wait a bit longer. All lifts, including the Far West T and Nga Wai Heke, are ready to go, conditions permitting.

“Opening the ski fields under Alert Level 2 does come with some restrictions though. We will need to operate our ski areas at a lower daily capacity limit to meet social distancing guidelines, which are in place to ensure the safety of guests and staff.”

This means that capacities will be reduced to 2,550 guests at Tūroa and 3,050 at Whakapapa.

“While this is down on what we would consider a ‘busy’ weekend day, which can attract up to 5,000 guests, these capacity limits sit comfortably above our average daily numbers, excluding closed weather days, of approximately 1,900 guests each side,” Jono says.

“Weekdays will still be the best days to visit the maunga when there will be less people on the ski fields.”

Jono asks people to be patient and follow guidelines and instructions of staff on the mountain, for everyone’s safety.  “We’ve successfully operated at Level 2 before so a lot of people know the drill already and we’re asking that they stringently follow the Alert Level 2 guidelines once again.” 

At Alert Level 2, there will be no need to book parking. RAL will manage the capacity limits as above and operate a one-in, one-out approach to parking if and when that capacity is reached. “We expect higher visitor numbers on the weekends and this one-in, one-out out approach will be more likely to be in play then,” Jono says.

Down south the big guns are back too, like Mt hutt, Cardrona and Treble Cone etc.

Enjoy if you can. Ruapehu in spring is awesome, the best lift accessed late season in Australasia and incredible big mountain back country accessed in no time at all. See why we rated it #1 for that here: