South Island Ski Season go from June 12 at Mt Hutt

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The South Island Ski Season is go!

Yes, the Kiwis have made the tough decisions, got organised and have already announced opening dates for the major South Island ski fields.

Mt Hutt is leader of the pack, scheduled to open on June 12.

Mt Hutt has always been one of, if not the best, early and late season options in NZ for snow – we have skied there mid-May, and they used to run till the snow ran out in November back in the early years.

The South Island ski season starts June 12 at Mt Hutt
Mt Hutt’s even better snowmaking system pretty much guarantees a good cover for the June 12 opening date © Owain Price

In recent years the snowmaking system has ensured decent coverage, especially early season. On a June visit 3 years ago the snow guns ran for over 72 hours straight.

For 2020 the snowmaking has been boosted, doubling the supply rate of water for snowmaking with an additional bore – allowing snowmakers to operate guns at full flow for much longer periods of time. More fully-automated fan guns and state-of-the art land-guns have been added to ensure the best quality snow is made exactly where they want it, with the lowest possible impact on the environment.

Speaking of the environment, they have a buy a tree/trees program too to regenerate the beautiful native forests on the mountain, so have a couple less beers and leave your mark for posterity and the planet instead!

Porters Ski Area will be opening on June 26th.

Who else is looking forward to smashing The Towers again? © Owain Price

The South Island ski season is scheduled to kick in a couple of weeks later for Hutt’s sister NZski.com areas of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak outside Queenstown.

Coronet Peak is set for a June 27 opening, and Remarkables a week later on July 4th.

Coronet’s new gondola cabins will be on, allowing for a more comfortable ride and the chance for pedestrians to go up and check out the view.

Sundown view from Coronet peak to The Remarkables
Classic sunset view from Coronet Peak across to The Remarkables; this season you’ll be able to ride the gondola cabins up to check it out © nzski.com

The Remarkables new Sugar Bowl six pac Express will change the way this mountain skis forever, and finally unlock much more of its true potential. The original lift placement left a lot to be desired back in the 1980s, but Sugar Bowl is a gamechanger as we reported last year (it got delayed by a few approval issues so didn’t go in for last winter).

With the new Sugar Bowl 6 pac express lift The Remarkables will realise its true potential this season © NZski.com

Up the road in Wanaka there is some exciting news too, with Cardrona buying Treble Cone to make one pass work for both mountains, and ensure a strong financial future and more investment for TC, which was lagging behind as Cardrona as forged ahead over the past few years with their impressive developments like the Chondola.

Cardrona is scheduled to open June 26, Treble Cone on June 27th.

So the Kiwi season is already locked in, guess it helps to just have one government in charge of this stuff – unlike the 4 making decisions about the Aussie ski season this year.

The news is good for the Club fields too, for example arguably the best of them all, Temple Basin, is go – with a 50% capacity limit at the lodges though.

As for Trans-Tasman Flights? Hmmm, any bets? We’ll go for resumption by July, maybe after School Holidays, what do you think?

Our social distancing tip: if you have your pass, use Cardrona’s lower car park and sneak up that way; great coffee there too © Owain Price