Australian and New Zealand snow season update
But with good school holiday crowds, snow-making machines pumping and forecasts of more snow this weekend, operators are keeping positive.Despite rain last weekend, Snow Australia CEO Colin Hackworth said snow-making areas were holding up well.”We didn’t get snow as early as in 2012 but everybody had a very solid snow cover for school holidays and numbers were very, very good indeed”, he said. “That dump of half a metre of snow before in time for the second week of the New South Wales and Victoria school holidays kicked us along nicely.”The Australian season looked promising early on after good preseason falls in May, but most of the snow was washed away by rain before opening weekend. There were good dumps at the end of June and in early July, with 63cm of snow falling at Falls Creek in Victoria in four days.
Over the ditch in New Zealand skiers and snowboarders have been rejoicing bumper natural snowfalls with a storm that swept across the South Island in late June dumping more than 3.5m of snow on Mt Hutt – the biggest at the Resort since reliable records began 13 years ago.The ski areas around Queenstown and Wanaka, including Coronet Peak and The Remarkables, received good falls during May, topped up by the June storm. Ski industry veteran and Mt Dobson ski field owner Peter Foote said it was the largest snowfall he’d seen in 35 years.”I reckon there’ll still be snow here at Christmas time”, he said.Another storm hit the South Island last Sunday (July 14), striking the Canterbury region, which includes Mt Hutt, particularly hard.NZSki general manager Craig Douglas said Queenstown in particular had been packed with Australians who had seen photos and reports about the snow. “We have had a lot of natural snow – it just keeps on coming at the moment”, he said. “We were talking to some Aussie guys the other day who literally just got on a plane and came – they hadn’t booked a Hotel or rental car or anything.”We had a good school holiday period for Australians and it didn’t overlap with the New Zealand school holidays this year so we didn’t have that peak crowding on the mountains – it is been busy but comfortable.”The Australia and New Zealand season runs until October.
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