The ski season started with a bang yesterday morning, with people queuing through the night to get the first ride down the mountain. Both Coronet Peak (Queenstown) and Mount Hutt (Canterbury) ski fields opened their doors yesterday, even though strong winds postponed Mount Hutt’s original opening date on the 14th.
Mount Hutt ski area manager James Mckenzie reported about 400 people were out enjoying the slopes, which were covered in a good dumping of snow of around 30 to 40cm. While the trails were looking great, there is hope that the weather continues to improve in order to get more people up the mountain. Strong wind has recently been an issue, with Mount Hutt’s chair lift 6 having to close.
It is hoped that the ski season will draw both domestic visitors and international tourists to popular skiing destinations around New Zealand. Coronet Peak ski area manager Ross Copland said that he is expecting to see a greater number of Australian visitors this year due to Queenstown airport increasing the number of scheduled flights for the peak season.