There could not have been a more auspicious start to the season for New Zealand’s South Island ski fields. In just the first few opening weeks, Treble Cone and Roundhill have been completely blanketed with two meters of snow. Mt.Hutt has to its credit broken all previous record by already receiving 3.5 meters of snow on the slopes and 3 meters at the base.
The unprecedented snow fall means a promise of brisk business for the skiing operators on the South Island. Craig Douglas, sales and marketing manager for NZ Ski Ltd, owners of The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt, mentioned that the major influx of tourists for this years skiing season is expected to come from Australia. More and more Australians are looking at New Zealand for their skiing vacation with reportedly a rush for last minute bookings in sight of the perfect conditions right at the start of the season. New Zealand’s wide open bowls and gentle slopes are world famous as great skiing conditions with ample scopes skiing enthusiasts of all levels.
But snow is not only turning on the slopes, the ski towns which play an active role in New Zealand’s winter holiday are also warming up to welcome the tourists. These towns offer a host of activities such as golf, vineyards, dining options, adventure sports and hot pools to keep the tourists busy when they are not skiing down the slopes. Places such as Queenstown and Tekapo really come alive during the winter.
Tim Burgess, general manager for Tourism New Zealand in Australia mentioned that New Zealand is the preferred destination for Australians for a skiing vacation. This is mainly due to the fantastic skiing conditions, a diverse number of activities off the snow and the value for money that one can expect on a New Zealand skiing holiday. A skiing vacation on the South Island is not only about an international skiing experience but more than that it is a true alpine experience throughout one’s stay. Add to this a favourable exchange rate and Australians have in their hands an irresistible winter destination just across the Tasman.
Currently there are a total of 1210 flights available to go to South Island from Australia, operated by Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Emirates, Qantas and Jetstar. Leanne Geraghty, General Manager Australia for Air New Zealand mentioned that the news of the recent snowfall in South Island is surely encouraging. The timely and heavy snowfall is great news and promises a renewed interest in the skiing destinations by Australians.
Air New Zealand and its partner Virgin Australia will be bolstering its services with an additional 30,000 extra seats between Australia and Queenstown during the peak winter months of July – September to ensure they can handle the last minute bookings. The airlines will be operating a minimum additional of five return flights per week from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to the skiing gateway of Queenstown.
New Zealand’s skiing destinations with their diverse activities, convenient reach and great facilities are a must visit for Australians looking for a winter destination. Plus the recent record snowfall makes it the best time to make the jump across the Tasman and experience it.