Resorts in Australia Open for the Season With Bumper Snow Conditions
12th June 2021
Last modified on June 15th, 2021
It is one of the best starts to the season in recent years in Australia with resorts opening across New South Wales and Victoria. There are some limits on people’s movement in Victoria due to Covid-19, but resorts are opening. In New Zealand the season has kicked off too.
In Australia Perisher opened its Front Valley run for skiing and snowboarding a week early on Friday 4th June.
At the weekend of 12th/13th June it opened more runs and other resorts across the mountains are firing up their lifts.
Neighbouring Thredbo in New South Wales also opened with 25cm of snow at the base, and 60cm at the top of the mountain.
In the state of Victoria Falls Creek opened with 30cm of fresh snow.
In Australia it’s traditional for the opening weekend to coincide with the Queen’s official birthday, snow conditions allowing.
This year the conditions have certainly allowed skiing and snowboarding to get underway.
Low temperatures have allowed snow making to take place and Mother Nature has provided a helping hand with large amounts of snow.
Australia is experiencing some of its coldest temperatures in decades as snow covers part of New South Wales and Victoria where the ski resorts are.
Sydney has seen its coldest day since 1984.
The low temperatures come as a pool of cool air comes from Antarctica.
Perisher posted ahead of its full opening:
We have so much snow we are opening more lifts and terrain on Saturday! Not only will Smiggin Holes make it’s 2021 debut you’ll find; Quad Express to mid-station, Leichhardt Quad Chair, Happy Valley T-Bar and more! Take a peek 👀 👉 https://t.co/rEAT7g4o1d pic.twitter.com/2LVhcwVhKH
— Perisher (@PerisherResort) June 10, 2021
Perisher, like all the other resorts, is operating within relevant government Covid-19 regulations.
Cleaning and safety protocols are in place to protect guests, communities, and employees consistent with public health requirements.
Guests should expect to purchase products on-line and in advance, use QR check-in codes at indoor venues, and are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings, physically distance, and adopt good hygiene measures.
There’s been up to 60cm (2 feet) of snowfall on Australian ski slopes ahead of the main season start on Saturday. @charlottepass @PerisherResort @ThredboResort @MtHotham pictured today. pic.twitter.com/b2Dsy2JfRO
— Snow Forecast.com (@SnowForecast) June 10, 2021
In the state of Victoria the resorts have been affected by an extension of some Covid-19 rules.
The lockdown ended at midnight on Thursday 10th June but Melbourne residents have limits on their movements.
They can leave home only for essential reasons.
However, outside Melbourne some restrictions are being eased with limited outdoor gatherings and restaurants re-opening.
The state’s ski resorts opened on Saturday 12th June.
The storm cleared leaving #Hotham blanketed in white.❄️ We’ll have the Road Runner, Summit Quad & Summit Trainer lifts spinning Saturday! ⛷️🏂 We plan to open up more terrain as soon as we can. We can’t wait until our guests from Melbourne can join us once travel is allowed. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/OCUsdZKGZR
— Hotham (@_hotham) June 11, 2021
“We are pleased to advise that the 2021 snow season at Mt Hotham will commence as planned on Saturday 12 June (Queen’s Birthday weekend),” the resort announced. –
“While we are disappointed that at this stage it looks like we will not be able to welcome our friends and guests from metropolitan Melbourne, we understand the extension to keep all Victorians COVID-Safe and healthy.
“We look forward to welcoming regional Victorians to the resort. There will be no restrictions on the number of people who can enter the resort, however attendance at indoor venues will be limited as per the public health guidelines.
“We have postponed our season opening festivities until a later date when all Victorians are able to come and celebrate the 2021 season with us. Further information will be provided when these plans are finalised.
“We can confirm that the lifts will be turning and the toboggan slope will be operating for Queen’s Birthday weekend – subject to available snow.”
The Victorian state government has agreed extra financial help for the alpine industry.
Australian media report it will receive AUS $4.4mof a $32.2 million tourism package.
On-mountain operators will be eligible for grants of up to $15,000 and off-mountain operators can access grants of $5,000, which will help start-up costs and preparations for the opening weekend.
Mt Hotham Chamber of Commerce President Steve Belli told ABC News that the money was ‘a big deal’ as bookings had gone down from 100% to around 25 to 35%.
“Hopefully we see a few more interstate and regional people come up and enjoy the opening weekend,” he said.
“We had four days of trade in 2020 — there are not many businesses around Australia that have suffered that badly.”
Victoria’s other ski areas area are continuing to get ready for the start of the winter season.
Mt Buller has been making snow, hoping to fire up the lifts on 12th June.
The resort has warned that businesses “can’t afford to have a repeat of last year”.
There is some optimism that this winter will be better than the last one with Australians desperate to get on the slopes.
“Everyone’s talking about a busy season and the way things are all booked up at the resorts, it sounds like we’re going to be, ” Justin Rees, who runs Ski Co, an equipment hire outlet in Cooma, New South Wales, told the Australian Associated Press.
“Put it this way, it’s looking a hell of a lot better than last year.”
In New Zealand Mt Hutt opened on Friday, June 11th with more than 2,000 people turning out to make their first turns of the season.
There has been heavy snow in the last week and it reports a base of 30cm at resort level and 80cm at the top of the mountain.
The Mt Hutt operations manager, James Urquhart, said “I can’t wait … to go out for a ski” to local media.
All the groomed runs opened as well as the new 8-person chairlift, the Nor’West Express.
Preparations have been taking place all week.
Most of the other ski fields on the South Island in New Zealand are also expected to begin opening from late next week.
Cardrona has been forced to delay opening its slopes from this coming weekend to next week as there is not enough snow.
It has 15cm of snow but with colder temperatures next week the resort is now planning to open the slopes on Friday 18th June.
The resort itself will still open as planned this weekend for sightseeing, meals, shopping and hiking.
The mountain will close from Monday to Thursday next week while make snow and prepare the slopes.
Coronet Peak is due to open on June 19th, Porters Alpine Resort on June 25th, and The Remarkables and Treble Cone from June 26th and the Craigieburn Valley Ski Area on July 17th.