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New Zealand Ski Areas Pounded By Heavy Snow

50cm has fallen in some areas with forecasters predicting up to 1m in places.  The season has been hit by Covid-19 international travel restrictions but for the lucky ones it is quite a winter. UPDATED

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Mt Hutt on the south island of New Zealand is reporting some of the best snowfall with the slopes now open and 40cm of fresh snow.

 

The ski areas around Queenstown and Wanaka have seen less snow but more is in the way.

Cardrona had 5cm on Monday, but a further 30cm is in the forecast.

 

There is heavy snow at the resorts on the north island too including Whakapapa and Turoa.

Most of the resorts were shut due to high wind and avalanche danger but teams have been clearing the snow and conditions are some of the best of the season.

NZ Mountain Safety Council has issued avalanche warnings with the danger level described as “considerable” in many places on the south island and “high” in several others.

There have also been road closures and transport disruption with some schools shut and power lines down.

New Zealand has also announced it is to keep it international border closed until at least the end of the year.

The NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said an elimination strategy was the best way to keep Covid-19 out and the economy open.

She added that the priority was to vaccinate the population by the end of 2021.

The country has had just 26 deaths out of a population of 5 million.

Ski resorts remain open but there are restrictions on international visitors.

“We’re simply not in a position to a fully reopen just yet,” Ms Ardern said in a speech at a forum about reconnecting New Zealanders to the world.

“When we move we will be careful and deliberate, because we want to move with confidence and with as much certainty as possible.”

When New Zealand does open its borders vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries are expected to avoid quarantine while those from higher risk countries will have to either self-isolate or quarantine for 14-days.

In Australia there has also been some snow, but the best news is resorts are opening albeit for locals only.

Travel restrictions in many areas due to a surge in Covid-19 means people are unable to travel.

In the state of Victoria resorts have been shut but are set to re-open.

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