New Zealand Ski Resorts Re-open as Covid Restrictions Ease
6th September 2021
Last modified on September 8th, 2021
All the ski resorts are now able to reopen as the lockdown is eased. Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders were out on the slopes making the most of decent Spring snow conditions. UPDATED
All of New Zealand, with the exception of Auckland, has moved to so-called Level Two.
Skiers and snowboarders made the most of fresh snow and social connection at the re-opening of the ski areas.
Hundreds of people hit the slopes on the first day of Alert Level 2 for all regions in New Zealand, outside of Auckland.
Coronet Peak was the first ski area in the country to re-open, with dozens of Queenstown locals heading up for First Tracks at 8am.
There was 3cm of fresh snow overnight and more flurries during the morning.
Coronet Peak was the last to close on Wednesday, with a special one-off Night Ski, from 4-9pm.
The Remarkables received 15cm of fresh snow overnight, while Mt Hutt in Canterbury received a dusting overnight, with snow falling throughout the morning.
“The snow arrived at the perfect time,” said the NZSki CEO, Paul Anderson.
The company operates Mt Hutt, The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
“While it was difficult to watch the biggest snowfall of the season arrive just as we went into lockdown, our crew have worked hard over the past few days to get the mountains ready for our guests again,” added Paul Anderson..
“The fresh snow has certainly helped.”
More snow is also expected to arrive later this week, with a cold front coming through on Thursday and into the weekend.
“We’re really lucky to have such a loyal base of locals who love coming to our mountains,” he added.
“Making the most of the outdoors is what living in our community is all about.
“People will be happy to be doing what they love doing and seeing some of their friends up here.’
Under Level 2, all mountain visitors must sign in with the Covid tracer app.
NZSki has set up a designated scanning ‘gateway’ for all vehicle occupants to sign in, as they drive up the mountain.
In addition, masks or ski buffs must be always worn on lifts and in buildings, and guests are reminded to follow physical distancing guidelines in all areas.
“Everyone is just happy to be out and about,” Anderson adds.
All mountains comply with the public health guidelines stipulated by the Government and the guidelines developed by the Ski Areas Association of New Zealand.
Face coverings remain mandatory in public indoor areas, indoor venues are allowed a maximum of 50 people, and it is a legal requirement to check in at places such as cafes, restaurants and hairdressers.
Excitement was building ahead of the ski areas opening.
And it was a similar message from Coronet Peak.
Fresh snow is forecast for Coronet Peak and the other resorts on the South Island around Queenstown.
On the North Island the Tūroa and Whakapapa ski fields on Mt Ruapehu have also re-opened.
“With lots of new snow and more in the forecast and still half of the winter season left, there’s plenty of opportunity to ski in 2021,” said a statement from the ski areas.
The resorts in New Zealand have lost around a third of their season due to restrictions and some fear they may not even brake even.
Travel and border restrictions have all but destroyed the international market.
Here on PlanetSKI we will be updating this article with news from the other resorts so do check back.
With snow in the forecast it looks like there’s going to be some good late-season skiing and snowboarding for the lucky ones.