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PLANETSKI HEADS SOUTH - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Thursday August 9, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's a bumper season Down Under & easily the best in a decade. They're tripling their average snowfall and it's not over yet... So, that's where we're heading: UPDATED


It's turning into a pretty good season in Australia where we'll be next month.

One of the best in recent years.

And it's not bad in New Zealand either where we're heading first - I'll be reporting from the slopes of the south island next week.

After a ski at Ski Dubai in the United Arab Emirates:

Yours truly at Ski DubaiYours truly at Ski Dubai

The hardest part so far has been the packing - what to take?

It looks like lady luck is smiling on us and we have chosen the right year to go.

In Australia it's been bucketing down and it looks like it's not over yet.

First the snow that I've been monitoring closely in recent days.

Some resorts are announcing they're extending the season.

Mt Hotham in Australia has said that it will extend its winter ski season to October 7th.

It has a base of 1.54m and believes that is more than enough to carry on with.

Others are now looking at doing the same.

The latest storm follows on from a wintry spell last month:

We've pulled together a few images and comments from the lucky ones out enjoying the conditions and continue to update this report with snow news from Australia and New Zealand, so do check back.


New Zealand and Australia have lucked out this year.

It's the season of a decade and everyone's getting their piece:

Just take a look here of four big resorts this weekend.

Pictures of snow will do far more than stats:

Australia's Perisher - a tree-lined resort that's usually slushy at best is doing just great:

Falls Creek might be having the best season in 20 years, even.

And they're jumping for joy.

Falls Creek, AustraliaFalls Creek, Australia

And over the ditch in New Zealand:

Proper piste in Cardrona NZProper piste in Cardrona NZ


An avalanche that hit two weeks ago on Mt Ruapehu in New Zealand took down a pylon.

And now it's been announced that the main Turoa lift will be down for the rest of the season.

Despite the huge break, no one was injured, which is the best news.

The avalanche was said to be big enough to destroy a small town.

A snow plough was carried away in the snowslip.

Two young men narrowly escaped the avalanche.

They had driven the snowcat and were looking at the upper slopes where they knew the avalanche team were detonating the area to make it safe.

The snowcat (piste basher) drivers said they were not expecting it to be as big as it was - and quickly took shelter in the lift-station safe building.

The avalanche left a 700-metre debris field and carried the cat about 200m, writing it off.

We reported on the technicalities of the lift break (on 9th August) and on the announcement that it's shut for the season (on 16th August) here:
Avalanche damage - High Noon Express TuroaAvalanche damage - High Noon Express Turoa

Avalanche safety crews have been working incredibly hard this season as New Zealand has had a busy snow year.

More than 30 cm of snow has fallen in last 3 days at Mt Ruapehu, with around 25cm in 72 hours at the nearby North Island ski areas of Whakapapa and Turoa.

Turoa avalancheTuroa avalanche

Car parks are full in resorts across New Zealand as snow draws in drovesCar parks are full in resorts across New Zealand as snow draws in droves


On South Island, Cardona has had 12cm today.

It's been snow and sun during the last week and these riders have been making the most of it.


14cm has fallen today over in the Remarkables by Queenstown and avalanche control teams are at it to keep the mountain safe.

In Australia there's also fresh snow.

10cm in Perisher today with blue skies...

Perfect conditions if these hold out for our editor's visit in the coming weeks.

PerisherPerisher's fresh




The resort has had "freshies for days" with snow all the way down to the village.

"50cm and counting", the resort said on Wednesday.

ThredboFun in the freshies - photo Thredbo Resort















Thredbo - Update Sunday 12 August:

Thredbo claims it was the best "Sunday of the season" so far with 30cm of snow in 24 hours and more snow on the way.

Thredbo had a great weekend, as shown in the videos below:




Enjoying deep snow in Perisher 8th August:


Perisher - Updated Sunday 12th August:

Next door to Thredbo is Perisher, where the powder snow over the weekend looked equally tantalising.

The video below posted by Alex Cove at Perisher gives a great 360º panorama of Perisher powder.


A post shared by Alex Cove (@cove023) on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:39am PDT

"A mint Thursday at Hotham," the resort says.  "68cm storm total for the week. 168cm base. 305cm of snow this season. Enjoy!"

And here's what it looks like:

On Wednesday Mt Hotham reported close to 50cm of new snow, with a base of 154cm!

"Powder day of the season. It's still dumping snow too!"

Mt Hotham posted the following image on twitter. It's hard to work out the photo .. but it looks deep.

Mt Hotham - 8th August Mt Hotham - 8th August




















Mt Hotham - Update Sunday 12th August:

Sunday morning skiing at Hotham kicked off with 24cm of powder snow.

Mt Hotham - @mwvardyMt Hotham - (Photo: @mwvardy)















Hotham - 12th August (photo: Hotham)Mt Hotham - 12th August (photo: Hotham)














Mt HothamMt Hotham - 12th August (photo: Hotham Alpine Resort)

Mt Hotham Update: Monday 13th August

Sign of a good season,.  The resort says there's 30cm+ in the forecast this week.

Mt Hotham, AustraliaMt Hotham - 13th August

And it looks like the snow coming will be widespread....

Mount Buller

Thursday August 9 2018 over 1m of natural snow and a beautiful day☀️❄️

Photo by:  @cirque5

Mt Buller - 9th August Mt Buller - 9th August




















Mt Buller - 8th AugustMt Buller - 8th August
















The commute in 35cm of fresh snow looked a lot more fun than usual for some.

Mt Buller school runMt Buller school run - 8th August




















Mt Buller on Thursday in the middle of the storm

The lifts were opened a little later than usual as a result of the snowfall:

Not sure when the clear up will happen as one of the snow ploughs is snowed-under or else the driver might be taking a sickie (that's only our interpretation, not fact).

Mt Buller - 8 August Mt Buller - 8th August




















Mt Buller 8 August - snorkeling in powderMt Buller - 8th August





















Mt Buller - Update Sunday 12th August:

Mt Buller - Sunday 12th AugustMt Buller - 12th August





















Mt Buller at the weekend:

A post shared by Devang Patel (@iamdpatel) on Aug 11, 2018 at 1:13am PDT

 Mt Buller - 12 August (Photo: daniel_russy Instagram)Mt Buller - 12th August (Photo: daniel_russy Instagram)

An unusual snowsports buddy at Mt Buller 🤣

Snowboarding at Mt Buller - 12th August (photo: Francesco Eri)Snowboarding at Mt Buller - (photo: Francesco Eri)

Mt Buller Update:  Tuesday 14th August

Mt Buller, AustraliaMt Buller - 14th August

Falls Creek

Falls Creek suggest packing a shovel when visiting the ski area 😮😮

Falls Creek - 9th August Falls Creek - 9th August




















Falls Creek - 8th August Falls Creek - 8th August





















See the PlanetSKI guide to skiing and snowboarding in the southern hemisphere....

...and details of all the ski and snowboard action taking place in Australia and New Zealand this season:

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news

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