New Zealand ski fields to open tomorrow
Heavy snowfall provides a boost to Southern Alps ski fields...
Heavy snow blanketed New Zealand’s South Island this week, allowing the 2012 ski season to get underway at both Mount Hutt and Coronet Peak tomorrow (Saturday 9 June). At Mount Hutt, an average 65cm of snow had covered the Canterbury ski area by Thursday morning. The snowmaking guns at Coronet Peak are also providing adequate cover for skiers this weekend. “It’s fantastic to see the snow falling,” said Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager for Australia, Tim Burgess. “When you look at the quality and value of a ski experience, but also the range of activities like golf, fi shing, hot pools and wine tasting available in our resort towns it is no surprise to see the amount of Australians choosing New Zealand for a ski holiday,” Burgess added. The heavy snow continued to cause transport chaos yesterday, however. Several flights into Christchurch were delayed or cancelled on Thursday – the second consecutive day of disruption. Air New Zealand, which canceled all flights from Christchurch on Wednesday evening, said last night that conditions are “beginning to improve, enabling some flight operations to recommence”. Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar have all boosted direct flights between Australia and New Zealand this ski season to meet expected high demand from Australian skiers. “We know that the majority of Australians who are actively considering visiting New Zealand are interested in skiing – so our activities this season are very much focused on converting these into ski-bums on seats,” said Air New Zealand’s General Manager for Australia, Cam Wallace. New Zealand’s Southern Alps are longer than the French, Swiss and Austrian Alps combined.
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