A flurry of spring snow and Australian visitors to Coronet
Peak and the Remarkables has turned around a ski season that
has dealt with below-average snowfall and unseasonably warm
NZSki chief executive James Coddington said it was ironic
snow was forecast to low levels during this, the closing
weekend of NZSki's Queenstown skifields.
Along with the spring snow, visitor numbers were also holding
and the skifields were attracting more Australian visitors
than expected during their school holidays.
"Last week we saw a lot of Australians over the school
holidays and this week we are seeing a lot of Kiwis," Mr
The Remarkables Ski Area manager Ross Lawrence had been
"surprised" with the "higher-than-expected number of
Australian families" who visited the skifield last week.
Mr Coddington was optimistic about the forecast snow, but
experience had taught him to see before believing.
"It hasn't always come true, so we'll believe it when we see
it on the ground."
He said the season had delivered different results for the
skifields, with Coronet Peak suffering due to a lack of snow,
while the Remarkables had a "fantastic" season.
"Without the snow-making infrastructure, it would have been a
very different season."
With the challenges faced because of the snow cover, Mr
Coddington said he was pleased both fields were able to open
and close on the advertised dates.
Coronet Peak manager Hamish McCrostie said the season had
been "great" to begin with but when August came around, "it
just got warm".
He credited the snow's endurance to the snow-making efforts
in May and June, when temperatures dropped low enough for the
snow guns to pump out the white gold.
The skifield received a top-up of more than 18cm from a
snowstorm during the second weekend of September, and the
Remarkables also benefited.