Snow Report 24 June 2013 - Australia & New Zealand


Here we are less than one week out from the July school holidays in Australia. The lack of natural snowfalls in Southeastern Australia has been a little disappointing.

Falls Creek 23 June [Source Falls Creek FB page]

Fortunately the very cold nights over the last week have helped snowmakers create some magnificent quantities of manmade snow at all the major resorts over the last week. Remarkably this has helped all the ski resorts open at least a run or two against all the odds.

A bit of snow fell on Monday, especially at Perisher and Thredbo. Very little snow is forecast during the next week, so its going to be a while before we really get going.

Mt Hotham
Natural Snow Depth: 9cms
The Big D beginner run that sits all on its own above the road through Hotham Heights opened on the weekend. Nothing else open yet but you'd expect Summit to be the next lift to open at Hotham.

Falls Creek
Natural Snow Depth: 0cms
Beginners can ski up high at Mousetrap, and there is the short, fast ski run down Main Street on offer along with the lovely Wombats Ramble which opened on Monday after some great snowmaking runs.

Perisher 23 June [Source: Perisher FB page]

Mt Buller
Natural Snow Depth: 0cms
Mt Buller's huge snowmaking system has managed to get Bourke Street/Baldy open last week, followed by Wombat/Little Buller, and then Shakey Knees which opened on Sunday. More snow is needed to keep those runs open.

Natural Snow Depth: 11cms
Happy Valley and Zalis opened on Sunday, adding to the runs open all around Front Valley. Some good snowfalls on Sunday and Monday (30cms) have boosted the ski area's cover.

Natural Snow Depth: 0-41cms
High Noon and the beginners area at Friday Flat are now open.


What a dramatic week and weekend in New Zealand. Snowfalls in the South Island last weekend and into seem tame now by comparison with what came later.

A huge storm hit from 19-21st June, affecting the whole country and bringing massive snowfalls across the skifields in the South Island.

Mt Lyford 24 June [Source: Mt Lyford FB page]

Unfortunately, most resorts were unprepared to deal with this amount of snow at this time of year, with operations only just getting going. For some, the sheer amount of snow made it hard to clear roads and conduct safety work for days.

Only Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona were open on this past weekend as the storm hit harder in Canterbury than in the Southern Lakes.

Not much snow in the forecast for New Zealand for the next week.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Rainbow - no news from Rainbow this week following the big storm. Rainbow skifield is due to open on Saturday 6th July. Hanmer Springs says it is looking to open on Saturday 29th June having got a good bit of cover in a few days of snowfalls. Mt Lyford is aiming to get the field open on the 27th or 28th June after receiving around two metres of snow from the storm.

Porters [Source: ONENews via Porters FB page]

Porters was engaged in safety work by helicopter which set off an avalanche which has delayed the planned opening, which was 21st June. Its not clear when Christchurch's closest ski area will open. Mt Hutt got a heap of snow in the weekend snowfalls a week ago ... then even more in the big storm. Over two metres by the end of the week and edging deeper and deeper and closer to three metres by Sunday 23rd June.

Unfortunately Hutt couldn't get open again on the weekend with all the work that has been required to get the skifield prepared. Mt Hutt had to do avalanche control by helicopter ("helibombing") this weekend. Bad news is that an avalanche took out the bottom lift station of the Towers Triple Chairlift on Sunday. The good news is Hutt will open on Tuesday 25th June.

The Mackenzie

The new lift at Ohau
Ohau received 60cms in the weekend storm, followed by a metre of snow and then some great news about the second lift they plan to put in at the end of 2013. Ohau opens on 29th June. Roundhill and Mt Dobson each received a heap of snow in the storms and open in early July.


Treble Cone is opening on 27th June with great cover in the Saddle Basin - around 1.5 metres. Cardrona was one of the only skifields open on the weekend with fantastic cover across the mountain (120/65cms).


At Coronet Peak, the Greengates Chair opened and the Peak now has a solid base for the long season ahead (105/65cms). Close by, across the valley, The Remarkables opened on 22nd June (110/75cms).


Ski Season 2013 - What's Open


Perisher 14th June 2013 [Source: perisher.com.au]
I think it would be fair to say this wasn't exactly the start we hoped for in Australia. Warm sunny days were followed by rain which washed away all of the snow that fell in mid-May. While last year we had a good start to the snow season, this year's is unfortunately the far more common scenario ... so remember that its still early days.

The Front Valley run at Perisher is just about open for a few turns on the manmade snow. Elsewhere is snowplay only.

The good news is that the coming days look quite snowy, so hopefully that will kickstart the season and get some slopes open.


Queenstown's Coronet Peak was the first and only skifield to open in New Zealand on the 8th June 2013. Some of New Zealand South Island skifields scored up to half a metre in a timely storm in the week before but only a few have managed to hold onto any significant cover, notably Cardrona and Mt Hutt.

More snow is forecast this weekend after some rain on Saturday. The higher skifields and slopes should escape most of the rain.

New Zealand skifields usually open towards the end of June and early July, but here are this weekend's openings and the dates of the scheduled openings.

Coronet Peak - OPEN - 30-40cms snow depth. Opened on 8th June 2013 with the main lift to the peak running. Skiing is mainly on the groomed pistes. Rain in the forecast for this weekend is a concern.

Coronet Peak 14th June 2013 [Source: www.nzski.com]
The Remarkables - CLOSED (Opening 22nd June) - 30-70cms.

Cardrona - CLOSED (Opening 22nd June) - Cardrona has kept

Treble Cone - CLOSED (Opening 27th June) - 8-10cms.

Ohau - CLOSED (Opening 29th June)

Roundhill - CLOSED (Opening 6th July)

Mt Dobson - CLOSED (Opening 12th July)

Mt Hutt - OPEN - 50-70cms. Looks like getting some good snowfalls this weekend.

Porters - CLOSED (Opening 21st June) - no snow yet.

Mt Cheeseman - CLOSED (Opening 6th July)

Mt Lyford - CLOSED (Opening 22nd June)

Rainbow - CLOSED (Opening 6th July)

Whakapapa/Turoa - CLOSED (Opening 29th June)


What's New at the Skifields - New Zealand & Australia 2013

Well, well, well! Welcome to Season 2013. May it be cold, snow-filled, and not too windy!

We're less than a week away from the first ski season openings in New Zealand and Australia, so its as good a time as any to share a few bits of news for 2013. Then its on to regular snow reports, so stay tuned this weekend as I go around the resorts to see what's open.


Falls Creek

Falls Creek and Mt Hotham have put in RFID scanning gates on multiple lifts at each resort. These usually allow you to zip through by using a card kept in your jacket pocket. Falls, Summit, Eagle and Falls Express lifts now have RFID gates, while at other chairlifts staff use handheld RFID scanners to scan the reloadable lift pass card called Snowpass.

Mt Hotham

The new RFID gates at Mt Hotham (see above) are at Summit, Big D, Heavenly and Village.

Diamond pattern chains are now mandatory for ALL vehicles coming up the Great Alpine Road to Mt Hotham. Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time. This move has been to address the large number of times cars got into trouble last year, blocking the road.


Perisher has added automated snowmaking to both Excelerator (at Blue Cow) and Lower Escapade (in Centre Valley), helping these areas open earlier and longer into the season.


Thredbo has made its beginner area, Friday Flat, bigger with a new first-timer area and a new ski run - Giddy Up. A new run-out from High Noon will attempt to separate more advanced skiers and riders returning to the Gunbarrell Express lift.

New Zealand


I'm not sure if it was new last year or this year, but some time over the last few years Roundhill put in a second T-Bar called T2 that opens up some more intermediate terrain at the Lake Tekapo skifield.


Not sure what happened with Ohau's second lift to the ridge that I reported on last year. Maybe we'll get some news during the season.

Treble Cone

Treble Cone have created a new Jazz Kids Fun Trail in the Home Basin. The Terrain Trail includes fun pint sized park features accessible to even the littlest of skiers or snowboarders.

Snow Park NZ

Snow Park, the dedicated freestyle resort that sits in the Cardrona Valley opposite Cardrona Alpine Resort, announced it will not open in 2013. It has been sold to the neighbouring vehicle proving ground.