Snow Report 26 June 2014 - Australia & New Zealand


Wow! What an incredible week of weather and what a difference a week makes in the mountains! A wild, wet and windy front crossed Victoria on Monday. Snow began falling in the morning, and then it continued through to Tuesday afternoon as a cyclone moved across Victoria and New South Wales bringing damaging winds, but masses of snow. Up to a metre in 36 hours in the highest spots on the Main Range.

The storm eased up a little on Wednesday and Thursday, but another similar weather system is due to arrive on Friday night bringing more blizzards and snow across the Alps.

The first storm was a season-starter; the second system should ensure most of the lifts are open with a good, deep snowpack across the Australian ski resorts. The middle of the coming week looks like bringing fantastic skiing and some clearer, less windy conditions. This weekend will be windy on Saturday and Sunday with lots of snow again!

Mt Hotham

The weather arrived in spectacular fashion at the beginning of the week, temperatures dropped and snow started to fall late on Monday morning with 60cms by Tuesday afternoon. This allowed Hotham to open a few lifts on Tuesday and by Wednesday Big D, the Summit, Road Runner and Village were all operating. Expect Heavenly Valley lift to be a chance this weekend.

Falls Creek

Falls Creek now has around 60cms on the ground, enough to open most of the back part of the ski resort. Snow started late on Monday morning into Tuesday afternoon. Nothing was open on Tuesday, but four lifts were opened on Wednesday including Towers chairlift, with Drovers Dream opened today. More ski lifts should open on the weekend.

Mt Buller

Mt Buller had 23cms of snow fall by Tuesday morning, then another 18cms by Wednesday morning. Unfortunately a bit of rain on Wednesday night into Thursday spoiled the good times. Nevertheless, six lifts are open at Buller including Wombat and Shakey Knees already. Good job!

Perisher 25 June [Source: Perisher FB page]

The snow started falling at Perisher on Monday afternoon and by Wednesday morning the ski resort was white all over and claiming over a metre of snow had fallen. Perisher had already done so well to open without hardly any snow, remember. By Tuesday, 12 lifts were turning, and by today there were 32 lifts ...a brilliant result!


Snow also started falling at Thredbo on Monday afternoon with up to 90cms by Wednesday morning at the top and about 30cms in the village. The ski resorts opened the Cruiser Area and Friday Flat to start, then 5 lifts were running on Wednesday and six today. About one metre snowdepth up high and less in the village.


In New Zealand meanwhile, the ski resorts look on enviously at the snow falling in Australia. There was a run of sunny days in the South Island on the weekend which meant some nice conditions for the few open skifields.

And then ... heavy rain on Tuesday spoiled the party. A combination of rain and high winds on Wednesday closed most open ski resorts across the South Island, causing others who hadn't opened yet to delay their opening days.

Unfortunately it looks like more rain this weekend except for the highest peaks. Early next week looks far more promising with some cooler temperatures and an end to the warm northerly winds. New Zealand usually starts a little later than Australia and July is when things really get going.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Rainbow is still due to open on the 5th July. Hanmer Springs has delayed opening also until Saturday 5th July due to lack of snow. Mt Lyford says it will open "when the snow comes".


Cardrona 26 June [Source: Cardrona FB page]
Mt Hutt (30/15cms) suffered a lot of rain damage on Tuesday and had to close on Wednesday and Thursday due to high winds. Porters is due to open when conditions allow.

The Mackenzie

Ohau looks unlikely to open this weekend after the rains, and Roundhill announced a delay to its planned opening day on Saturday. Meanwhile Mt Dobson gets going on 4th July.


Treble Cone was sunny then the rain came on Tuesday. The ski resort has announced it will delay its opening day, with no news on when it will open. Cardrona has managed to open the Captains Basin with limited trails, a pretty impressive job given the lack of natural snow and helped by snowmaking. The lift started spinning on Monday. Unfortunately the resort had to close on Wednesday due to rain the day before
and wind. But Cardrona reopened on Thursday for skiing.


Coronet Peak (30/25cms) saw huge rainfalls on Tuesday which caused it to close to drain out. The Peak managed to reopen again on Thursday with solid conditions up top to mush down the bottom. The Remarkables has postponed its opening one week.


Snow Report 21 June 2014 - Australia & New Zealand

Its the first day of winter today as we welcome the winter solstice for the southern hemisphere. And the good news is that the big snows are coming ...and they're about to hit Australia and New Zealand in spectacular fashion!


A skiff of snow last weekend that fluttered around the mountains into Monday has made the top peaks of the Great Dividing Range white and has led to a few Australian ski lifts turning for beginners.

The rest of this week has seen mainly fine weather in the mountains, with some colder temperatures arriving. This has allowed for some fairly limited overnight snowmaking across Australia.

All this tinkering about the edges is about to change. Early on Monday a big storm will bring large amounts of snow to all Australian ski areas and the good news is the snow will persist into Wednesday. There are early indications another front will follow up with more snow before next weekend. The result could be close to a metre of snow on the ground and great skiing across the Alps by next weekend.

Perisher 18.06.14 [Source: Perisher FB page]

Perisher has done really well to build on snowfalls last weekend with some super snowmaking. This enabled Australia's biggest ski area to fire up the Front Valley ski lift for skiing and Blue Cow later on in the week.


Thredbo had learners getting their skis on at Merritts early this week and has since made snow across the top sections of the mountain.


This week started warm and wet in Queenstown, and warm, wet and windy in Canterbury. Probably not the best combination if you're a snowsports enthusiast!

On Wednesday, a southerly change cooled things down and a little bit of snow fell. Temperatures improved allowing for overnight snowmaking to keep the pistes open at Mt Hutt and Coronet Peak.

Similar to Australia, next week looks more promising as fronts could bring some snow from Tuesday. Not as much snow as is forecast for Australia right now ... but enough to get all the ski resorts open and the lifts turning.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Rainbow is due to open on the 5th July. Hanmer Springs is aiming for 28th June. Mt Lyford is now looking to open on 23rd June.


Mt Hutt (30/15cms) was completely closed on both Monday and Tuesday as the wild weather played havoc. Poor conditions followed on Wednesday after the rain. But it was great to see the skifield managed to open the Summit Six lift after colder temperatures allowed lots of snowmaking. Porters meanwhile postponed their opening day to the 27th June.

Cardrona 18.06.14 [Source: Cardrona webcams]
The Mackenzie

Ohau and Roundhill are still due to open on 28th June, while Mt Dobson gets going on 4th July.


Treble Cone plans to open on 26th June, but currently has no snow at the base of the resort, and only a little in the Saddle Basin.

Cardrona got washed out early in the week but bounced back strongly opening on Friday. The skifield debuted with limited lift facilities: only the McDougall’s chairlift was open, but it was open in glorious sunny conditions and looked pretty as a picture.


Coronet Peak (30/25cms) ensured the pistes M1, Million Dollar and Wall Street were all open for skiing despite a lot of rain on Monday. Cooler temperatures during the week helped keep the runs going. The Remarkables had no snow to speak of at the beginning of the week and has postponed its opening one week.


Snow Report 14 June 2014 - Australia & New Zealand

Welcome all to the middle of June which should herald some consistent wintery weather arriving in both Australia and New Zealand. This means the snows are not too far away!


There has been no snow to speak of in Australia yet. The merry month of May usually sees a big snowfall (that later melts) to get people excited about the coming winter, but we missed out on that this year. This week saw warm temperatures again and some rain in the Alps.

The good news is that it will start snowing this weekend up high on the peaks. Next week looks a bit colder but another fine spell will emerge meaning there won't be much skiing to speak of until later in the month.

Mt Hutt 14.06.14 [Source: Mt Hutt Webcam]

New Zealand has fared better with a few snowfalls in recent weeks, mixed with rain and sun. Two skifields on the South Island are already open for skiing, with the others due to open over the next four weeks.

North Canterbury and Nelson

Rainbow is due to open on the 5th July. Hanmer Springs is aiming for 28th June. Mt Lyford is looking to open next Friday for the first runs of the season.


Mt Hutt (45/35cms) opened yesterday with about 40cms after a snowfall on Wednesday helped get the mountain ready. The Triple Chair is not yet running. Porters will open on 20th June.

The Mackenzie

Ohau and Roundhill are due to open on 28th June, while Mt Dobson gets going on 4th July.

Coronet Peak 14.06.14 [Source: Coronet Peak webcam]

Treble Cone plans to open on 26th June, while Cardrona expects to get going one week earlier.


Coronet Peak (30/25cms) was the first New Zealand skifield to open when the lifts began spinning last weekend. Just the main trails off Coronet Express and the beginners areas are open at the moment with conditions not looking that super on the webcams. The Remarkables is looking to open on the 21st June.



What's New at the Skifields - New Zealand & Australia 2014

Welcome one and all! Welcome to Season 2014 and here's hoping it will be cold, snow-filled, and not too windy!

We're less than a week away from the first scheduled ski season openings around New Zealand and Australia, so its as good a time as any to share a few bits of news for 2014, including fantastic developments at The Remarkables. Then its on to regular season 2014 snow reports, so stay tuned in the coming weeks as I go around the resorts to see when they plan to open and what the skiing is going to be like.


Mt Buller

According to Buller, a(nother?) mid-load point has been added to the Tirol T-bar to make it easier travelling across the North Side of the mountain and back to the village shops and accommodation. I'm not quite sure where this is, as there is already a mid-load on the T-bar at the bottom of the Tyrol run.

Six new automatic snowmaking guns have been added on the northern side of Bourke Street, with the five older original snowmaking guns relocated to the Baldy and Kofler's areas.

Also this year at Mt Buller you can buy resort entry, overnight parking and taxi passes online for the first time.

Mt Hotham

Top of Freedom Chair, Guthega [Source: Perisher FB page]
A reminder that 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.


Perisher have completed construction of the new Freedom Chair Lift at Guthega. The quad chairlift loads from the access trail into the area from Blue Cow, taking skiers and boarders up to the Guthega Peak (1,924m).

Before this lift was installed, visitors needed to take T-bars to access the nice variety of  runs that start from the peak.


Thredbo says it will have a massive terrain park this season on the lower half of the Supertrail. There is also to be a permanent mogul course for those skiers who want to ruin their knees!

New Zealand

High Street Extension [Source: Treble Cone website]
Treble Cone

At Treble Cone the High Street return trail from the Saddle has been extended. This basically makes for a smoother, wider return rather than existing narrow, zigzag that can be tricky in poor visibility.


Cardrona, already famous for its terrain parks, has gone one step further with a new intermediate freestyle ski and snowboard terrain park for 2014.

The new park will give Cardrona Alpine Resort a total of four terrain parks and will include, according to Cardrona, a "triple jump line, with jumps ranging from 5m to 10m in length".

Mt Hutt

Work on repairing the Triple chairlift is just about complete at Mt Hutt. The bottom lift station was destroyed during avalanche control work last year, putting it out of action for all of last season.

Mt Hutt has also announced a new “sky high” novice/intermediate terrain park, and improvements to the top of the Virgin Mile.
Curvey Basin Chair 27.05.14 [Source: Remarks FB page]

The Remarkables

One of the most exciting and interesting developments in New Zealand for 2014 is the new Curvey Basin high-speed 6-seater chairlift at The Remarkables.

Its worth checking out this season's trail map to see the lifted terrain opened up by the new lift.

The lift runs from the car park to 1,900m altitude above the Alta Chair opening up the middle of the ski area. A variety of easy, intermediate and more advanced terrain can be accessed from here.

The Remarkables has also sealed the first 4km of the long, winding access road. The remaining 9.5kms will be sealed over the next two years.