24th October 2022
It has been a tale of two islands in New Zealand this winter. The South Island has claimed a record winter, but it has been somewhat different on the North Island. NEW
The main ski town on the South Island, Queenstown, is claiming a record winter ski season with resorts around it seeing some of the best snow conditions in decades.
The area saw decent early snow in June as we reported at the time on PlanetSKI – More snow falls in New Zealand
It set things up nicely.
Cardrona Alpine Resort opened on 11th June, then had to close briefly as there was too much snow.
Cardrona Alpine Resort & Treble Cone reported an excellent season overall.
The Chief Executive of NZSki, Paul Anderson, said the snow at the Remarkables and Coronet Peak was also ‘wall-to-wall from the get-go’
“It’s certainly one for the history books. Described by locals as the best snow in 30 years – it kick-started a bumper season for us in terms of conditions, visitation numbers and open days,” said Anderson.
See more here on Stuff.co.nz
The Destination Queenstown Chief Executive, Mat Woods, said conditions were the best he could remember.
“Our mountains have done an amazing job welcoming guests from New Zealand, Australia and around the world, providing a truly world-class experience.”
Visitors have stayed longer on average in Queenstown this winter, with length of stay up 15%.
Visitor expenditure was up 27% on 2019 – a record for the peak ski season months (July-September).
The 2022 season also saw the return of events like the Winter Games after Covid-19 disruptions.
However, it has been a different story for the ski resorts of the North Island that saw poor snow and the early closure of some ski areas.
The Tūroa and Whakapapa ski areas faced particular problems.
It followed on from the impact of Covid-19 restrictions since 2020.
External experts are to be appointed to see if the two ski areas can survive.
Some people who usually skied in the resorts of the North Island headed south, thus boosting business in the resorts around Queenstown.
Other areas on the South Island, including Mt Hutt, were able to extend their season after good snow falls and continuing demand from skiers and snowboarders.