June 24 2002 marks the first official public holiday celebrating Matariki. It’s also the day tons of ski areas are opening!
It’s the first new public holiday since 1974, and the first to recognise Te Ao Māori. Traditionally falling at the end of the harvest, Matariki was a time of abundant food and feasting. It marks a period of reflection and remembrance, celebration and festivities, and focus on the promise of a new season.
It’s interesting that in its first year that many ski areas have chosen to open on Matariki. It makes sense in many respects, it’s a long weekend and the only mid-winter public holiday (and the snow has arrived!). Many ski areas are observing Matariki with events, it’s great addition to the season. Mt Hutt has a cool (or hot?) Matariki viewing starting at 4.30am at the new Opuke Thermal Pools, Coronet are doing similar (no hot pools).
We’ll, the storm that delivered allowed Cardrona and Hanmer Springs to open first, followed a week or so later by Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables. And by all accounts, the opening conditions at Coronet and Remarks are outstanding. Best opening in years! Happy Valley at Whakapapa is also open.
OK, there’s a list …
We'll update this list once more dates are announced. But with the July school holidays starting on July 8 there will be a real push for the rest to open, dependant obviously on snow levels and weather. There’s more snow arriving Monday or Tuesday, dependant on where you are in the country, with some big falls forecast for Ruapehu.
Overall, an awesome start for so many ski areas. Time to get out there and celebrate!