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New Zealand 2020 Ski Season Opening Dates

Lockdown is over and there’s been a flurry of updates from ski areas on (current) plans for the New Zealand ski season in 2020. Given we’ve just moved to Level 2 and details are still a little unclear, these plans will be pretty fluid, but let’s have a look at where things are, as of May 19.

But before we dive into the plans, let’s pause and consider what ski areas are up against:

  • Ski areas are currently spending a lot of money prepping the mountains and employing staff, yet what they can/can’t do is still uncertain. The government has yet to approve their plans, and let's not even think about what happens if the virus comes back ...
  • They will be operating at a reduced capacity, which means it will be harder to make a profit. So let’s be fair and reasonable about what we can expect from them. They have a business to run, but they all appreciate their social responsibility to local communities.
  • As we and the industry have said, this will not be business as usual. Patience and understanding on our part as the guest will be required while they figure out how to make this happen. Remember, this is not their fault, nor the government’s fault, it’s just the way it is. Let’s be kind.
  • As a result, they are looking creatively at how they operate. As we’re already seeing, that might mean reduced operation and/or opening dates/days. Flip it around, at least they are open! 
  • In real or perceived terms it may be that we “pay more for less” than what we might have had in previous seasons. See the previous points, this is not business as usual. Ultimately it’s our choice as to whether we feel it’s worth it to go skiing, at the price and service offering they make. But at least we can go skiing, right? 
  • They may have fewer (specialist) staff, due to border closures, and this could make operations more challenging. They have safety requirements to meet.
  • Under Level 2 the government has suggested no more than 100 people in cafes, with table service. More operational challenges …
  • And finally, and here’s the big one. Weather. What if 1500 people show up on a marginal day, and due to bad weather they all have to go into the café. Not allowed. The solution then is to not open on marginal or bad weather days. Let’s try to cut them some slack on limited or "fine day" openings ...

Given that, let’s see what the current plans are under Level 2, remember these will ALL change and become irrelevant when we get to Level 1! And we’ll update this article as more ski areas update their position, as cleary this is not a complete list! What we can say, is that at this stage the only ski area we know that will not be open to the public is Craigieburn, it's members only (and guests) for 2020.  

Mt Ruapehu Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Happy Valley not opening on Queens birthday, however the Sky Waka will be open for sightseeing only (Sat 30th May - Monday 1st June) weather permitting
  • Mt Ruapehu 2020 opening date, last weekend June/first weekend July, in time for school holidays
  • Whakapapa and Turoa will be open every day the weather permits, with top to bottom skiing and riding
  • However, it is likely that not all lifts will operate every day

Rainbow Ski Area Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Open for 2020
  • Projected Rainbow 2020 opening date, Friday 24th July (snow and membership sales permitting)

Temple Basin Ski Season Dates 2020

  • After initially suggesting they may not open, they are increasingly hopeful
  • DoC has approved preparing the area for opening
  • Season pass sales will resume closer to opening day
  • Bookings are open for huts, to 50% capacity

Broken River Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Broken River 2020 opening date, to be announced soon 
  • Planning to offer accommodation this winter 

Craigieburn Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Craigieburn 2020 opening date, 17 July
  • Open to members and guests only.  No public ticket sales in 2020. 
  • Planning to offer accommodation this winter 

Mt Olympus Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Mt Olympus 2020 opening date, to be announced

Porters Ski Area Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Porters 2020 opening date, Friday 26 June (snow permitting)
  • Operating 7 days per week 
  • Earlybird season passes are still available for just $499, limited numbers
  • Porters Lodge opens again from this Friday, May 22nd

Mt Hutt Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Earlybird season passes close June 1 
  • Mt Hutt 2020 opening date, Friday 12 June (snow permitting)
  • Initially they intend to operate three days a week in June, being Fri/Sat/Sun
  • Come 1st July they hope to scale up to open for five days, including Saturday, Sunday and the best three midweek weather days.
  • Season passes at early bird rate until June 1 

Roundhill Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Roundhill 2020 opening date, Saturday 27 June (snow permitting)
  • Operating 7 days per week 

Mt Dobson Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Mt Dobson 2020 opening date, Friday 3 July
  • Season passes back on sale until May 24, only $279 for Adults!

Ohau Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Ohau 2020 opening date, to be confirmed

Cardrona Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Cardrona 2020 opening date, Friday June 26.
  • Open daily throughout the July school holidays (Saturday July 4 to Sunday July 19)
  • From July 20 onwards parts of the operation may be scaled up or down, dependent on demand, but the intention is to open for the duration of the winter 

Treble Cone Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Treble Cone 2020 opening date, Saturday June 27 
  • Open daily throughout the July school holidays (Saturday July 4 to Sunday July 19)
  • From July 20 onwards parts of the operation may be scaled up or down, dependent on demand, but the intention is to open for the duration of the winter 

Coronet Peak Ski Season Dates 2020

  • Coronet Peak 2020 opening date, Friday 26 June
  • Open every day
  • Night skiing on Wednesdays and Fridays 
  • Season passes at early bird rate until June 1 

The Remarkables Ski Season Dates 2020

  • The Remarkables 2020 opening date, Saturday July 4.
  • Open daily from the start of the July school holidays (July 4)
  • Open weekends only after the holidays (Monday July 20) but this will be reviewed based on demand 
  • Touring open on days area is closed
  • Season passes at early bird rate until June 1 

Remember, this is a fluid situation and ski areas are doing their best open for 2020 so that we can get up there and have fun. Let’s applaud them and support them. Because the option is what? More time at home in our bubble. Ah, no!

And if things go well, and we get to Level 1 sooner rather than later, this will ALL change, and get better! 

Bring on winter!