22 Jun 2019

Winterfest set to draw in visitors to Queenstown

9:47 pm on 22 June 2019

Ski season is well underway in the Queenstown Lakes District with the vast majority of the area's skifields now open.

Coronet Peak ski resort, Queenstown.

Photo: 123RF

The Remarkables and Coronet Peak will host their first night ski of the season tonight, and Cardrona's Whitestar Express will also open this weekend.

Winterfest kicked off in Queenstown on Thursday and is expected to draw many visitors to the tourist resort this weekend.

Police are warning those travelling to Queenstown to watch out for black ice and be mindful of winter driving conditions.

Treble Cone - the South Island's largest snow resort - will open this Thursday.

NZ Ski's chief executive Paul Anderson said winter had now arrived in the district.

"The last couple of weeks it's been the real arrival of winter. We've had a really cold couple of weeks and we've been able to get all our snow making cranking," he said.

"We've had an unusually dry patch going into winter but now that it's got cold, we've got all the snow making guns going and we've got both Coronet Peak and the Remarkables open and the lifts spinning, which is fantastic."

While Coronet Peak opened to sightseers last weekend, the first skiers did not get on the slopes until Tuesday and NZ Ski's slopes would host their first night ski tonight.

"Our snow making up there [Coronet Peak] we've got 218 guns so even though we haven't had too much natural snow we've got fantastic conditions top to bottom," Mr Anderson said.

"Remarkables, with a little bit more altitude, they're skiing beautifully and starting to get wider with quite a lot of natural snow up there."

Cardrona's McDougall's Chondola opened earlier this month.

The skifield received a decent dumping of snow earlier this week.

The MetService is forecasting cold overnight temperatures and mostly fine days on the skifields this weekend.

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