Summer Snow 101: Getting Schooled in the Best Summer Skiing Spots
Seasons are reversed south of the equator, so there is always good "summer" skiing Down Under. The major ski fields are above the tree line, inviting skiers to enjoy wide-open runs with great vistas. The Mt. Hutt resort is among the expert's choice for challenging skiing. However, high winds can close the resort a few days a month, explaining its Kiwi nickname, Mt. Shut.
The Cardroan has the best intermediate skiing; nearly 1,300 vertical feet and wide-open bowls with dry, reliable snow makes it a great place to improve your skills. Nearby Treble Cone, with 2,200 vertical feet and lots of moguls, is for rough-and-ready types. As with all New Zealand resorts, the skiing is above tree line.
A couple of hours away is Queenstown, the winter sports hub of the South Island. Regular bus service takes skiers to the Remarkables and Coronet Peak resorts. Snow conditions are likely to be better at the Remarkables, which offers some excellent and challenging black runs, although the slopes can get icy in August and September.
Lift tickets at the majority of New Zealand skiing destinations cost around $40 per day. There are no on-site accomodations at the ski areas. However, lodging can be found in Queenstown, Wanaka, or nearby towns.
Deep powder, top-notch guides, and extraordinary views combine to distinguish New Zealand heli-skiing as world-class. Harris Mountain Heli-skiing (P.O. Box 634, Qeenstown, New Zealand, 01164.3443.7930; www.new-zealand/hmh)offers packages starting at about $400 per day, while $3,850-$4,200 buys a mind-boggling Odyssey Weekseven days of guided heli-skiing, 75,000 vertical feet of runs, and all meals and accommodations.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication