Queenstown's Coronet Peak ski field opens for season

Kobe Thurston, 5, Mila Thurston, 3, and dad Sam Thurston, of  Queenstown, on Coronet Peak's learner's slope on Saturday.
Coronet Peak

Kobe Thurston, 5, Mila Thurston, 3, and dad Sam Thurston, of Queenstown, on Coronet Peak's learner's slope on Saturday.

Thousands took to the slopes as Queenstown's Coronet Peak ski field opened to the public.

More than 1000 punters were on the slopes by lunchtime on Saturday.

Coronet Peak Ski Area manager Nigel Kerr said it had been a "really good start" to the season.

Coronet Peak ski area.
NZ Ski

Coronet Peak ski area.

There was a "big turn out" which built throughout the day, Kerr said.

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"It [was] great to see so many locals here. I recognised plenty of the people heading up on the chair."

The view from Coronet Peak.
Jemma Titheridge

The view from Coronet Peak.

NZSki staff - about 900 across Coronet Peak and The Remarkables - were settling in for a "great" season, he said.

Last year Coronet Peak opened on June 11 only to close due to a lack of snow before reopening about two weeks later.

The Remarkables and Cardrona ski fields opened on June 10 while Mt Hutt, near Methven in Canterbury, opened the day before.

A freshly groomed Coronet Peak looking towards The Remarkables.
Brandon Stanley

A freshly groomed Coronet Peak looking towards The Remarkables.

Cardrona's opening day included the launch of the new $10 million McDougall's Express Chondola. 

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Treble Cone ski field, near Wanaka, was scheduled to open to the public on Thursday this week and Snow Farm on Saturday.

All Queenstown-Wanaka ski fields had a snow base of between 15cm and 60cm and MetService was forecasting possible snow to 1200 metres on Sunday, Monday and Thursday this week.

The opening of all Queenstown-Wanaka ski areas, aside from Snow Farm, coincided with the launch of the Queenstown Winter Festival on Thursday.

 - Stuff

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