ARMED AND READY

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

MORE than $NZ30 mil­lion ($24.6 mil­lion) has been pumped into im­prove­ments at Coronet Peak for the com­ing sea­son. Snow­mak­ing has been vastly im­proved with the in­stal­la­tion of an ex­tra 148 fixed snow guns, bring­ing the to­tal to 203. The new­com­ers will be po­si­tioned on all main trails such as the M1, Big Easy and be­gin­ner ar­eas. Two ad­di­tional reser­voirs will help pro­vide the wa­ter. There’s also a new base build­ing for the 2008 sea­son, with in­creased deck space and un­der-floor heat­ing.

At the Re­mark­ables, two magic car­pet con­vey­ors for begin­ners mean it’s good­bye to the hand tow. The Stash, a 1km av­enue of ter­rain park fea­tures, will open in July. It’s claimed to be only the third of its kind in the world and the first in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

At Coronet Peak and the Re­mark­ables, chil­dren aged six and un­der will re­ceive free day lift passes, and over 75s will ski free. There are reg­u­lar shut­tles from Queen­stown to the two re­sorts.

Mt Hutt has in­vested $250,000 in snow­mak­ing, with an ex­tra 23 guns, and its snow cen­tre has been given a facelift.

Cardrona will wel­come the ar­rival of a high­speed de­tach­able quad chair­lift. Most skiers visit­ing this re­sort, or nearby Tre­ble Cone, stay at Wanaka, 34km away. There are shut­tle buses from the town but it’s best to hire a car. Barry Oliver

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