Long white win­ter

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

Peak and the Re­mark­ables. Must be booked be­fore June 27 for travel from June 26 to Oc­to­ber 4. Avail­able from other states. More: 1300 361 322; www.val­ue­tours.com.au; www.nzski.com.

MT HUTT

What’s new: Three new groomers will boost the ter­rain park sys­tem and there’s im­proved child­care fa­cil­i­ties for two to 17-year-olds.

The low­down: Mt Hutt, tow­er­ing above Methven at 2086m, is known for its long sea­son, fine views and deep snow across 365ha. Much of the ski­ing is in a pic­turesque bowl.

Don’t miss: Take a he­li­copter to the North Peak (it’s an 800m drop) for a taste of heli-ski­ing.

The deal: Ski­max has seven nights at Methven’s Ski Time Lodge from $709 a per­son with car hire and three-day Mt Hutt lift pass. Book and pay by the end of July. More: 1300 136 997; www.ski­max.com.au.

CARDRONA

What’s new: There’s a new trail, the Ar­ca­dia Basin, for ad­vanced skiers and board­ers, and the re­sort has given the snow­mak­ing sys­tem a $1 mil­lion up­grade.

The low­down: At 1670m, Cardrona, a 35-minute drive from Wanaka, can be cold and the road up the moun­tain is un­sealed. On the other hand, there’s an abun­dance of nat­u­ral snow as well as wide runs and good chil­dren’s fa­cil­i­ties. There’s 320ha of ski­able ter­rain and three quad chair­lifts plus three lifts for learn­ers.

Don’t miss: What’s claimed to be the largest pipe park in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

The deal: Ski­max has a five-night pack­age at the Wanaka Ho­tel from $456 a per­son. In­cludes seven days’ car hire and three-day lift pass valid at Cardrona and Tre­ble Cone. Book and pay by June 26. More: (02) 9267 1655; www.ski­max.com.au; www.cardrona.com.

TRE­BLE CONE

What’s new: Free ac­cess to learner lifts, though lessons still cost. Free 90-minute guided tours.

The low­down: At 550ha, this is the largest ski area in the South Is­land. Devo­tees, known as Cone­heads, ap­pre­ci­ate the chal­leng­ing runs and un­crowded slopes. Only 10 per cent is suit­able for be­gin­ners.

Don’t miss: In­spir­ing views across Mt As­pir­ing and Lake Wanaka and off-piste ski­ing (if you’re up to it).

The deal: A seven-day stay at the Grand Mer­cure Oakridge in Wanaka, which has nine out­door heated pools, is from $1169 a per­son; in­cludes flights to Christchurch, car hire and a five-day ski pass valid at Cardrona and Tre­ble Cone. More: www.ski­max.com.au; www.tre­ble­cone.com.

WHAKA­PAPA AND TUROA

What’s new: The magic car­pet for be­gin­ners in­stalled last year has been ex­tended, mean­ing longer runs and more prac­tice time.

The low­down: Sited on vol­canic Mt Ruapehu in the cen­tre of the North Is­land, th­ese twins of­fer a com­bined 1800ha of ski­ing and board­ing with 14 lifts. One pass gives ac­cess to both ar­eas, where last year the snow topped 3m.

Don’t miss: Great views of the North Is­land from 2322m.

The deal: Ski­max has a stay at nearby Bayview Chateau Ton­gariro with a five-day North Is­land Max Pass, lift ac­cess, seven days’ car hire (picked up on ar­rival at Auck­land, about a four-hour drive from Mt Ruapehu), from $896 a per­son, land only. More: (02) 9267 1655; www.ski­max.com.au; www.mtru­apehu.com.

www.newzealand.com Des­ti­na­tion Aus­tralia — Page 5

Big dip­per: Ski­ing on Mt Ruapehu

Pic­tures (above and top): Miles Holden

Fly high: Awe­some con­di­tions at Mt Hutt

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