The official start of winter is just around the corner in New Zealand. Temperatures have plummeted to -5C and many resorts are reporting fresh powder. In fact, the South Island ski resorts of Craigieburn Valley and Temple Basin have more than a metre of powder already. The first ski resorts to open will be Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt – this Saturday – and the others will follow over the next couple of weeks.
OnTheSnow has all the latest snow conditions and opening dates for New Zealand:
Coronet Peak – opens June 9. Coronet Peak received 10cm of new snow last night, bringing the depth to 20cm on lower slopes and 30cm on upper slopes. The temperature is reaching a chilly -5C and the automated snowmaking system is working in full force.
Craigieburn Valley – opens June 30. There's no shortage of powder in Craigieburn Valley. The resort is reporting excellent conditions with a whopping 125cm of powder already. All roads are closed and temperatures have reached -5C.
Temple Basin – opens June 30. The resort is reporting one metre of fresh snow over the last couple of days. A spokesperson for the resort says the opening date is now certain, there are no fears of postponement.
Hanmer Springs – opens June 30. Hanmer Springs is still waiting for its first snowfall of the season. A new beginners tow (fixed grip) at Hanmer Springs Ski Area is up and running and ready for the 2012 season.
Mt. Cheeseman – opens June 30. 20-30cm of snow hit Cheeseman mid-May and the resort received another dump today, bringing the total depth to 50cm on the upper slopes and 40cm on the lower slopes.
Mt. Dobson – opens June 29. A substantial 40cm of snow has fallen on the resort today. The snow base is building and there is 30-50cm across the mountain.
Mt. Hutt – opens June 9. Powder conditions are already reported ahead of this Saturday's opening. Mt. Hutt received 50cm today, bringing the total snow depth to 70cm on the upper slopes and 60cm on the lower slopes.
Mt. Lyford – opens June 22. It's currently snowing heavily in Mt. Lyford with 30-40cm of new snow on the ground bringing the average depth to 75cm.
Ohau Snow Fields – June 23. There's currently 15-25cm of snow on the mountain and it's still snowing!
Porters – opens June 22. Porters has received a solid 40cm of fresh snow as of today. Temperatures have dropped to -5C and it's still snowing.
Rainbow – opens June 30. Rainbow received 10cm of snow today. Heavy snowfalls are predicted over the next week.
The Remarkables – June 16. The resort has a base of 8-10cm on upper and lower slopes.
Treble Cone – June 28. There's 10cm of snow at the base of the mountain, but forecasters are predicting heavier falls over the next week.
Cardrona – opens June 22. Cardrona has had a thin layer snow (5cm) overnight, allowing the snowmakers to do their thing.
Tukino – opens June 30. Snow is forecast for Tukino throughout this week.
Whakapapa – opens June 16-23. Turoa opens July 16 (weather permitting) while Whakapapa opens June 23. The first snow of the season is forecast later this week.
Broken River – opens June 30. Snow is yet to fall in Broken River.
Mt Olympus – opens July 1. Snow is yet to fall in Mt Olympus.
Manganui – opening TBA. The last snowfall was 4cm on May 17, but more light snow is forecast this week.