Mt Buller opens with free night skiing

Mt Buller, in the Victorian Alps, has also announced it’s opening ahead of the official start to the Australian ski season, beating Perisher, in NSW, by one day.

Buller will have lifts turning on Friday, June 2, allowing skiers and snowboarders to hit up the main run, the beginner-friendly Bourke Street, during a special and free Friday twilight session from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. Bourke Street will remain open into the weekend, as well as next week, with the Blue Bullet lift turning from 9am to 5pm daily. Beginner “Discover” lessons will also be available at the ski and snowboard school.

“Everyone is excited to get on the snow as soon as possible, so we’re inviting everyone up for a free night ski this Friday,” said Buller Ski Lifts General Manager Laurie Blampied on Wednesday.

“We’ve invested in new stadium-style lighting on Bourke Street that turns night into day and this is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the early snow and get out for a Friday night slide.”

From Saturday, lift passes will be $60 for adults and $33 for children.

Perisher to open early

Chilly temperatures and steady pre-season snowfall has been enough to convince Australia’s largest ski resort to open a week early. Perisher, in the NSW Snowy Mountains, will kick off the season on Saturday, June 3.

The resort made the decision after 20cm of snow fell earlier this week, adding to the great snowmaking conditions. It revealed the news to avid skiers and snowboarders with this fun video.

On Wednesday, the Perisher film crew hit Front Valley to show fans what conditions were like, following a big storm and freezing temperatures. The overnight temperature dropped to minus-three and the resort took advantage by switching on more than 30 snow guns.

 

With more snow predicted over the coming days, skiers and boarders will be able to make first tracks on Front Valley from Saturday. The Village 8 Express Chairlift and a ski carpet will be operating, providing access to the resort’s popular beginner and intermediate terrain. A terrain park, with rails, boxes and small jumps, will also be ready, along with a tobogganing area for families.

NZ’s newest touring route

With its jagged mountains, aqua lakes and sprawling countryside flecked with livestock, it’s obvious why New Zealand is ideal road-trip territory. To add to the appeal, northern Canterbury tourism chiefs have come together to create the new Alpine Pacific Touring Route – a 450-kilometre stretch from Christchurch to Waipara Valley, on the South Island.

The route has been designed to reinvigorate the region, which was affected by the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016. For those who’ve travelled the Alpine Pacific Triangle route (370km), think of the APT as a longer, renewed version aimed at encouraging more tourists to visit the area.

It’s a great trip for a soft adventure, as travellers pass through rural countryside and coastal landscapes, and get up close to local marine wildlife, such as sperm and humpback whales. Starting at Christchurch International Airport, the trail passes through Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs, and ends in New Zealand’s “newest wine region”, Waipara.

 

 

Mt Buller’s “Snow Factory”

One of Australia’s top ski resorts, Mt Buller, is guaranteeing snow on the opening day of the season, thanks to a new “snow factory”. The Victorian resort has spent $1.6 million on the TechnoAlpin 220 Snowfactory, which has the ability to pump out artificial snow well above zero degrees.

Ahead of the official start of the southern season, on June 10, 2017, Buller’s snowmaking team has been testing the technology. Over two days in March, the factory produced more 500 cubic metres of snow. Autumn visitors enjoyed the rare treat, getting in a few very early pre-season turns. Check out the resort’s first “snow report” below:

“We are delighted we can make snow already and deliver on our promise of skiing on Bourke Street for opening weekend in June,” said Buller Ski Lifts General Manager Laurie Blampied.

“This Snowfactory is a game-changing investment for Mt Buller,” he said. “The tests this week have exceeded our expectations. To see people enjoying snow in March, all smiling ear to ear 80 days before the opening of the ski season is an incredible moment in our resort’s history.”

Mt Buller will start making snow in earnest in May. Until then, check out this video of the resort from the day the snow factory arrived: