A small, popular independent ski area is the first to open in New Zealand

Credit: HSSA Facebook

A small independent ski area has become the first in New Zealand to open for the season, beating larger resorts by an entire week. The Hanmer Springs ski area near Canterbury opened on Saturday June 11, 2022, after more than a meter of fresh snow last week.

The Canterbury outback resort is run by volunteers organized by the resort-based Amuri Ski Club.

The Amuri Ski Club was founded in 1957 by a group of farmers who wanted to ski somewhere in North Canterbury. The club operates the Hanmer Springs Ski Area (formerly Amuri Ski Area) and is affiliated with the Canterbury Snowsports Association.

“A special, affordable and popular ski experience, where the focus is on who you are, where you are, not the temperature of your gear.”

– Hanmer Springs Ski Area

The station has been using a towline since Saturday and hopes to have its Poma operational by the end of the week. The Poma is the longest in New Zealand, according to Stuff.

The Hanmer Springs ski area offers the best of New Zealand base skiing. The club’s fun, super affordable, and relaxed mountain-run culture sets it apart from today’s sleek corporate options. The ski area is ideal for beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders. The comfortable, self-contained day lodge, terrace AND superb mountain accommodation make for an exceptional mountain experience for your whole group.

From the base area they have a bespoke learning area to get you started, complete with a fixed grip learning trailer with instructors on hand for group and private lessons. The Shirtfront telecord provides access to groomed intermediate and off-piste runs and is an excellent entry point into the great Bordeaux basin, which in 2017 can be ski-crossed, hiked and hiked.

Elsewhere in New Zealand, Cardrona opened to beginners on Saturday but has since closed due to snow blocking the roads. Whakapapa on Mount Ruapehu is also open to beginners but won’t fully open until July.

Mount Hutt had planned to open, but due to massive snow totals and high winds it had to be postponed to Friday the 17th. Coronet Peak plans to open early Thursday and The Remarkables Saturday.

Trail map.