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Australia Opens Early with Abundant Snow

The winter season has begun in the Southern Hemisphere. Historically early and abundant snowfall this year in Australia has allowed several ski areas to drop ropes ahead of the traditional June 11-13 opening weekend.

Mount Hotham in Victoria opened June 4—its earliest opening in 22 years—with two trails off the Summit Lift. The ski area is offering a reduced rate for what it is calling “these bonus early days” (June 4-9). Conditions are solid, after a June 7 storm dropped close to 47 inches on the resort this week.

At Falls Creek Alpine Resort, Victoria, the Halley’s Comet and Towers Quad lifts started spinning early on June 4, as well. The ski area currently boasts an average depth of 37 inches, following the latest storm cycle.

Mt. Buller, also in Victoria, said this is the most snow the resort has received in 22 years, and the second most snow on record for this time of the year. This ski area also opened early on June 4, with its Bourke St Express, Bourke St Carpet, and ABOM Express. The resort is looking to open additional lifts following the most recent storm.

Dinner Plain, a snow play and cross country ski area in Victoria, was able to open its tobogganing slopes on June 2 and began grooming its cross country terrain on June 5. To celebrate the early opening, on June 11, the area is hosting a “snow dance” and fireworks event.

Perisher, in New South Wales (NSW), opened its Front Valley one week early, on Saturday, June 4, spinning the Village 8 Express, Mitchell T-Bar, and Carpet 4. The resort has received 50 inches since May 30.

Many other resorts are looking forward to this weekend as they prepare to welcome back guests with optimal conditions. Charlotte Pass, NSW, will host its biggest opening in history on Friday, June 10.

After picking up 52 inches in a week, Charlotte Pass GM Angela Murdoch said, “This past week’s snowfall has been incredible, the snow just kept falling, and we couldn’t get enough of it. It’s prompted our mountain crew to work around the clock leading to having Kosciuszko Triple Chair to Top Station, Kosi Carpet and Basin Poma lifts ready for opening day.” She noted that the ski area has never operated the Kosciuszko Triple to its top station this early in the season and that this was the best season-opening snow the ski area has had since 2000.

Mt. Baw Baw, Victoria, opening for lift operations June 11, but guests can enjoy cross country skiing on its groomed trails now. In New South Wales, Thredbo, too, will open on June 11, with the Supertrail, Cruiser Area, High Noon, and Friday Flat trails as well as a terrain park.

Holding off on opening day a bit longer, Selwyn Snowfields, NSW, will open July 2, as crews work to complete a massive rebuild project on the resort.

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