Coronet Peak

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View of Coronet Peak during the ski season

Coronet Peak is a commercial skifield in Otago, New Zealand located 18 kilometres to the northeast of the town of Queenstown and seven kilometres west of Arrowtown, on the southern slopes of the 1,649 metre peak which shares its name. A popular ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere, Coronet Peak offers a long snow season, excellent skiing and snowboarding terrain and lift systems.[1]

Location[edit]

The Peak is one of New Zealand's most popular ski resorts due to its proximity to Queenstown, varied terrain and superb facilities, offering a high speed quad chairlift, high speed six-seater chairlift and, as of the 2010 season, a high speed beginner chairlift. The view from the skifield south across Lake Wakatipu and the smaller nearby Lake Hayes is breathtaking. Dubbed the "original" resort ski area Coronet Peak is only 25 minutes from Queenstown.[2]

Facilities[edit]

Coronet Peak has extensive snowmaking and is one of the last skifields in the Southern Hemisphere to lose its snow[dubious ], the season typically runs from early June to mid-October. It is one of the only skifields in New Zealand to offer night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights from July to mid-September [2] and those wanting some quiet time on the slopes can do so between 8am-9am when First Tracks operates. Coronet Peak (and nearby mountains) are popular locations for school trips in the Oceanic region because of its great facilities. Children 6 and younger receive free day lift passes.

Ski terrain[edit]

Skier at Coronet Peak

Popular runs on Coronet Peak include Big Easy (beginners), M1, Greengates and Shirtfront (intermediate), and Exchange Drop and the Back Bowls (expert). Like European Alpine ski resorts, Coronet's Peak offers much well-developed piste skiing.[3]

Events[edit]

Coronet Peak is often the site of calendared international ski races and the training ground for many world class athletes.

Operations[edit]

The field is operated by NZSki Ltd, who also manages The Remarkables skifield just across the valley and Mount Hutt in Canterbury, near to Christchurch.

History[edit]

The field was New Zealand's first commercial skifield, and was opened in 1947 with a single rope tow. Tourism pioneer Harry Wigley of Mt Cook airline fame commissioned Bill Hamilton to design and build this lift.[4]

As visitor numbers grew, the field introduced New Zealand's first double then treble chairlifts and in 1994, the second high-speed quad chairlift.

In 2002 the Mount Cook Group sold Coronet Peak and The Remarkables to a consortioum of Queenstown businesspeople, now NZSki Ltd, who also bought Mount Hutt.

For the 2008 season NZSki Ltd invested over $30 million on a new base building and 141 new snow cannons.

The 2009 season opens with new snowmaking equipment, new piste groomers, and a dedicated children's lift.[5]

The 2010 season sees the Meadows double chairlift replaced with a detachable quad chairlift. The lift will feature a self lowering safety bar and child friendly restraints.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Coronet Peak Powdertravel.com Retrieved 2009-07-01.
  2. ^ a b Coronet Peak Ski Area
  3. ^ First Impression of Coronet Peak natives.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
  4. ^ "Ski Industry Based on Pioneer Spirit", NZ Historic Places Trust
  5. ^ Ski resorts gear up for action news.com.au. June 10, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2009.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Powderhounds.com Coronet Peak reviews

Coordinates: 44°55′37″S 168°44′10″E / 44.926898°S 168.736053°E / -44.926898; 168.736053