Coronet Peak is a commercial skifield in Queenstown, New Zealand located 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, well received skiing and snowboarding terrain and lift systems.
The Peak is one of New Zealand's most popular ski resorts due to its proximity to Queenstown, varied terrain and quality 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 a further contributor to the mountain's success. Dubbed the "original" resort ski area Coronet Peak is only 25 minutes from Queenstown.
Coronet Peak has extensive snowmaking and receives about 2 m of snow per year. The season typically runs from early June to early-October or late-September. It is one of the only skifields in New Zealand to offer night skiing on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights from July to mid-September and First Tracks, operating between 8-9am offer a more secluded period before the main traffic hits later on during the day. Coronet Peak (and nearby mountains) are popular locations for school trips in the Oceanic region because of its extensive facilities. Children 6 and younger receive free day lift passes.
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.
Coronet Peak is often the site of calendared international ski races and the training ground for many world class athletes.
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.
As visitor numbers grew, the field introduced New Zealand's first double then treble chairlifts and in 1994, the second high-speed quad chairlift.
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.
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.
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- Coronet Peak Ski Area
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- "Ski Industry Based on Pioneer Spirit", NZ Historic Places Trust
- Ski resorts gear up for action news.com.au. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
- Coronet Peak Powdertravel.com. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
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