today is Oct 01, 2022

Skiers and boarders from a number of countries around the world should be able to return to the slopes of New Zealand for winter 2022 after two seasons missed due to the global pandemic …if nothing changes over the next few months.

New Zealand has just reopened its border to Australians, with quarantine-free travel resuming between the two countries. Visitors from a number of other countries will be allowed in from May 1st if all goes to plan – a month before the 2022 ski season kicks off.

New Zealand has been closed to international tourism for over two years, with the brief exception of an attempt to set up a ‘Trans-Tasman travel bubble’ with Australia in 2021 which was quickly closed

From May 1st visitors from visa waiver countries including the USA, UK, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Singapore will also be permitted to return to New Zealand.

New Zealand’s ski season is due to begin on 10th June at Mt Hutt (below) and a day later at Cardrona.

The news isn’t all good for the coming winter however. Mt Ruapehu, the country’s largest ski resort with the ski centres of Whakapapa and Turoa on its slopes, is also on New Zealand’s most active volcano. The country’s authorities recently announced the volcanic danger level up to 2 which means a 2km exclusion zone around the summit crater. However this only covers one lift and may be eased again by the time the season gets started. A full eruption is currently thought unlikely, the relevant agencies say.

New Zealand’s strict border closure meant that ski areas were able to operate fairly normally for New Zealanders for much of the first two winters of the pandemic, without need for masks or social distancing, although there were periods of restrictions and closures when small numbers of infections were recorded in the country.