Snow is falling on southern hemisphere ski slopes and is particularly prolific in Australia.
Good snowfall and low temperatures to allow snowmaking saw several Australian areas including Perisher and Mt Buller, open a day earlier than planned.
South American ski areas are expected to start operating in a week and New Zealand’s ski areas have had plenty of pre-season snowfall.
Susie Diver from Thredbo Resort told ABC News conditions were perfect as thousands flocked to the Snowy Mountains for the long weekend.
“It has been a dream start to the 2015 season with blue skies and sunshine, and lots of snow,” she said.
NSW’s Snowy Mountains attracted 645,000 domestic overnight visitors in the year ending December 2014 and this season should be great.
“If you aren’t a skier or snowboarder there’s plenty to do off-piste,” Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Chipchase said.
“In the Snowy Mountains, you’re surrounded by the Kosciuszko National Park, where trout can be caught in the lakes, trails on offer for biking or walking, horses for riding and restaurants and wines to be sampled.”
The Kosciuszko Express Chairlift is an unforgettable way to enjoy the amazing alpine scenery. It operates from Thredbo 365 days a year and rises 560 metres to lift you to the closest access point on Mount Kosciuszko. The 2km scenic ride takes 15 minutes one way and the valley views are nothing short of spectacular.
The flare run on Saturday nights at Thredbo is also famous. For more than 25 years, advanced skiers and snowboarders have taken to the slopes with flaming flares, creating a magical light show as they glide down the mountain.
For a change of temperature, visitors can take a walk along the banks of the Yarrangobilly River to see steam rising from the thermal pool. Year-round, the water is a toasty 27C, and there’s something quite magical about paddling in deep midwinter when snow can lie around the edges of the pool.
There are some great walks in the area and the beautifully restored Yarrangobilly Caves House, which dates back to 1901 is nearby.
Written by William Sykes