Um, there's no snow.
Australia has one of its best starts to the ski season in yonks, with almost every major field open for the official start of the season on Queen's Birthday (13 June, this year). This is a very rare, once-in-a-decade type event. And given the NZ ski season usually starts a good month earlier, and finishes several months later than the Strine one, you'd be forgiven for thinking there'd be snow on them thar hills.
As of Sunday, 26 June, none/zero/nil/zilch/zip/rei of the ski fields in NZ were open. Mt Hutt opened on Monday (2/4 lifts on a 6cm (entirely manmade) base); Turoa (Nth Island) opened today, sort of (1 lift of 9 operating). There is no snow to speak of at Cardrona (our intended destination).
Pete 'The Frog' Taylor's forecast at www.snowatch.com.au gives a glimmer of hope (my emphasis added).
We should see mostly fine sunny days and clear cool nights this week before a weak change arrives on Sunday bringing some light snow up high. Following this is a series of intense colder systems that looks like bringing snowfalls to low levels across a period of 7-10 days. During this time winds look like being very strong to gale force with blizzard conditions likely.So fingers are crossed, and prayers offered to the snow gods that Pete is right, and the ski fields will indeed have snow by 12 July when we arrive in Queenstown.
So the good news is that we could see snowfalls starting around the 4th-5th and then continuing for over a week that should then see all snowfields up and running. [i.e. by 12Jul11 - Ed] The bad news is that during this time there will be periods where the winds may force some closures of lifts or even resorts.