Ski-field operating days

  • Image, Tourism.

    The climate can affect ski-field operations. Warm temperatures can result in less snow or shorter ski seasons. Extreme weather events such as storms can close fields. Monitoring the season length of ski fields and the percentage of days they are closed may indicate the extent of any effects of climate change.

    We classified Ski-field operating days as supporting information.

    Key findings

    From 2003 to 2014, the average season length and percentage of days closed over the period at three South Island ski fields were:

    • Mt Hutt: 129 days, with an average 15.9 percent of days closed.
    • Coronet Peak: 117 days, with an average 4.8 percent of days closed.
    • The Remarkables: 106 days, with an average 3.0 percent of days closed.

    Figure 1

    Figure 2

    Definition and methodology

    The season length includes days when ski fields are closed. Fields can close for a range of reasons, such as bad weather or lack of snow.

    The ski-field operating season depends on both weather and commercial considerations. For example, at the beginning and end of each season, snow conditions may be less reliable. It is common for ski-field operators in the Queenstown district to open only one ski area in the Queenstown district at these times.

    Because climate change could affect ski-field operations (Hendrix, 2010), it is important to monitor the season length and percentage of closed days for ski fields, as this may indicate the extent of any impacts.

    Data quality

    We classified Ski-field operating days as supporting information.


       This supporting information is an indirect measure of the ‘Economic impacts’ topic.


       The accuracy of the data source is of medium quality.

    See Data quality information for more detail.


    Hendrix, J (2010). The impact of climate change on seasonal snow conditions in New Zealand. NIWA. Available from

    Archived pages

    See Ski-field operating days (archived October 2017).


    Updated 19 October 2017

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