News and Events

Mt Hutt ‘all systems go’ for 40th season opening (13-Jun-13)
Immaculately groomed slopes and a genuinely warm welcome await avid skiers and snowboarders.....

Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area first to open in Australasia (10-Jun-13)
Queenstown’s Coronet Peak ski area today (June 8) celebrated in style as the first Australasian ski field to open for winter....

Coronet Peak first ski area in Australasia to open on Saturday (05-Jun-13)
Queenstown is officially open for winter as the 2013 season kicks off at Coronet Peak on Saturday (June 8).

Ski Areas Go Out With A Bang! (27-Sep-12)
Season extension and half price passes

Ohau Voted Best in Snow (20-Jul-09)

Ohau in New Zealand has picked up New Zealand’s Snow Sports’ supreme award

Ohau in New Zealand has picked up New Zealand’s Snow Sports’ supreme award for best large ski field service provider in New Zealand, as voted by the public through the website.

The top ski field service award is the second for Ohau Snow Fields, the Neilsons and their field manager Craig Ovenden - they also won in 2004.

The award requires excellence in the areas of Best Staff, Best Access Road, Best Lift Department, Best Kept Toilets, Best Café Satisfaction, and Best Snowsports School.

Destination Mt Cook Mackenzie General Manager Phil Brownie is delighted with the Ohau team’s achievement and says it is well deserved.

“We pride ourselves on our high country hospitality in the Mackenzie region and firmly believe in delivering great service across the region so people will want to come back.  The Ohau team really epitomise that philosophy.  Owners Mike and Louise Neilson are fantastic hosts, understand their visitors’ needs and, after 24 years experience, have consistently great service down to a fine art,” he says.

Mike and Louise are proud of their team and say the award is especially meaningful because it was voted for by the public.

“It blows me away when you think of all the big ski resorts that we are up against,” says Mike.

Louise believes the secret to their success is the “Ohau family”.

“Our staff are like family.  We’re very fortunate because most of them have been with us for a number of years and come back season after season.  Their knowledge and passion is invaluable.  They’re just as passionate as we are about the place and guests love it because they see that we genuinely believe this is the best place in the world to be,” she says.

The couple’s long love affair with Ohau started in 1985 when Mike bought the ski field with some friends.  In 1990 Mike and Louise took sole charge of it and made it their home.

Ohau’s laid back, friendly atmosphere is particularly popular with southerners who often book dinner, bed and breakfast packages at Lake Ohau Lodge and enjoy a great social day up the mountain.

The slopes opened in 1956 when Harry Wigley (Mt Cook Company) installed a rope tow but now Ohau features a groomed basin of about 125ha with a chairlift, platter and a snow mat (magic carpet) and two progressive terrain parks.  Its advanced backcountry skiing is legendary, with access to around 600ha of powder-bowl slopes.  People come from near and far for the hiking opportunities and stunning views from Lake Ohau across to Aoraki Mount Cook.

The Neilsons believe continued investment in improving the ski area is very important to keep things “fresh” for their visitors.

Last year $2 million was spent on snowmaking, which resulted in 23 new snow guns being installed.  The next two steps of the three-stage development will see an extra 55 snow guns and a second chairlift installed as well as a new three-storey base building and snow school.
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