NZ and Oz - 2020.

Sbooker

New member
Just when it appears there may be hope that there may be a (albeit modified) ski season in Australia this year the premier of Queensland - the state in which I live - is suggesting that our border will be shut until September.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-18/ ... k/12253442
This is despite there being just a handful of covid cases nation wide. Now my problem is simply that I won't get to ski this southern hemisphere winter. I feel for the business and property owners on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and other areas that rely heavily on tourism for a living.
NZ season looks to be going ahead but international visitors make up half the clientele so it could be a tough year for the resorts.
https://www.traveller.com.au/coronaviru ... ubt-h1o1d9
Interesting times.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
How can internal state border closures possibly be enforced? Will you be arrested in NSW for driving a car with Queensland plates? Your 15 hour drive to Thredbo is about the same as my 15 hour drive to Jackson Hole. Within two weeks I'll be driving to Florida to visit Liz, stopping by a few friends along the way.

I followed the links. It seems that the issue with Queensland is they don't want NSW and Victoria residents coming for winter beach vacations yet.

Maybe you can go to NZ sometime this ski season. https://www.traveller.com.au/travel-aft ... and-h1ndf2

I sent the following info offline to tseeb last week:
New Zealand ski areas will be opening on normal schedule and travel within NZ will be permitted to reach them, fairly essential for Queenstown and Wanaka, which have small local population bases. North Island and Canterbury areas are probably viable with daytrip skiers. New Zealand has a shot for full eradication of COVID-19 if remaining isolated. Australia numbers are very good too, so that raises the prospect of travel between the two countries at some point.
 

Sbooker

New member
The borders are closed and it is enforced. There are exemptions for those that have a work permit.
I would not drive to Thredbo for a few days of skiing so we usually fly to Canberra and hire a vehicle. The problem is coming back to Queensland results in a 14 day home quarantine (which is policed). Even breaking social distancing laws results in a $1300 fine (per person) and there have been hundreds of those issued.
Our state government doesn't want to open the border due to 'community transmission' in NSW and Victoria. This I understand but to flag September as an opening date is madness. They must be oblivious to the economic damage that would create.
I can't see us being allowed to travel to NZ (without 14 day quarantine when we get home) if we can't drive across the border to NZ.
Given the number of covid cases here the situation is ridiculous.

*We have school holidays at the end of September and start of October. Most years does that time frame does not correspond with NZ school holidays and it is when Mt Ruapehu on NZ's north island is at it's best. So there is hope for that I guess.
 

Patrick

New member
Tony Crocker":q15exrm2 said:
How can internal state border closures possibly be enforced? Will you be arrested in NSW for driving a car with Queensland plates?

Well the enforcement is probably like we've seen in parts of Canada. All non-essential travel was non-recommended, however there were certains regional border that was enforced. The closest example for me was, less than 2km from my house. The Quebec government closed off some regions to avoid them being infected by hot spots. The Outaouais (which is cottage country for people across the bridge) was closed expect for essential workers and really good reasons (cottage wasn't one). The Laurentians and the Gaspe Peninsula were among others that we're off limits. The interprovincial traffic between Ottawa (Ontario) and Gatineau (Québec) is huge. Police had random roadblocks on all the bridge across.

My cousin's son that lives/studies/works in the Gaspe got blocked from driving into the region. His driver's license was still registered at his parents' place near Montreal; locally he had a copy of his lease on his phone to prove that he lived there.

Tony Crocker":q15exrm2 said:
It seems that the issue with Queensland is they don't want NSW and Victoria residents coming for winter beach vacations yet.
Same issue here, they don't want the spread to go to another region. For example, currently people entering Vermont are required to quarantine 14-days.

New Zealand ski areas will be opening on normal schedule and travel within NZ will be permitted to reach them, fairly essential for Queenstown and Wanaka, which have small local population bases. North Island and Canterbury areas are probably viable with daytrip skiers. New Zealand has a shot for full eradication of COVID-19 if remaining isolated. Australia numbers are very good too, so that raises the prospect of travel between the two countries at some point.

That is what I heard also. Travel from other continents shouldn't happen before a long time.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting. I will be crossing 10 state borders by car on my way to visit Liz.

A month ago there were a lot of noises being made about keeping New Yorkers out of Florida. I don't know how much enforcement there was.

Since the overall numbers for Australia are so good, I imagine they are miniscule in Queensland.

Canada's worst province, Quebec, has deaths of 450 per M population. That would rank 7th, between Michigan and Pennsylvania, if it were a U.S. State. The next highest, Ontario at 150, is about half the U.S overall average and would rank 18th. Other Canadian provinces are very low, though not Oz/NZ low.
 

Patrick

New member
Tony Crocker":nj5mby3x said:
Canada's worst province, Quebec, has deaths of 450 per M population.
A few reason behind this, Quebec March Break was early March, so people affected mostly arrived from Europe and the US.

Plus there was a huge outbreak in senior homes.

The last time I checked, Quebec (23% of pop) accounted for over 50+% of all Canadian cases. Double the number from Ontario (40% pop). And Island of Montreal accounts for approximately 50% of all cases in Quebec.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Slight thread drift here:
https://snowbrains.com/las-lenas-ski-re ... ronavirus/
This is not a surprise to me. Argentina has frozen selling air tickets (that doesn't mean grounding flights) until Sept. 1. Las Lenas feels like the ends of the earth. There is essentially zero local population base. Nearly everyone has to travel at least 600 miles to get there, and most clientele is international.

Many of Chile's resorts are daytrippable from Santiago, so I would expect them to open. The Argentine Lake District resorts are a more borderline situation. This is the region where we have pending plans for the Dec. 14 total solar eclipse.
 

Sbooker

New member
This is how we’re going in Australia.
And our borders are shut. Nanny state.
 

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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
With so few cases, is Australia doing contact tracing? Your Queensland article about made comments about "community spread" in NSW and Victoria. Surely they can contact trace 477 active cases? NZ's original lockdown was extremely strict, but it has been doing contact tracing and opening up internally now.

Thredbo is optimistic about opening but will not open for an early June holiday weekend.
https://www.thredbo.com.au/about-thredb ... 19-update/
From what I know, skiing would nearly always be a marginal WROD that early in the season, sort of like Thanksgiving here.

So internal travel within NSW is now permitted, including hotel reservations?
 

Sbooker

New member
Tony Crocker":2mkdr5z7 said:
With so few cases, is Australia doing contact tracing? Your Queensland article about made comments about "community spread" in NSW and Victoria. Surely they can contact trace 477 active cases? NZ's original lockdown was extremely strict, but it has been doing contact tracing and opening up internally now.

Thredbo is optimistic about opening but will not open for an early June holiday weekend.
https://www.thredbo.com.au/about-thredb ... 19-update/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
From what I know, skiing would nearly always be a marginal WROD that early in the season, sort of like Thanksgiving here.

So internal travel within NSW is now permitted, including hotel reservations?

Every state is doing aggressive contact tracing.
Thredbo and Perisher (Vail) like to ‘open’ early June but your assessment is correct. Even our two week end of June /start of July winter holidays is risky. I went to Queenstown in 2011 and there was absolutely no snow. Even their snowmaking was rendered useless because of warm temps. We had to drive a few hours north to Mt Hutt which oddly had great conditions for a family of beginners. I have discovered that the second week of August is the best bet for good snow conditions in our short season. We usually have some kind of base by then and it’s cool enough to be largely winter snow. I’ve been lucky enough to get ‘powder’ days in that week the last three times I’ve made the trek. (It’s not an Alta powder day but I’m sure you get the idea).

New South Wales has announced holiday accomodation will be open for the June school holidays and beyond. Their conservative premier is putting plenty of pressure on our Labour state government to get the borders open but our union led mob are standing firm. Hopefully sanity prevails soon.
 

Sbooker

New member
No season tickets this year for my go to Aussie hill - Thredbo.
At $160aud* now perhaps the world's most expensive skiing when factoring in likely conditions. (It typically gets less than 90 inches of snowfall per season, can often rain and doesn't quite compete with Chamonix or Jackson Hole or Whistler in the terrain stakes). I have never skied the east coast hills in the USA and Canada but I imagine it would be similar but with less snow and not quite as cold.
Vail owned Perisher which is in the same area is set to follow too I'm told.
For my family of four to ski for a day will cost over $500 even taking into account the discount price for my two children. Ouch.
We typically go for a three ski day break in the second week of August as that statistically gives us the season's best conditions with an established base and cold temps but at about $1650 for three days skiing (plus nose bleed priced lodging on top) I'm contemplating bailing on the idea. The only thing that will make me commit to the trip is the likely possibility that we won't get a northern hemisphere trip in next season because of Covid restrictions.
I have thought about an alternative of not going to the resorts and hiring a guide for a few days to introduce us to ski touring/avalanche training etc. My concern is we are intermediate skiers and we may not be good enough to do the guide thing justice. I'm pretty sure we have the base fitness to skin moderate grades but Australia can provide 'different' snow conditions and whilst we could ski - and would love to ski - on soft snow the thought of having to ski really crusty snow or ice for a sustained drop makes me think twice. (The kids and myself would think it a compromised adventure but my wife would hate it). Thoughts on this option?

*One hundred and sixty Aussie dollars is the rough cost of a day ticket at Snowbird or the cost of two day tickets at lesser known resorts in Japan or Europe.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
All skiing must be considered in regional context. Northeast day tickets are not particularly cheap. The cheapest tickets are in low population density regions unless there is big tourist infrastructure that encourages casual as well as addicted skiers to venture far from home.

The Aussie ski areas are driveable from Oz' two biggest metro areas. That creates a large demand relative to limited supply IMHO. So yes a good analogy to the US Northeast in that regard.

I assume that 90 inches is at Thredbo's base. The Spencer's Creek data implies ~200 inches at ~2,000 meters. If 90 is true that implies a lot of rain to me. There's a reason why all the other Aussie areas have bases around 5,000 and shorter verticals going up from there.

Given that Thredbo requires flying from Brisbane I would look to New Zealand. Snow reliability is only marginally better but terrain quality can be a lot better. And NZ is cheaper once you get there.
 

Sbooker

New member
Tony Crocker":tdrx8rv9 said:
All skiing must be considered in regional context. Northeast day tickets are not particularly cheap. The cheapest tickets are in low population density regions unless there is big tourist infrastructure that encourages casual as well as addicted skiers to venture far from home.

The Aussie ski areas are driveable from Oz' two biggest metro areas. That creates a large demand relative to limited supply IMHO. So yes a good analogy to the US Northeast in that regard.

I assume that 90 inches is at Thredbo's base. The Spencer's Creek data implies ~200 inches at ~2,000 meters. If 90 is true that implies a lot of rain to me. There's a reason why all the other Aussie areas have bases around 5,000 and shorter verticals going up from there.

Given that Thredbo requires flying from Brisbane I would look to New Zealand. Snow reliability is only marginally better but terrain quality can be a lot better. And NZ is cheaper once you get there.

It appears unlikely that we from Qld will be able to travel to NZ this season. It may be possible to get there in the September school holidays (Mt Ruapehu prime time) but not guaranteed. Coupling that question mark with having to pre-commit to day tickets due to the limitations - things are pretty difficult to bring together.

Don't like the idea of an introduction to ski touring?
 

Sbooker

New member
Our government announced we are unlikely to be able to travel to NZ until October at the earliest so I bit the bullet and bought tickets to Thredbo for a short mid August break. Three day tickets for my family of four came to - gulp - over $1500 Aussie dollars.
Skiing is an expensive addiction when you’re from subtropical Brisbane Australia.
Now hoping for some snow.
 

Sbooker

New member
Tony Crocker":1ok3ga4b said:
sbooker":1ok3ga4b said:
I...bought tickets to Thredbo for a short mid August break.
So the restrictions on travel between Queensland and NSW have been lifted?

No. But a refund is available should the borders not open by then.
Same with lodging. Plane tickets bought on points and are transferable. Car rental I can cancel without penalty.
Our premier has suggested the border to NSW will open in about 3 weeks (after these school holidays) but travel to Victoria will not be permitted until community transmission ceases there. Victoria has had several flare ups and restrictions tighten for them again from midnight tonight.
https://www.9news.com.au/national/coron ... ac6192cd5c
 

Sbooker

New member
I fully understand this year could be different but I’ve never seen it anywhere near that crowded. We always go midweek and not school holidays. Staying away from the (lookers) right side of the hill prior to lunchtime is best.
Remember that Thredbo is 5 hours drive from Sydney and Canberra which is much closer granted has a much smaller population and not a lot of skiers.
Thredbo has very limited and extremely expensive lodging and a lot of punters don’t like staying 25 minutes drive away in the more reasonably priced Jindabyne.
We’ll see I guess.
 
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