09 March 2005

The Grand Opening of New Zealand's Newest Ski Area
The brilliant new Snowplanet indoor skiing hall at Silverdale just north of Auckland opened its doors to the public last saturday. It is boasting opening hours of 9:00am until midnight, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Snowplanet's giant snowhall as 50cm of real powder snow, three lifts, a terrain park for skiers and snow boarders and a separate learners area - ideal for a fun day out irrespective of Auckland's weather.

Lots of facilities
There is also a themed restaurant and bar with panoramic views onto the snowhall, a snowsports shop, a rental centre and snowsports school.

The main slope is 202 metres long and 41 metres wide with a gradient of 30 degrees at the top (the steepest in the world), easing to 9 degrees at the bottom.

The main slope has two platter lifts, one on each side. The snow is groomed and the temperature in the hall is -5 degrees. In addition there is the separate learner slope which is 60 metres long with a slope of 9 degrees, and has its own small lift.

Snowplanet is the only all-year snow resort in the southern hemisphere and is the world's fifth biggest snowdome, as measured by total area. The snowhall is the size of two rugby pitches or 12 tennis courts. It is bigger than any of the snowdomes operating in the UK and some 50,000 cubic metres of earth was moved to build it. The restaurant has panoramic windows 4 metres high providing a grandstand view onto the slopes with themed surroundings reminiscent of an alpine resort.

Skiing is charged for by the hour with adults costing $29 and children $24 but there are plenty of package options to bring the cost down, including family passes, year long pass, and $1-a-weekday pass. As with most outdoor ski area, there is also various lift access, rental and lesson combination packages which will save you money. For more info visit (site coming soon).

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