Our Environment

As Kaitiaki of the mountains we have an enduring commitment to our environment, people, and communities to ensure they benefit from our presence. 

We use the concepts of kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga to guide us, understanding that our environment is the backbone to our operations and the reason we love what we do. Our promise is to share our passion for the mountains with our people, community and guests, making sure they have an unforgettable experience.   

Coronet Peak was established as a ski area in 1947. Before and during that time it was also an active farm. In the 1990s the ski area grew in popularity and farming ceased which has allowed the primary ground cover, Dracophyllum (Snow) Tussock, to flourish. Today at Coronet Peak we work to control and eliminate non-native plants and pests, rejuvenate the area and bring back the native Karearea – New Zealand Falcon.

Wilding pines & pest eradication

We want to create a safer environment for our native birds and fauna so we run an extensive trapping programme to help with that. We lay 55 DOC200 traps in two lines across several kms of the mountain. The trap lines intercept and trap pests such as stoats, possums and hedgehogs from coming up Coronet Peak from lower ground and threatening bird nests and young. Reducing the number of pests on the mountain also increases food sources for the birds. In summer, along with pest eradication, we undertake woody wilding control to limit the number of exotic plants that invade our environment. Over one month every year our staff walk the mountain cutting down Pine and Douglas Fir, and spraying Willow, Broom, Silver Birch and more. In summer the Pines that are cut down are then sold as Christmas Tress and the money that is raised gets donated to support local charitable organisations.

Bring Back the Birds

Coronet Peak is working to bring back the Karearea – New Zealand Falcon. The Karearea is New Zealand’s only native raptor and there’s only 3000-5000 breeding pairs left in the country. They nest directly on the ground so we work hard to ensure their environment is a safer place for them to live through pest control and re vegetation.

Restoration & Revegetation

When completing trail developments or adding new infrastructure to the mountain, we ensure the landscape is restored so we don’t lose any native flora or fauna in the process. Tussocks that are removed are propagated in other parts of the reserve while the work is taking place, then brought back to the same area making sure we keep the land the way it’s meant to be.

On the snow

Our snowmaking machines are state of the art meaning they're energy efficient when using both power and water to make snow. All the water in our snow making reservoirs is recycled, coming from natural sources like rain or snow melt. Our fleet of groomers are being upgraded with new PB600s featuring SnowSAT. SnowSAT is a program that allows our team to groom slopes more efficiently. As they drive over snow, SnowSAT measures the amount of snow underneath the groomer ensuring we only take it from areas where there is excess and push it to areas that need it. This new system means 15% less power and diesel used when grooming our slopes.

Waste minimisation

In our food and beverage outlets we have introduced a number of initiatives to reduce our waste including: |Serving most of our food in ceramic dishware or compostable/recyclable boxes | Removing all paper coffee cups and replacing with ceramic dishes | Removing paper cups from drinking fountains and replacing with re-usable ones | Removing all single packet sauces and replacing with catering size bottles allowing guests to fill their own biodegradable sauce container

Recycling & Composting

All of our glass waste is collected and heads off the mountain to a glass crusher. This turns glass bottles into a sand-like substance that is then used to bed pipes in the ground in summer during development projects. Our cans, plastic and clean cardboard get sorted and recycled. In 2021 we are introducing composting. All of our food waste and paper/cardboard food packaging is taken off the mountain and hot composted. In summer, we will use this compost on our planting projects.

Transport

We encourage all our guests to ride-share or to take our buses up the mountain to help cut carbon emissions down. One of our buses can offset 50-60 car trips. In 2018 this meant our buses eliminated over 52,000 car trips to our Queenstown ski areas. We support the ride share website Snow Riders NZ. This is a great place to find mates to share a lift up the hill with.