Thousands of people hit the slopes of Mount Ruapehu at the weekend in what is being regarded as the best ski season opener in years.
The snow base at Turoa ski field was about 150cm, much of which fell during the storm the week before.
About 2500 people were at Turoa on Saturday with another 1000 on the other side of the mountain at Whakapapa, which had a 30cm snow base.
Mike Smith from Visit Ruapehu has been coming to the mountain for the last 14 years and says businesses in the area need a good snow season. He says this is the best season opener he can remember.