Dane Morris' 160m conveyor ride through the new tunnel on the beginners' slope at Cardrona Alpine Resort on Saturday can mean only one thing. At last, the ski world has caught up with The Jetsons.

Who could forget that 1960s cartoon series featuring a future world of flying cars, robot maids, moving footpaths, and lives of ease and affluence.

The new cartoon-concept, sci fi-like tunnel at the Cardrona Alpine Resort could have been lifted straight from a Jetsons episode.

It is the first in New Zealand and was used for the first time on Saturday to protect vulnerable first-time skiers from the elements.

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Not that they really needed it.

About 1500 skiers and snowboarders had a warm, sunny day with not too much wind, and forecast snow held off past the end of the day.

General manager Bridget Legnavsky said it was "absolute gold" to have all lifts and trails operating on opening day.