The opening of the Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas have been delayed due to lack of snow fall, however weather permitting, beginner trails at both ski areas will be open in time for the school holidays.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts CEO Dave Mazey said the forecast for the next week included a low pressure system coming through on Thursday night which could bring up to 15cm of natural snow on the upper slopes.

"This will be followed by cold clear conditions through the weekend which will provide for great snowmaking on the lower slopes," he said.

Mr Mazey said they were optimistic this weather pattern would enable them to open beginner trails at both ski areas next week and on time for the school holidays.

"We've already had two reasonable snowfalls so we have a base on the upper mountain. We expect that with one or two more heavy snowfalls we will be able to open for intermediate and advanced skiing at both Whakapapa and Turoa."

"We understand the delayed opening of ski trails is disappointing for our customers, but the teams at both ski areas are all trained and ready to go as soon as conditions allow."

The Whakapapa Ski Area will be open for sightseeing from this Saturday.