Mamaku residents who woke to a blanket of snow covering the town have described it as the heaviest dumping they have seen in years.
And for some it was a special occasion - seeing snow for the first time.
Resident Katie King said she was expecting it to be a "10-minute flurry" but it went on for at least an hour.
"It's awesome, it's coming really thick and fast. I have one sick child on the couch who is not allowed to go outside - she's a bit upset about that - but the other one is out on the deck loving it.
"We've been in Mamaku for the last four and a half years and it hasn't snowed like this in that time. I think the last decent dumping was about seven years ago."
Kim Jones said the snow had been falling continuously since about 8.30am.
"It started as just a bit of sleet but then it fully started snowing. The whole town is really really white.
"I woke up my son and told him it was snowing and he thought I was having him on but now he's out there playing.
"It's all very magical. The way the snow has fallen in the trees and on the streets, it's just beautiful."
Rebecca Breitler had come from Ngongotaha with her sons, Josh Breitler, 13, and Daniel Breitler, 15, to see the snow.
"Mum lives in Mamaku and she texted me to say it's snowing. It's beautiful but cold, and good timing for the school holidays."
Josh and Daniel enjoyed a snow fight and said they were having a good time.
Hunia Rogers has lived in Mamaku for 14 years.
"It's a good one but the last [snowfall] three or four years ago was heavier, up to our ankles."
Miritana Hughes said he and his fiancee, Australian Natalia Belovakovic, would be returning to Sydney tomorrow.
Ms Belovakovic had never seen snow before and was excited by the novelty.
"This morning we woke up and my niece ran in and said 'It's snowing'. We thought she was tricking us but we looked out and it was crazy. A field of white ... we don't have to go to Mount Ruapehu to see snow," Mr Hughes said.
On Mamaku St local Lynlee Gurran was out playing with her children, Kowhai Te Rangi Gurran-Niao, 11, and Paora Gurran-Niao, 10.
"It's cool, the kids were playing outside right from when the snow started. We moved here two years ago and it's the first time I've seen snow out here."
Jessie Hornell said she and her son, Jake Korodi, 4, were enjoying the snow.
"[I] started making a snowman and Jake started a snow fight with me. My brother is coming round right now to have another snow fight with him."
Jake said he had been having a fun time playing in the snow.
Rotorua district command centre Senior Sergeant Mike Membery urged people to take extra care on the roads.
"If you don't need to go out, don't. The conditions will be icy and slippery so motorists need to be real careful and add extra time on to their journey."
Metservice meteorologist Tom Adams said it was "quite impressive" snow had reached so far north. "We were expecting it to dust the mountains but it has come down lower than expected in the Rotorua region.
"At the moment it's 0C and 100 per cent humidity which is good snow-making conditions.
"I'd say the locals should make the most of it however as it won't likely last much longer. It will also be followed by rain which will wash it out."