Hundreds of visitors headed up Mt Ruapehu over the long weekend to enjoy the first snow of the season at Happy Valley.
Whakapapa general manager Jono Dean said skiers, snowboarders and sightseers all enjoyed a great season opening at Happy Valley with a dusting of snow overnight Sunday, along with fresh man-made snow, capping off a great weekend.
"Snow is also in the forecast again late this week," he said.
Mt Ruapehu has the longest scheduled winter season in the country operating through until Labour Weekend in late October.
An estimated 1200 skiers and snowboarders were at Happy Valley over the long weekend along with about the same number of sightseers.
The snow base in Happy Valley was currently 8cm with more snow needed before the remainder of Happy Valley could open.
One carpet lift is currently open with a trail that is growing wider each day due to snow making, grooming and natural snow fall.
Whakapapa and Tūroa ski fields are due to open in late June and the new Sky Waka is also scheduled to be finished at the same time.