Kiwis longing for a taste of White Christmas on home soil should head to Cardrona this December, after a surprise dumping of snow has allowed the skifield to reopen.
At this time of year, Cardrona Alpine Resort typically only offers activities such as hiking, mountain biking and mountain carting.
But after what resort workers describe as "significant snowfall", the South Island slopes near Wanaka will be partially returning to their winter operations, offering beginner skiing, tubing, sightseeing and snow play.
Taking full advantage of the fresh powder, Cardrona has also recruited Santa himself to take some photos in the snow on the opening Saturday, December 1.
"This is going to be a truly unique summer opening weekend for us and all our visitors – we're embracing what our maunga has given us and we're excited to offer something completely different for the start of December," says Cardrona general manager Bridget Legnavsky.
"The great thing about us operating in both summer and winter is that we have a dedicated year-round staff base who can deliver any experience based on the conditions on the mountain."
In order to adapt to the winter-like conditions, Cardrona have pulled their snow cat back out to groom the Beginners' Area, offering first timer ski and snowboard packages and snow tubing from the covered learner conveyor.
Ski and snowboard equipment will be available to hire from the on-mountain Rentals department, with ski and snowboard single lesson first timer packages available at the 2018 winter rates.
A discounted Learner Conveyor lift pass rate of $35 Adults/$25 Children (6-17yrs), is also available.
Sightseers can also head up the McDougall's Chondola for an alpine experience.
However, the wintry blast has delayed by a week the summer mountain biking and mountain carting, which the resort assures will be offered "as soon as practically possible".
Summer guests will be kept updated of activity offerings via the Cardrona Alpine Resort and Cardrona Bike Park Facebook pages.
The resort's full unconventional list of summer activities can be surveyed on its website.