Thousands of young party-goers made the trek to the Ruapehu town of Ohakune on the weekend for the annual Mardi Gras festival, booking out motels and drinking local restaurants dry.
Held along a stretch of Thames St directly under the gaze of the maunga, the winter party is the most significant single event in Ruapehu, giving a shot in the arm to the local economy.
This year's event, again organised by promoters Audiology Touring, had a star-studded lineup of primarily electronic and drum and bass artists, including internationals such as Dimension, Culture Shock and Danny Byrd.
But with international artists having to spend two weeks in managed isolation, the line-up was again mostly Kiwi, with popular New Zealand artists Quix and Deadbeat also headlining.
Ohakune Events Charitable Trust chairman Stu Robinson said that with a sell-out crowd of 9000, the event was expected to have brought more than $1.5 million to the Ruapehu economy.
"That is in addition to the capital spend in the area, and that figure is just for the weekend, so it could be quite a bit more with people paying for accommodation in advance as most do."
Robinson said even though the town was a hotspot for tourism already, the event acted as a guarantee to local businesses.
"The mountain's not open for a couple of weeks and we've had poor snow starts in the past, so this just gives the region some guaranteed injection which does tide over some of the businesses if by chance mother nature doesn't deliver the snow."
Also in town for the event was a significantly bolstered police force, with drink-driving checkpoints at various locations and roving patrols ensuring everyone was kept safe.
Robinson said compared to previous years, the behaviour of most punters was relatively tame with behavioural issues nowhere near as frequent.
A police spokeswoman said police were generally pleased with the behaviour displayed at Mardi Gras this year.
"There were four arrests made for minor disorder-related incidents," she said.
"There were 13 checkpoints set up to monitor driver behaviour. We had a number of staff working the event, which included a significant number on the highway monitoring road safety."
The Ohakune Mardi Gras was started after the 1995-96 mountain eruptions put a stop to business during the ski season, and since then has positioned itself as one of the country's most well-known winter events.
Last year Covid-19 crowd limits pushed the Mardi Gras out to November, by which time the ski season had already finished. It still drew more than 6000 people into the district.
The festival now heads south, with the Mardi Gras taking on Queenstown next weekend.