Mt Ruapehu slopes still waiting to open

Mt Ruapehu slopes still waiting to open

The North Island has had its worst start to the snow season in years, leaving the main slopes of Mt Ruapehu still unable to open.

So, winter destinations are looking at other ways to keep people coming during school holidays when the snow isn't.

Ski Shop owner Hendon Gillies hasn't been selling too many skis yet this school holidays, but that's not to say his shop hasn't been busy.

"The cycling really takes off for us because we've got really great trails, we've got the best trails in the country come winter," says Mr Gillies.

Marketing manager for Mt Ruapehu Anna McLaren says they're hopeful it'll snow soon.

"We will be opening as soon as we can; we're hoping the storm cycle clears either tomorrow or the following day."

In the meantime, the local Council's coming-up with other ways to keep people entertained.

"We've been really promoting that there's a whole lot of stuff you can do when the snow's not there, you can go up the mountain sightseeing, you can go and do a jet boat ride, a skydive in fact," says Destination Great Lake Taupo spokesperson Damian Coutts.

This year they've even launched a Winterfest and its working - local cafe owner Chris Johnston says his shop has been "absolutely buzzing".

But it looks like the main attraction will soon be arriving. Thirty-centimetres of snow has fallen over the last 48 hours. If all goes to plan it's hoped the entire mountain will finally turn white this weekend.

Newshub.

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