First ski field opens for winter season

  • 03/06/2017

The first ski field in New Zealand is open for the winter season, a month ahead of usual.

Thanks to a new snow machine, hundreds of skiers and snowboarders took to Whakapapa's Happy Valley on Saturday.

Earlier this year the Mt Ruapehu ski field bought the country's first all-weather snowmaking system, allowing them to push through the recent rain and warm weather.

The Double Happy chairlift is currently open, and newly purchased carpet lifts will also open when conditions allow.

Mt Ruapehu CEO Ross Copland says it comes down to the "hard work of the whole team".

"Locals and visitors now have the unique opportunity to come skiing and snowboarding over Queen's Birthday weekend."

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts will be offering opening week specials for the first week of the season to celebrate the early opening.