Queenstown's Cardrona Ski Field opened for the season on Saturday with New Zealand's first ever cabin-style lift.
Mt Aspiring College students braved the cold with a haka for the opening of the "Chondola", which has both six-seater chairs and eight-seater gondola cabins on the same lift.
Olympic freeskier Jossi Wells flew back from the United States to take the first ride up.
"I'm excited about it, and everyone's excited about it," he said.
The resort opened with more than 1000 people turning up to ski and ride on the mostly manmade snow.