Cantabrians revel in first snow of 2018

The first snow of the year has fallen in Canterbury.

The snow and freezing conditions meant temperatures struggled to reach double figures in many places on Tuesday.

For overnight visitors to Lake Tekapo, the unseasonal snow is a cold wake-up call.

"We woke up to a pretty cold morning," says Hugh Waghorn. "It was pretty cold last night, really cold...we have probably got 100 millimetres [of snow]."

The snow arrived just after midnight, and didn't take long to settle - but Tekapo resident Dale Karton wasn't concerned.

"The snow has come early, it happens sometimes so it's all cool," he says. "It will be gone in a couple of days, so it's all good - a day off."

He even wore shorts to take his son to school.

Other kids, like the three Leppard brothers who are home-schooled, got to enjoy the first snow by constructing makeshift ski ramps and rails.

"It's awesome," says young Finn Leppard. "We literally sit at the window and wait for the snow to come."

"It's a lot better than summer," added brother Lukas.

Further north, there were some delays through the alpine passes as the snow fell throughout the morning. Snow on the ground at Arthur's Pass village shocked Indian tourist Bhumika Singh.

"I'm freezing," she told Newshub. "We are coming from a place which is very, very hot."

It's expected to get even colder on Tuesday night, with temperatures as low as -6degC forecast.

The snow should continue falling after dark, with a fresh layer on the ground on Wednesday morning.