Skiing isn't on our must-do list when winter rolls around. Sliding down mountains and getting cold and wet isn't our idea of fun, but it brings important revenue to places like Ohakune, Raetihi and National Park.
And this week in the nick of time, the North Island skifields got just what they needed; snow; around a metre of it! The photograph above is from the Giant Cafe at Turoa, at 4.30pm yesterday. With the school holidays beginning, the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts folk and all the businesspeople of the towns mentioned above will be rubbing their hands with glee.
Turoa has a snow base of 1 metre, and Whakapapa isn't far behind. Given that the CNI mountains get most of their snow in July, August and even September, a fantastic season beckons. Over the last few years, there's still been enough snow to ski until the end of October, so having a start like this to the season is a bonus.
And hopefully some of those venturing up for a ski will bring their bikes as well, now that the Mountains to the Sea Cycleway is up and running; all the way from Ohakune to Castlecliff Beach, through some of New Zealand's most picturesque scenery alongside the Whanganui River.