Cardrona Alpine Resort has pipped the other Wanaka skifields and opened first -giving Queenstown Winter Festival revellers even more things to do.
Cardona Alpine Resort Sales and Marketing Manager Nadia Ellis says snowmaking over the past few weeks made for some great riding and skiing on the trails.
"This is the first time in a few years we've been the first ski area to open on this side of the Crown Range, and it's certainly been a busy start to the season," she says.
"We've also managed to time it so we kick off on the same day as the Queenstown Winter Festival, and we're really looking forward to showing off our Cardrona float in the parade tomorrow."
Ms Ellis says the new automated ticketing system had its first official run and was already providing shorter queue times for skiers and riders.
"We now have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) instead of having to manually scan passes at the chairlift gates which keeps things moving quickly. People have also been making good use of their OnePassNZ and some have already racked up some impressive vertical kms they can compare with their friends online.
"No need to carry around pockets full of change in your jackets, with the OnePassNZ you can just load some credit before hitting the slopes and turn up and use it to pay for almost everything."
OnePassNZ can be used at eight South Island ski fields and a number of local restaurants, as well as an array of tourism activities.
For further information, snow reports and web cams, visit www.cardrona.com