The amount of snow falling in New Zealand means international ski travel should be high on the overseas skiers' agenda. And for the local skiers, too, for that matter.
Snow storms looming up from sub-antarctic lattitudes have given huge early dumps on most of the South island ski fields.
Mt Hutt has had 170cm of snow and now has a 110cm base . . . in mid-May?! I'll bet the snow-making machines have been notably silent by night. The locals are saying it's the biggest early snow they've seen in decades.
The Remarkables and Coronet Peak near Queenstown have already got solid bases - 45cm at the Remarkables, 15cm at Coronet.
Even North Island ski fields Turoa and Whakapapa - the largest field in the country - have received 60cm and 45cm respectively. You can have a look at them at http://www.mtruapehu.com/winter/webcams/
Sure, the old saying is that snow in May doesn't stay, but the falls this year are so heavy it's hard to see them disappearing in any hurry.
In fact, Manganui Ski Area on Mt Egmont in Taranaki is opening tomorrow, such is the ski base they have. Find out more at http://www.skitaranaki.co.nz/
Other useful ski and travel websites: