There have been huge snowfalls to start the week in New Zealand, with ski areas reporting up to 70cm of fresh snow, and snow falling at rates of up to 10cm per hour at the height of the storm.

The heavy snow caused logistical and operational issues initially leading many areas on the country’s South Island, which has had most of the snow, to close on Monday and delay opening on Tuesday until access could be made safe.

Once they were able to open, conditions were superb.

“We want to thank everyone for their patience today while we got the mountain open. Such a heavy fall of snow on top of the spring snow pack meant patrol had a lot of work to do this morning as you may have noticed if you were up on the mountain,” a Treble Cone spokesperson said.

Treble Cone (pictured above today after the storm) reported the biggest accumulation with 70cm (28 inches) of fresh snow, Coronet Peak had 60cm (two feet), Cardrona 54cm and The Remarkables 55cm (around 22 inches each).

Its springtime in the southern hemisphere and most ski areas in New Zealand have three – four weeks of the 2018 season left.

The two ski areas of Turoa and Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu the country’s North Island have been posting the deepest bases south of the equator at up to 330cm (11 feet) and may stay open later in October and potentially in to November as has happened some seasons in the past.