Skiers take to Mt Hutt on day one of snow season

The first skiers at Mt Hutt are itching to get up the mountain for their first slide of the season.

Ben Yorston was determined to be first, he arrived before midnight, and braved strong winds and a chilly night to claim the first T-shirt.

Some people waited through the cold night to be the first on the mountain. Source: 1 NEWS

Coronet Peak in Queenstown and Cardrona in Wanaka are also opening today.

The fields were well set up after a big dump of snow a fortnight ago. Strong north westerlies this week have melted much of mother nature's good work.

But Mt Hutt has the main trails opened and groomed, ready to go.

Source: 1 NEWS

Public urged to destroy wallabies attempting to make Otago home

Wallabies venturing further afield than South Canterbury were probably intentionally released, experts say.

Bennett’s wallabies were introduced from Tasmania into the Hunters Hills near Waimate in the 19th century for recreational hunting and have reached large proportions in some areas of South Canterbury.

Wallaby spotted in Otago
Wallaby spotted in Otago Source: 1 NEWS

But their presence is unwelcome further south where they compete for pasture and can also damage young trees and crops.

Wallabies have been spotted in and around Oamaru and other parts of North Otago in locations far enough away from South Canterbury to suggest they had been intentionally released and Otago Regional Council is asking people to report any sightings of the pest.

If you see a wallaby on your property and are able to safely destroy it, we certainly ask that you do so. - Scott MacLean

"It is extremely disappointing to think that someone may be illegally releasing wallabies, given the significant potential impact to the rural economy and local biodiversity values," director of environmental monitoring and operations Scott MacLean said.

He says they need people to report any sightings so they are aware of where wallabies have been present.

Anyone knowingly releasing wallabies could face a penalty of up to five years imprisonment and/or, up to a $100,000 fine.



Mission to get photos back to their rightful owners

Volunteers at Dunedin's 24 hour book sale are adding forensic detectives to their list of duties this year as they look to find the owners of hundreds of photographs which have accidentally made their way in to the sale.

And they've already reunited one lady with some fond memories of a wedding from over a decade ago.

The volunteers have prepared a special display of photographs that have been collated over the sale's 37 year history.

Volunteers at Dunedin’s 24 hour book sale have already reunited one lady with some pictures of her wedding from a decade ago. Source: 1 NEWS

"We're wanting people to come and identify them if they can, and you know from the clothing and hairstyles and so on you can get an idea of the year," volunteers Margaret Lindsay and Bob Sims said.

There's been a wide variety of images found in the tens of thousands of books donated each year.

Whole albums have even been found in boxes of books, but most of the photos appear to have been used as bookmarks.

The sale always draws a passionate crowd, eager to get their yearly literary fix but even before the masses arrived one photo of a wedding in 2002 brought back happy memories.

"It was really lovely to see it actually because all the girls in that photo it was the last time we were all together in the same spot," Mel Van de Klundert said.