New Zealand has been hit by over 100,000 lightning strikes during a week of fearsome weather across the country.
While South Island ski field operators are celebrating some of the best June snow conditions in memory, many other Kiwis are cleaning up or hunkering down due to wild storms.
One of the worst-hit regions is Waikanae, a town 50 kilometres north of Wellington, which suffered a pair of tornadoes overnight.
Residents took to social media with pictures of uprooted trees, roof damage, dislodged fences and major flooding.
Louise Buurmans, 91, experienced ceiling damage, telling TVNZ the experience was "bloody horrible".
"When the fire brigade was here they said I could stay with them, I don't even know them all that well so that's really very nice," she said.
"I'm still a bit shaken up about it, I'm going to go and stay with family."
Cold fronts from the Southern Ocean and across the Tasman Sea have brought unsettled weather to New Zealand for several days.
Meteorologists Metservice counted 111,621 lightning strikes in New Zealand and nearby waters from 6-13 June.
Wellington residents suffered thunderstorms on each of the last seven days, with precious little respite in between hailstorms and gusts.
Aucklanders wore plenty of rain and wind on Monday, with the Auckland Harbour Bridge closed for periods as gusts topped 100km an hour.
The South Island town of Greymouth suffered flooding, as did other communities on the wild West Coast.
The upside was a monster snow dump for ski resorts on the eve of their first season open to international tourists since 2019.
Queenstown's Coronet Peak recorded 120cm in the 72 hours to Monday, with a similar story in Wanaka resorts.
"There is more snow this time of year than I've seen this time of year for a long time,"Cardrona general manager Laura Hedley told Radio NZ.
"It's a pretty good start ... all our grooming teams will be out there packing it down and making it safe."
While the snow was welcome, it also brought road closures to alpine highway passes, and avalanche danger to resort roads.
Australian Associated Press
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