The broad white flanks of Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand’s largest active volcano, are an irresistible attraction for thousands of snow sport enthusiasts each winter.

Whakapapa is the North Island’s premier ski field and lies within the magnificent Tongariro National Park, a World Heritage Area, just four hours drive from Wellington or Auckland.

This magic mountain is high, wide and handsome, with 550 hectares of patrolled terrain and picture postcard views of the neighbouring volcanoes. Lift access extends to 2,300 metres and the vertical drop is 675 metres. There is serious space and freedom of movement here over wide open terrain. Adventurous skiers and snowboarders will find a fascinating variety of narrow chutes, couloirs and deep gullies in the shape of natural half-pipes.

Whakapapa has joined with nearby Turoa ski field to become one commercial entity known as Mt Ruapehu – the largest snow sports area in the Southern Hemisphere. Shuttle buses run between the fields and you can enjoy the two resorts on the one daily/season pass. A guided 30 minute traverse provides a direct link between the fields on days when snow and weather conditions permit.

Bus Pass New Zealand

The Whakapapa season usually runs from July to November and the snow ratings are 30% beginner, 45% intermediate and 25% advanced. There are 23 lifts – 2 quad and 4 double, 4 T-Bars, as well as platters and learner’s lifts. The field has 30 groomed trails, ample off-piste terrain as well as tobogganing and tubing areas. Also a terrain park, skier/boarder cross course and ski school, plus an outstanding beginner’s area in Happy Valley. Six cafés and two bars provide snacks and meals. Knoll Ridge Chalet is the most elevated licensed restaurant in New Zealand.

Accommodation is available at Whakapapa Village 6 km down the mountain, and at National Park, Turangi, Oakune and Taupo townships. Après ski activities are well catered for and local nightspots pump out entertainment and refreshment well into the wee small hours.

By | 2014-08-11T00:44:07+00:00 October 3rd, 2013|Ski Areas & Heli-Ski Sites|0 Comments

About the Author:

Danny de Hek
Like most people, I have many passions, goals and dreams. As a self made business professional, my focus is helping my clients, associates and friends, build, strengthen and maintain their success. It would be fair to say I am in the full time business of building relationships and feel my purpose and skill is connecting the right people with the right people. My professional work tends to dominate my personal life, to the horror of my partner and business mentor. They both fully support me yet give me the hard truths when I need to hear this. I am always investing in my personal development to have a fulfilled work/life balance. I enjoy Target Shooting, Hiking & Mountain Biking to clear the brain and to take the guilt away when indulging at a quirky cafe for a cooked breakfast or brunch. My passion for travelling has seen me experience the world on many occasions, my next adventure will be doing the Tibet Rail Journey on the Qinghai-Tibet Railway from Lhasa to Golmud as long as they have Wi-Fi aboard ;-) I have many goals I still wish to achieve but am pretty chuffed that I have accomplished so many of these already.

Leave A Comment