Mt Ruapehu is one of the most desired places to visit in New Zealand. Based at the southern side of Lake Taupo, there are plenty of things to do from outdoor activities to shopping and enjoying the great towns. During winter, skiing and boarding is a very popular activity enjoyed by thousands every year. Since snow sport is our department, we have put together a list of things to organize if your planning a trip to the snow.
Where is MT Ruapehu, and how do i get there?
Mt Ruapehu is based in the central plateau area, smack bang in the middle of the North Island. We recommend staying in Turangi/Tokaanu.. These little towns boast great accommodation and facilities to make your stay enjoyable. Also, its only 45 minutes from the ski field!
Approx times to Turangi/Tokaanu
Auckland - 4 hours / view directions
Hawkes Bay - 2 hours 50 mins / view directions
Wellington - 4 hours / view directions
Taupo - 45 minutes / view directions
Hamilton - 2 1/2 hours / view directions
New Plymouth - 3 hours 40 mins / view directions
TIP: The busiest times of the year for skiing are ALL weekends, and NZ school holidays. The ski fields are at their quietest during working weekdays.
Once you arrive...
There is something for any budget! Here are some recommendations by us! We know they are good!
Tokaanu (6 mins drive from Turangi)
Camping and cabins: Turangi Holiday Park
TIP: Make sure to come and get your ski gear from us the night before, or early in the morning, to maximize your day on the mountain
So there are THREE ski fields to choose from.
Whakapapa - 45 minutes from Turangi
This field is great for beginners, boasting a range of learning slopes and facilities. Also has a extensive range of slopes for intermediate and advanced. There is something for everyone. Alsoo the location of NZ's highest cafe!
Turoa - 1 1/2 from Turangi
Just a bit around the corner from Whakapapa, Turoa is based just out of a small tourist town called Ohakune. Turoa is great for its long runs, and range of parks and interesting terrain. Also, great facilities for beginners - such as a day care & easy slopes.
Deciding: Both fields are GREAT. Whakapapa is probably your best option if you have kids/beginner skiers as its closer and has some great facilities. Turoa tends to have longer runs for intermediate and advanced skiers & boarders. Ideally plan your trip to incorporate a different field each day.
Tukino - Under 1h from turangi
Tukino is a small ski field consisting of two rope tows, and based on the desert road side of the mountain. Great for avoiding the queues, with some great long runs which are groomed. Perfect for beginner to intermediate skiers & boarders.
Weather & Gear Needed
Mt Ruapehu's weather patterns are very unpredictable. Hopefully, you will strike lucky and have some fine days for your trip. Make sure you check the snow report the night before, and the morning you go up.
If its looking like bad weather, you may want to hold off for a day, especially if you have kids
There is a possiblilty of a chains restriction on the mountain roads. If that is the case, you will need to catch a shuttle to the ski field from the base of the mountain. These shuttles cost, UNLESS you purchase a ski field pass.
Fill in the time...
Ski & Soak
Make sure you visit the Tokaanu Thermal Pools after your days skiing. This is the perfect way to wind down, and relax the back and knees! Most Tokaanu Accommodation has hotpools for you to use, so that's a bonus.
There are a great selection of restaurants and take-aways to choose from. Here are our favourties:
You will not be bored! There are a huge range of things to do in the area. Some below are our favorites:
We hope this guide helps you plan a great trip for you and your family. Any questions or if you need help, please contact us and we will help you out!