Fancy riding down the slopes of a volcano? Here’s our guide on when to make your upcoming Mount Ruapehu trip.
A jewel of the North Island, Mount Ruapehu is an adrenaline junkie’s dream.
Not only does it boast two world-class ski areas – Whakapapa and Tūroa – it also boasts two New Zealand Cycleways Great Rides – the Timber Trail and the Mountain to Sea.
Whether you’re looking to push the powder or push pedals, we know when you should head in for the ultimate thrill.
Best time to go to Mount Ruapehu
Snow season: New Zealand’s winter ski season runs from June to early October. To avoid the crowds and for better deals on ski passes, visit during the spring ski season (mid-October to early November).
Biking season: You can cycle your way along the pathways almost any time of the year, however we’d recommend you pop by in summer between November and March for lush greenery and longer daylight hours for safety.
If you want to earn bragging rights of skiing on an active volcano, Mount Ruapehu has to be on your list. Comprised of two major ski fields, Whakapapa is the country’s largest and most developed ski area and sits just north of the summit, while Tūroa has the largest vertical drop at 722ft and is in the south-west. Buy multi-day passes and you will be able to ski at both.
June to September is peak season in this winter wonderland; however, the full ski season runs long and there’s ample snow until early November. Called spring skiing, October–November comes with perks such as cheap accommodation and little to no lines at the ski lifts.
Oh, and another tip for avoiding the crowds? Head to the smaller Tukino ski field on the eastern slope of Mount Ruapehu.
Best time to visit Mount Ruapehu for…
- Skiing and snowboarding: Mount Ruapehu enjoys some of the biggest snowfalls in New Zealand so you can ski and snowboard your way through to the spring season in late October/early November.
- Guided tours: During the warmer days of spring, you can join a guided tour around the crater of Mount Ruapehu and gaze into its thermal lakes. As this track is unmarked, it is best to go with a professional guide.
- Hiking, cycling and mountain biking: Summer brings with it pleasant weather and longer daylight hours for better hiking and riding conditions. Check the forecast beforehand as the weather can become quite severe with rain, snow and extreme temperatures – so you’ll want to come prepared as the terrain can become quite dangerous.