Mount Ruapehu ski guide for 2020

Lift passes, accommodation and all the mountain information you need to ski at Whakapapa and Turoa.

Updated

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Mount Ruapehu is New Zealand’s largest active volcano and also home to the two largest commercial ski areas in the North Island.

Whakapapa sits on the northwestern slopes, and is home to New Zealand’s largest beginner area, Happy Valley. On the southwestern slopes, Turoa’s unique treeless terrain is some of the country’s finest. Turoa also boasts Australasia’s longest vertical descent and chairlift, the High Noon Express.

Both ski resorts usually run from late June to end of October – making it New Zealand’s longest-running ski season.

As at 15 May, Mount Ruapehu is expected to open for the July school holidays.

Find the best ski deals available in New Zealand this season

Mt Ruapehu accommodation options

Whakapapa accommodation


Turoa accommodation


Mt Ruapehu ski areas information

Where is each ski area?

  • Whakapapa: 1 hour 25 minutes drive (104 kilometres) from Taupo; 4 hours 30 minutes drive (346 kilometres) from Auckland
  • Turoa: 2 hours drive (150 kilometres) from Taupo; 5 hour drive (377 kilometres) from Auckland

About Whakapapa

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Whakapapa mountain facts:

Vertical: 675 metres

Skiable terrain: 550 hectares

Longest run: 2.8 kilometres

Trail breakdown: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate, 25% advanced

Number of terrain parks: 1

Ski season dates: From 22 June 2019

Image: MtRuapehu.com

About Turoa

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Turoa mountain facts:

Vertical: 722 metres

Skiable terrain: 500 hectares

Longest run: 4 kilometres

Trail breakdown: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced

Number of terrain parks: 1

Ski season dates: From 29 June 2019

Image: MtRuapehu.com


2020 season: Lift passes and opening dates

Lift passes are the same price, and are all in New Zealand dollars, regardless if you’re skiing at Whakapapa or Turoa.

Mt Ruapehu day passes:

You can purchase beginner passes, which only give you access to beginner lifts, and all-mountain passes for Whakapapa.

All-mountain passes are valid on all lifts from 9am until 4pm.

  • Adult (18+): NZ$140
  • Youth (5-15): NZ$89
  • Infant (4 or younger): NZ$0

Beginner lift passes will give access to Happy Valley at Whakapapa or Alpine Meador at Turoa.

  • Adults (18+): NZ$95
  • Youth (5-17): NZ$75

You can also purchase an afternoon-only pass, which provides access to all lifts from 12:30pm until 4pm.

  • Adults (18+): NZ$119
  • Youths (5-17): NZ$79

Mt Ruapehu season passes:

You can buy discounted season passes, which are only available mid-week, or anytime passes.

  • Adult (18+) mid-week pass: NZ$749
  • Adult (18+) anytime pass: NZ$849
  • Youth (5-17) mid-week pass: NZ$449
  • Youth (5-17) anytime pass: NZ$509

Unlike day passes, season passes also include to night skiing, which is available from 4:30-8pm at Whakapapa on Fridays and Saturdays.

Mt Ruapehu season opening dates

The opening dates for 2020, which are estimates as of the time of publish, changes depending on where you’re looking to ski:

  • Whakapapa Lower: 13 June until 26 October
  • Whakapapa Upper: 27 June until 26 October
  • Turoa: 27 June until 28 October

Equipment hire at Mt Ruapehu

The most convenient way to get ski hire would be at the on-mountain rental shops at the Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas. Alternatively, you can get your equipment from ski shops at the Tongariro National Park.

  • Whakapapa and Turoa Ski Areas: Both ski areas offer a comprehensive list of skis and snowboards, clothing, helmets and other safety gear and also toboggans.
  • Ski Biz: Gear and clothing hire at competitive prices, plus waxing and edging services. 10 Carroll St National Park Village
  • Snowzone @ Roy Turner Ski and Board Shop: Snowzone offers ski and snowboard hire, tuning and a range of high-quality ski gear. There are a variety of rental packages available and also a special “regulars” package. 25-27 Buddo St, National Park Village

Feature image: Whakapapa


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