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When people think of Taupo, they often focus on the lake, but don’t discount the opportunity for snow-filled adventuring throughout the winter. With an array of nearby ski-fields to choose from, Taupo is the ideal place to release your inner snow bunny.
Mount Ruapehu encompasses three separate ski fields within easy distance of Taupo; Tukino, Whakapapa and Turoa. Whakapapa and Turoa have a combined area of 1050 hectares, the largest area dedicated to skiing in New Zealand. There is an excellent variety of terrain to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders, as well as dedicated areas for tobogganing and tubing.
Whakapapa offers a Snow School for complete beginners, as well as some lovely après-ski options in the form of Lorenz’s Bar and Café or Knoll Ridge Café. At Turoa, beginners can take a sightseeing chairlift ride to check out the upper slopes and all skiers can enjoy a snack or tipple at the popular Alpine Café at the base area, or at the Giant Café. Tukino ski field is Mount Ruapehu's lesser-known gem, located on the eastern side of the mountain and offers the rare combination of adventure minus the crowds.
From Taupo you are 1 hour 20 minute drive to Whakapapa or 2 hours from Turoa. Which means everything you need to have a great day up on the mountain is available in Taupo, including ski and snowboard rental and tuning, warm weather gear shops (and rental), ski packages (including lessons) and transport to the resorts.
If you need a break between days on the mountain, Taupo also offers plenty of alternative options. Bundle up and follow the trail from the town centre out to see Huka Falls or take a relaxing two-hour lake cruise aboard the iconic Ernest Kemp, a much loved Taupo charter boat. This cruise will take you to the famous Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay, then return to the Taupo Boat Harbour via the lakefront.
Taupo is also a great place to enjoy a great meal after a day’s activity. Check out The Lake House Taupo, which offers up sumptuous meals served alongside a great selection of New Zealand craft beer. Alternatively, check out The Bantry for a gourmet take on contemporary New Zealand cuisine.
When you’re ready to relax after a long day of winter-adventuring, return to your luxury accommodation at The Cove Lake Taupo. Set on the shores of stunning Lake Taupo, you can enjoy the view from your private spa pool as you soak the day’s activity away. Your friendly Cove staff members can assist in finding all you need to make the most of your winter holiday in Taupo.