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Situated in the heart of the North Island of New Zealand and home to both Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks, Ruapehu is one of New Zealand’s most dramatic and rewarding regions to visit.
With high annual snowfall, incredible views, and terrain recognised by UNESCO listed for its unique volcanic features, Mt Ruapehu is one of the world's premier skiing and snowboarding playgrounds - with the added excitement of it being a live volcano!
Whakapapa and Turoa – Ruapehu’s two major commercial ski areas – complement each other with their respective northwestern and southwestern facing aspects, together boasting more than 1000 ha of skiable terrain with in excess of 700 metres of vertical descent.
The ski areas are the largest in New Zealand, and are easily accessible from surrounding towns Ohakune, Whakapapa Village and National Park Village with free shuttles direct to the snow and lifts.
The two commercial ski areas utilize state of the art lift facilities, have buzzing cafes and present a welcoming smile from the warm winter staff. The lift accessed terrain, forged over a millennia by volcanic activity is varied and expansive. Perfect for beginners and experts alike, the natural half pipes, bowls, chutes and drops are a perfect addition to the sweeping glaciers and pristinely groomed learners areas.
With the longest opening season in New Zealand (usually from June to November and as late as December), Mt Ruapehu has arguably the best spring skiing in the world. Longer, warmer days provide authentic spring conditions, regularly accented with mind blowing sunsets and après merrymaking
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts are the company operating facilities at Whakapapa on the northwestern face and Turoa to the southwest - often meaning if one side of the mountain is closed you can head on around to the other for the day.
Whakapapa is the home of Happy Valley - New Zealand's best and largest beginner area, with covered carpet lifts, chairlifts, cafe and its own gear hire and lessons area. There are 30 groomed trails at Whakapapa offering a good range of beginner, intermediate and advanced trails. Whakapapa also has state of the art snow making facilitiies which mean the beginner area can open as early as June!
Turoa boasts the highest vertical drop in New Zealand. There are 22 groomed trails and Alpine Meadow looks after the beginners, with trails a mix of beginner, intermediate and advanced.
So come and ski the biggest ski area in NZ, in the midst of a dual world heritage national park with NZ's highest cafe, chairlift and vertical descent.
The fact that you're also skiing an active volcano just adds to the excitement.
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