We’ve been waiting all summer long, anxiously peering forth to the horizon for the gleam and twinkle of the white stuff and following an epic storm or more, the mountain uncloaked itself from dreary grey clouds to reveal….. our winter wonderland!
If you are in Taupo and looking for adventure, look no further than Ruapehu.
The jewel in our Taupo-nian crown, this world heritage area is a veritable winter wonderland of adventure activities in the snow. If you crave skiing or snowboarding the ski fields of Turoa and Whakapapa are open from late June.
Turoa currently boasts a good amount of snow with a base of 149cm and Australasia’s longest vertical descent. This is a fantastic start to the season. Catering for al levels of capability, Turoa has a 120m carpet lift for beginners in their Alpine Meadows learner area, teamed with 12 intermediate runs of wide, sweeping terrain and chutes as well as 25 Black and Black Diamond runs (advanced level) of easily accessed back country terrain- ambitious skiers/boarders will be welcomed here.
Turoa ski field is easily accessible from the village of Ohakune- (New Zealand’s carrot capital!!) on Mt Ruapehu’s south western slopes, only just over an hour and a half’s drive from Taupo.
Even closer to home is the ski field of Whakapapa, situated on Mt Ruapehu’s northern side, just over an hour’s drive from Taupo. Bordered by the famous Chateau Tongariro which sits at the base (this used to be a mental health facility…), enjoy a high tea before you hit the slopes or even better.. after!
Whakapapa ski area is New Zealand’s largest with 65 runs over 1050 hectares. You simply cannot miss a visit here to slide the slopes of an active volcano, whilst enjoying views of the Central Plateau beyond on a blue bird day. The premiere learner’s area of Happy Valley will cater for the beginner skier/boarder with the whole mountain accessible, along with backcountry areas for the more experienced. A run amongst the Pinnacles is not to be missed. Couple this with the Knoll Ridge Café, where you can dine at an elevation of over 1600m, enjoy New Zealand’s highest café and take in the epic view of nearby Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy!) and the plains beyond.
If you have adventure in your heart and a willingness in your soul, don’t miss opening weekend of our beautiful Mount Ruapehu for snow, sun (hopefully!), fun and laughter beyond.