Mt Ruapehu is one of the best ski resorts in New Zealand, offering the highest lift-accessible elevations and highest peaks for skiing and snowboarding in the country. The Mt Ruapehu Ski Resort is comprised of two ski areas: Whakapapa and Turoa. When you buy a pass for Mt Ruapehu skiing, you gain access to both amazing ski areas. New Zealand is simply an incredible place for alpine, downhill sports. The pristine terrain that typifies Mt Ruapehu means that skiers and boarders have unparalleled access to amazing powdery basins, backcountry runs, steep chutes, and that’s just the beginning. The ski runs at Mt Ruapehu are easily some of the best in the country. The resort is located in the central North Island of the country about halfway between Auckland and Wellington. It is four hours from Auckland, four hours and 45 minutes from Wellington, and about two hours from Rotorua. You can arrive at the ski resort by bus, train, or car from the major depots including Auckland and Wellington.
There are ten total Mt Ruapehu alpine lifts that carry people to the over 1,350 acres of skiable terrain at Whakapapa and over 1,230 acres at Turoa. The summit elevation at Whakapapa is an impressive 7,545 feet with an awesome vertical drop of 2, 214 feet. Even the most difficult runs are accessible via lift. Of course, for the most adventurous and expert skiers and extreme snowboarders, heli-skiing is an option. But for most people, getting dropped out of a helicopter into the deep snow back trails of Mt Ruapehu is just a bit beyond their skill level. The good thing is that there are a wide variety of ski runs that make Mt Ruapehu skiing accessible to everyone. Out of the total ski runs at Whakapapa, 25 percent are for beginners, 50 percent for intermediates, and 25 percent for advanced skiers and boarders. There is a club lodge for slope-side Mount Ruapehu accommodations at Whakapapa, six cafes, a snow school, and ski equipment hire.
The summit elevation at Mt Turoa is a formidable 7,618 feet with a vertical drop of 2,368 feet. Twenty percent of the runs are for beginners, 55 percent for intermediates, and 25 percent for experts. There are three cafes here, a retail store, a kids’ center for children ages two through five, and a snow school. You really cannot go wrong with Mt Ruapehu skiing whether it is at Turoa or Whakapapa. There are enough Mt Ruapehu alpine lifts to carry well over 10,000 people per hour to the various trails and ski runs around the resort. Besides providing great utility to the people skiing and boarding, the Mt Ruapehu alpine ski lifts also give people the opportunity to enjoy the expansive and breathtaking vistas of the mountains in every direction.
Besides the lodge at Whakapapa, you will have to look for accommodations off-site. There are, however, plenty of lodging options within very close vicinity of Mt Ruapehu. The Discovery Lodge, Anndion Lodge and Apartments, Plateau Lodge, River Lodge, Venture Lodge, Powderhorn Chalet, and Skotel Alpine Resort are just a few of the options at your disposal when planning a vacation to the Mt Ruapehu Ski Resort.