- Elevated between 5348 ft and 7612 ft, the Ski Resort is among the 3 highest elevated Ski Resorts in New Zealand. The vertical drop from summit to base is 2264 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in New Zealand is 1545 ft. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Whakapapa Mt Ruapehu is the the best rated ski resort in New Zealand.
- Season starts on Jun 1 and ends on Oct 20 (141 days). Average season duration in New Zealand is 94 days.
- Snow coverage is usually best during September, offering an average snow depth of 99 " at summit elevation and 79 " at the base. Therefore Whakapapa Mt Ruapehu is among the 3 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in New Zealand.
- Offering 2597 acres of slopes and terrain, Whakapapa Mt Ruapehu is the largest ski resort in New Zealand.
The Ski Resort
Whakapapa is New Zealand's largest ski resort. It is located on Mt Ruapehu (2,797m), the highest mountain on the North Island. The active volcano is also home to Turoa, another, smaller ski resort. Whakapapa has suitable runs for every level, although the majority is intended for more advanced skiers and snowboarders.
New Zealand's first seperate beginner's area, Happy Valley, is one of Whakapapa's special features. In this area, newbies get to practice their first steps among themselves, without getting in the way of swifter skiers. The long practice slope gives them the chance to get acquainted with skiing at their own pace. Getting to the top on an extra slow chairlift makes it easy to get accustomed to the new situation.
More advanced skiers and snowboarders will find 30 intermediate runs. With diverse routes and terrains you certainly won't get bored. For true experts, Whakapapa offers 24 Black Diamond Runs. Furthermore, the Black Magic Backcountry Area provides a great freeride experience. The area can be accessed by lift.
On Mountain Dining
Whakapapa has a variety of dining facilities. Happy Valley Bistro is found right by the beginner's area. Hence, it is especially suited for families. The restaurant is known for its delicious pizzas and hot dogs. After your meal you can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.
Lorenzs' Bar and Cafe is situated by the valley station. Indulge in a hearty breakfast in the morning or enjoy a nice cold beer at the end of your day.
Knoll Ridge Cafe is New Zealand's highest situated café. Its location presents you with a unique view of the resort. On the menu you will find dishes from around the world, fresh salads, as well as a variety of snacks.
At four kilometers long and with a drop of 675 meters, Whakapapa's longest run is the valley run.
If you spend your winter holiday at Mt Ruapehu, you shouldn't miss the neighbouring ski resort Turoa. While smaller than Whakapapa, the ski resort offers some additional easy, intermediate, and expert terrain, as well as a number of powder runs. Moreover, it is home to New Zealand's highest lift, Highnoon Express.
Infrastructure & Rental
Mt Ruapehu is located approximately halfway between Auckland and Wellington. The easiest way to get there is by following State Highway 4 until National Park. From there, Highway 47 leads directly to Whakapapa.