If you’re looking for a New Zealand ski vacation, you’ve come to the right location! Ohakune is situated conveniently on the southern edge of New Zealand's tallest peak: Mt Ruapehu. This mountain is a premier destination for winter activity and a top choice among skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
There are two main ski fields at Mt Ruapehu - Turoa and Whakapapa. Both offer ski and snowboard runs for beginners through advanced and other amenities for your enjoyment. Depending on your preferences, you may wish to visit one over the other, or perhaps enjoy a little of both on different days during your stay in Ohakune!
If you happen to stay with us during the winter - and we hope that you do - you can experience skiing and snowboarding in true New Zealand fashion. Mt Ruapehu is an active volcano that features unique topographical features that make your skiing or snowboarding experience fun and challenging. And it may be one of the only places in the world where you can tell all of your friends that you skied on an active volcano during your winter vacation!
Turoa ski field is located on the south-western side of Mt Ruapehu. This ski field boasts New Zealand’s tallest chair lift - the “High Noon Express - that takes riders up to a 722-meter descent for the ultimate challenge.
Turoa has a beginner’s area, as well as many challenging trails to provide a range of options for everyone in your party. It’s easily accessible from Mountain Road, which feeds in directly from Ohakune.
Whakapapa is on the other side of Mt Ruapehu from Turoa and features a slightly larger skiing area with more trail options from beginner to advanced. It has a fully featured beginners’ learning area called “Happy Valley”, which is separated from the main trail area to facilitate learning and build confidence in new and/or young skiers.
There are plenty of intermediate and advanced trail options for those who want them - approximately 75-percent of the trails here cater to intermediate skill level and above. Whakapapa offers more trails than Turoa, though the variety of the trails is similar at both locations.
Whakapapa also has a tubing area and multiple chalets for grabbing a bite to eat or some hot cocoa between runs. These factors may make it a better choice for families.
Whakapapa is accessible by Bruce Road and is situated on the north-western side of the mountain.