COMPLETE GUIDE to planning a trip to the snow *2022 UPDATED*

May 10, 2018 4 min read

COMPLETE GUIDE to planning a trip to the snow *2018 UPDATED*-snowscene ski and board


Welcome to our comprehensive guide to having a great trip to the mountain!

Mt Ruapehu is one of the most desired places to visit in New Zealand. Based at the southern side of Lake Taupo, there are plenty of things to do from outdoor activities to shopping and enjoying the great towns.

During winter, skiing and boarding is a very popular activity enjoyed by thousands every year. Since snow sport is our department, we have put together a list of things to organize if your planning a trip to the snow.

Where is MT Ruapehu, and how do I get there?

Mt Ruapehu is based in the central plateau area, smack bang in the middle of the North Island. We recommend staying locally at one of our recommendations below ensuring you are well looked after. Also, its only 45 minutes from the ski field! 

Approx times to Turangi/Tokaanu

  • Auckland - 4 hours / view directions

  • Hawkes Bay - 2 hours 50 mins

  • Wellington - 4 hours

  • Taupo - 45 minutes

  • Hamilton - 2 1/2 hours

  • New Plymouth - 3 hours 40 mins

TIP: The busiest times of the year for skiing are ALL weekends, and NZ school holidays. The ski fields are at their quietest during working weekdays.  

Once you arrive...


There is something for any budget! Here are some recommendations by us! We know they are good!

Omori/Pukawa (15mins out of turangi - very peaceful and scenic)

Tokaanu (3 mins drive from Turangi - where our shop is)


TIP: Make sure to come and get your ski gear from us the night before, or early in the morning, to maximize your day on the mountain

Mountain time!

So there are THREE ski fields to choose from:

Whakapapa - 45 minutes from Turangi

This field is great for beginners, boasting a range of learning slopes and facilities. Also has a extensive range of slopes for intermediate and advanced. There is something for everyone. Alsoo the location of NZ's highest cafe!

Turoa - 1 1/2 from Turangi

Just a bit around the corner from Whakapapa, Turoa is based just out of a small tourist town called Ohakune. Turoa is great for its long runs, and range of parks and interesting terrain. Also, great facilities for beginners - such as a day care & easy slopes.

Tukino - Under 1h from turangi

Tukino is a small ski field consisting of two rope tows, and based on the desert road side of the mountain. Great for avoiding the queues, with some great long runs which are groomed. Perfect for beginner to intermediate skiers & boarders.


ALL fields are GREAT. Whakapapa is probably your best option if you have kids/beginner skiers as its closer and has some great facilities. Turoa tends to have longer runs for intermediate and advanced skiers & boarders. Ideally plan your trip to incorporate a different field each day. Weekend skiing is awesome at Tukino as its a club field with not many queues

Weather & Gear Needed

Mt Ruapehu's weather patterns are very unpredictable. Hopefully, you will strike lucky and have some fine days for your trip. Make sure you check the snow report the night before, and the morning you go up.

  • If its looking like bad weather, you may want to hold off for a day, especially if you have kids

  • There is a possiblilty of a chains restriction on the mountain roads. If that is the case, you will need to catch a shuttle to the ski field from the National Park Village Train Station ($6 per person)

  • Websites to check: Mt Ruapehu Report , Met service Tongariro

TIP: We have provided you with a in-depth checklist for gear that you will need up the mountain. Click HERE TO VIEW

Fill in the time...

Ski & Soak

Make sure you visit the Tokaanu Thermal Pools after your days skiing. This is the perfect way to wind down, and relax the back and knees! Most Tokaanu Accommodation have their own hotpools for you to use, so that's a bonus.

Dinner time?

There are a great selection of restaurants and take-aways to choose from. Here are our favourties:



You will not be bored! There are a huge range of things to do in the area. Some below are our favorites:

We hope this guide helps you plan a great trip for you and your family. Any questions or if you need help, please contact us and we will help you out!

Hopefully this helps! 

Have more burning questions? - Ring or email me and i'll help you out :)

Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer

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