|Multiday Lift Pass Prices 2023
|2 Days Adult All Mountain
|2 Days Youth All Mountain
Ski rental options
Mt Ruapehu does have a on-mountain rental option, but we HIGHLY recommend you pick up all your rental skis, boards, and clothing from one of the local ski-shops that can be found in your mountain town.
WHY? It’s much cheaper, heaps quicker to get fitted out (usually less than 20 mins compared to sometimes an hour on-mountain during busy times). Plus you receive lots of local knowledge on preparing for the ski field, and the conditions of the day BEFORE you head up. This local knowledge is GOLD, especially for first-timers to the snow, and can often make or break your day.
To make sure your ski holiday goes as smoothly as possible, we recommend visiting SNOWSCENE SKI AND BOARD
for all your ski, boarding, and snow-play gear needs!
Getting up there
The BRUCE ROAD is the Whakapapa access road that takes you to the base of the ski area. Its fully paved and suitable for any car - no matter how big or small (depending on the road conditions)
Estimated travel times:
Auckland & Wellington: 4 ½ Hours
Taupo: 1 ½ Hours
Tauranga: 3 ½ Hours
Hawkes Bay: 3 ¼ Hours
Turangi: 40 mins
Ohakune: 60 mins
National Park Township: 20 mins
Mountain Road accessibility
Make sure to check the DAILY MOUNTAIN REPORT for WHAKAPAPA
, BEFORE YOU TRAVEL! This is paramount to making sure you can access the mountain safely. The status of road accessibility changes daily.
In previous years, carparking spaces on Mt Ruapehu had to be booked online. For 2023 however, there is no need to book a carparking space prior to your arrival
Carparking is now first in - first serve
. During peak times like school holidays and weekends, we advise driving up Mt Ruapehu earlier rather than later so you don't miss out on a park. We advise aiming for a 9am - 10am arrival (the earlier the better)
Road restrictions: 4WD or not?
If there is snow or ice buildup from a frosty morning - or snowfall the night before, the road may become restricted to only certain vehicles.
Typically, if there is a road restriction, it will mean you MUST have either a 4WD car or AWD car, or a 2WD car with chains. You won’t know the road restrictions until the road report is released at 7 AM on the day. You can find this at mtruapehu.com/whakapapa/report
If you had planned to drive up in a 2WD car, and suddenly you are not able to due to a restriction on the road - not to fear! You can usually purchase chains from local mountain shops, such as Snowscene Ski and Board in Turangi.
If you are not comfortable with driving in chains - then booking a shuttle is going to be your next best option
There are many shuttle companies that operate throughout the winter season - allowing you to easily access Whakapapa when road restrictions are in place.
Most shuttles will pickup and drop off from the National Park Village 'Park and Ride' depot. See it on google maps
We have compiled a list of all shuttle operators for you to choose from
. We highly recommend booking in advance. If the weather is looking marginal for Saturdays, then we recommend you book your shuttle the Friday night before, or first thing Saturday morning when we know what the road restrictions are for that day.
There is no free shuttle services being operated by the mountain company (RAL) in 2023
What to expect
Let's discuss what to expect once you reach Whakapapa. There are a number of facilities to make your stay for enjoyable, and some great ski-lifts and terrain for you to explore.
The weather at Mt Ruapehu can change very quickly and is known for its strong winds that whip over the mountain. Always be prepared with the right gear so you are good for any situation. Even on a hot, spring day conditions can change relatively quickly. Before you go, it could be a good idea to check out 'Mt Ruapehu Essentials' Checklist to make sure you have everything packed, and double-check the metservice website for weather conditions
This is Mt Ruapehu’s premiere learners ski slope. It contains a mixture of chairlifts and carpet lifts to make your learning experience as enjoyable as possible. This is also where all beginner’s lessons will operate from.
- double happy chairlift, and TWO carpet lifts.
Lessons can be brought from mtruapehu.com, and will all take place in this area
Happy valley has its own building complete with a large cafe, toilets, storage area, and lesson ski rentals.
Rest of the mountain
The rest of the mountain can be accessed with the FULL mountain pass. This will allow you to access 100% of the ski-able terrain at Whakapapa.
- Terrain: 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced
Lifts (in order from the base to the highest elevation)
- Rangatira Quad chair: Allows access to the rockgarden beginner to intermediate run
- Sky Waka Gondola: Allows access to intermediate & advanced runs at the top of the mountain, the waterfall intermediate run, and sightseeing at the knoll ridge cafe
- Delta Quad chair: A great beginner to intermediate run
- Valley & knoll T-bars: Whakapapa's highest elevation t-bars, opening up a range of intermediate to advanced trails
- Far West t-bar and Quad chair: A favorite for local skiers and boarders. These lifts open up a range of intermediate and advanced, on the trail and off-piste trails
There are TWO cafe’s with a range of food options for you to choose from (excluding happy valley bistro)
- Lorenzo’s cafe: Situated at the base of Whakapapa, this cafe has a full menu and drinks available all day long.
- Knoll Ridge cafe: Accessible via a ski or sightseeing pass on the Skywaka, this facility boasts NZ highest eatery - with 3 dining areas to choose from ranging from a restaurant dining experience to quick eats for a good price. This is definitely a must do for all visiting Whakapapa
- Retail and rental stores
- Toilets situated throughout the ski-field, with the best place for this being the cafes
- Customer service center for all inquiries. This building is found at the base of Mt Ruapehu, below the Lorenzo’s Cafe
Sightseeing / Sledding
A great day trip option for yourself, family or friends it to experience the snow at Whakapapa. If you don’t want to ski or snowboard, how about a sledding day and a ride of the sky waka gondola?
This activity is every increasing in popularity due to its cheaper costs and is a less stressful experience with young kids. Here are some things to keep in mind:2023 UPDATE:You now need to book sledding online, prior to your arrival. We would advise booking a few days in advance to make sure you don't miss out. Visit mtruapehu.com to purchase sledding tickets
- Even if you are not planning on skiing or snowboarding, you still need to be prepared for a mountain environment when you decide to visit. This means having warm, waterproof layers from head to toe. We have a great checklist for you if you are unsure what to pack, and if you find you don’t have these items - it can all be rented from SNOWSCENE SKI AND BOARD for just a few dollars.
- There are TWO options when it comes to sledding. You can pay for Mt Ruapehu’s Happy Valley purpose-built sledding area, which consists of sled rental and sled lift usage for $15 - 29 per hour. Otherwise, you can rent or bring your own sled to use ANYWHERE on the mountain, except for Happy Valley Sledding or ski runs, for FREE! This is often a popular option as there are some great spots that you can ‘free sled’ at. Visit snowscene for SLED rental. Only $10 a day, and we will let you know all the best spots to take your sled and have the best time! (Please note, free sledding spots will depend on how much snowfall there has been. Early or late season, there may not be any options to free sled)
- Lastly, don’t forget to take a trip up the SKY WAKA gondola. The views from the ride up and the cafe up the top are phenomenal. The views are literally as far as the eye can see. You don’t want to miss out on this. Make sure to buy your Skywaka ride tickets online beforehand