Happy Valley ski field has ignited a love of the snow for thousands of skiers and snowboarders. As the perfect beginner ski area, Happy Valley is where many discover a new passion.
Think of Happy Valley ski field as a playground in the snow. The easy slaloms and slight gradients are designed to boost confidence and prepare skiers for more difficult tracks higher on the mountain.
If you’re heading to Mt Ruapehu for your first snow experience, Happy Valley has everything you need for a fun day on the mountain. With a café, a rental complex, a ski school and safety staff scattered throughout the field, you’ll learn a new skill and have so much fun doing it.
The beginner ski area is where it all begins
Learning to ski is a skill that will be with you for a lifetime. Even those who have never even donned a pair of ski boots will find it easy to learn to ski in Happy Valley.
Like every new skill you learn, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. When it comes to learning to ski or snowboard, it’s not long before you’ve graduated from the beginner ski area to higher trails. Confidence builds quickly and Happy Valley couldn’t be a more perfect place to start.
The long slope allows beginners to have the space to practise turns and the carpet lifts provide easy transport back to the top of the field.
Learning to ski or snowboard is like learning to ride a bike. Once you learn it, it will be with you for a lifetime, ready to pick it back up wherever and whenever the opportunity arises.
To fast-forward your learning, book a lesson with the Happy Valley ski school. With both adult and children classes available, the whole family can be confident skiers in no time at all.
How to plan for your first trip to Mt Ruapehu
Whakapapa ski field is only a short 15-minute drive from The Park Hotel and we are happy to help arrange a shuttle that will take you directly to the top of Bruce Road where the Sky Waka gondola embarks. Taking a shuttle avoids having to find a car park, allowing you more time on the mountain.
Happy Valley is open from 9 am to 4 pm daily and offers a longer season than any other section of Mt Ruapehu. Visitors have right up until October 13 to enjoy the beginner ski area.
To ensure you are fully prepared, pack for a full day on the mountain, even if you don’t intend to stay that long (you never know, you might never want to leave!). There are secure lockers at the base of Whakapapa to store your things while you’re not using them.
Here’s what you will need:
- Warm clothing, including thermal base layers, waterproof outer layers and plenty in between
- Ski boots, skis and poles – these are available for hire on Happy Valley
- Waterproof gloves, thermal socks, beanie
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm (whatever the weather!)
- Lift passes – you can find these here
- Plenty of snacks and water
Don’t underestimate how quickly conditions on the mountain can change.
The mountain has a climate of its own so be prepared for all kinds of weather, even on a clear, sunny day.
Happy Valley is New Zealand’s premier beginner ski area. The team at Mt Ruapehu provide an encouraging, safe environment where thousands of snow-goers first discover their passion for snow sports.
While it’s very family-friendly, Happy Valley is not just for the kids. Anyone who is looking for a beginner ski area that ticks all the boxes will find it at Happy Valley. With the café and rental facilities on site, it’s easy to spend a whole day on the field.
We encourage all beginners to head to Happy Valley before taking on the higher slopes.
Whether you get the hang of it in one hour or one day, Happy Valley is the perfect place to click your feet into those skis for the first time.
Why not try something new this winter?
Here at The Park Hotel, we are only a stone’s throw away from the action.
As we are now in the peak of the ski season, head to Mt Ruapehu and experience the thrill of snow sports. You might just discover a new passion. Call us today to book your easy, convenient accommodation at The Park Hotel.