Have you ever thought about learning to ski, or testing your footwork on a snowboard? Well, the snow is definitely here and the Mt Ruapehu 2020 ski season is fully underway.
With the official Mount Ruapehu ski season underway, now is the perfect time to get your snow gear out or take up a new winter hobby. Or, just come and play in the snow!
The time is right!
And, you can test out all your newly discovered terminology that skiers and snowboarders use too.
Pack the family up or go with friends for a winter getaway or adventure.
In the heart of the North Island proudly sits New Zealand’s largest ski area on Mount Ruapehu within the Tongariro National Park.
If outdoor sports aren’t your cup of tea then there is some brilliant sight-seeing in the area to keep you entertained. You could jump onboard the Sky Waka, or even get back in touch with nature on one of the many wonderful walks on and around Mount Ruapehu.
If you haven’t visited Mount Ruapehu – the 2020 ski season is the one to do it.
Still not sure?
Get inspired here and read on to find out more about what you can do during this ski season around Mount Ruapehu.
The Mount Ruapehu 2020 Ski Season
The Whakapapa, Turoa, and Happy Valley ski fields are now open!
Kiwis are lucky to have such a remarkable backyard and this year’s ski season is a great time for locals to get out and see it for themselves.
Mt. Ruapehu boasts the largest ski area in the country. All three ski areas have their own specialities and some may prefer one over the other. If you are taking up a winter sport such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or even sledging, Mt. Ruapehu is the place to do it.
The Whakapapa ski field is an awesome place, particularly for first-timers to the snow. The Sky Waka and Happy Valley are located here too, along with gondolas, a ski school and a café.
Open from: 1 July until the 26th of October 2020
Check the weather forecast here.
The Turoa ski area is perfect for more experienced boarders and skiers, or even just for the spectacular views! It’s generally a bit more of a quieter ski field than Whakapapa.
The best way to get to the ski fields is from Ohakune, a cute little town tucked away at the bottom of Mount Ruapehu. There are shuttles and buses run by several companies that stop throughout the town to take people to and from the mountain.
Open from: 11 July until the 18th of October 2020
Check the weather forecast here.
Happy Valley is known as New Zealand’s premier ski and snowboarding beginner’s facility – making it the perfect area to test out your footwork on skis or a snowboard!
Open from: 1 July until the 4th October 2020
* You are now able to book your car parks online, see more here.
Happy Valley is the place to go if you’re a newbie to skiing. Everything from ski rentals to lessons – with an area dedicated to those just starting out is found here.
Of course, if you are more at intermediate or expert level in either sport there are plenty of tracks at either Turoa or Whakapapa ski fields.
Just like skiing, if you’re new to snowboarding you can grab all the gear you need at Happy Valley to start out.
There are qualified instructors onsite at the beginner’s area in Whakapapa who will introduce you to all the basics. Beginners have their own designated areas where you can get to know the basics without the pressure: practice your moves and just have fun.
You can find out more about gear hire and lessons for both skiing and snowboarding here.
The Sky Waka is a relatively new scenic gondola that takes you on a breath-taking journey up the mountain.
The tickets are for a return trip and once at the top, there are plenty of things to discover. The Sky Waka can be found at the top of Bruce Road within the Whakapapa ski field.
The Knoll Ridge Café – is a must-do while you’re here. It’s New Zealand’s highest café and a marvel of modern architecture with an impressive amount of glass used, over twenty-five tons actually. It was awarded the prestigious Design Curial Best Designed Café in the World in 2015
It is definitely worth adding the Knoll Ridge Café to your itinerary for a stop. And, not just for the excellent food but the spectacular views too. Everything on the menu uses the best local ingredients, and is a real treat from snacks to a gourmet meal.
Taking a ride up the Sky Waka is the perfect way to rediscover a love for the outdoors. Enjoy nature while going on hikes and walks (weather permitting of course). From the top, you can walk to two picturesque locations including:
Find out more here.
Planning a trip this ski season to Tongariro National Park?
Tongariro National Park is an easy 4-hour drive from Auckland and around 4 hours from Wellington. Both routes have excellent stop-offs and plenty of site seeing to do on the way. It makes the trip to Mount Ruapehu well worth the journey and an epic road trip!
Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and it’s the only one in the North Island of New Zealand!
We’ve got plenty of information about winter activities including a range of walks and hikes. Find more details about the iconic Tongariro Alpine Crossing and add it to your itinerary if you can (weather permitting – or save it for your summer bucket list).
Wind down after a big day at the Spiral Restaurant
The Spiral Restaurant was named after the engineering heritage site Rarimu railway spiral located within Tongariro National Park. Warmed by a big log fire it completes the feel of a wooden cabin and is a popular destination for locals and tourists to visit after a day out exploring.
A meal or a celebratory drink at the Spiral Restaurant is the best way to end a day in Tongariro National Park. You will be greeted by friendly staff and an interior bundled full of charm and character. We offer seasonal menus, children’s menus and al fresco dining. We can also offer the option of packed lunches on request for groups as part of one of our adventure packages.
The seasonal menu uses the best quality and local produce where it can, and is crafted in-house by top chefs. There is a special ‘volcanic coffee’ served here – a special treat after a big day out. A perfect end to a perfect day.
Where to stay during Mount Ruapehu Ski Season 2020?
We are conveniently located on the main road in National Park Village with great views of Mountains Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The shuttle bus stops at the Ruapehu Park Hotel with multiple stops during the day to and from Mount Ruapehu – Whakapapa and Happy Valley.
And if you stay with us, you will have the convenience of being able to walk from your room to the restaurant.
So, why not wind down after your outdoor adventures during ski season with us?
We are well into winter, and there is plenty going on and plenty to do in Tongariro National Park.
Why not come and see it for yourself?
Experience the magic that’s right on your back doorstep.
Create memories, have fun, see the snow and try something new.