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  1. Visit Ruapehu
  2. Things to see and do
  3. Ski Ruapehu
  4. Whakapapa Ski Field and Happy Valley

Whakapapa Ski Field and Happy Valley

Whakapapa ski area is located on the northern side of Mt Ruapehu, in the North Island of New Zealand, and offers an expanse of varied terrain and arguably some of the most interesting and challenging runs in the country.

For the beginners

Whakapapa ski area is the best place to learn to ski or board in New Zealand being home to New Zealand's premiere beginners' area, Happy Valley.

Happy Valley is located in its own valley with 4 learner conveyor lifts (2 covered), a slow-moving chairlift, café, rental complex and ski school meeting area. With its gentle slope and long profile, beginners can build confidence, have fun and feel safe in an enclosed area. For your little ones in tow, there’s also a lift-accessed sledding area.

For the Intermediate and Advanced

For intermediate and advanced skiers/riders, Whakapapa offers terrain from wide open runs to bowls, bumps, chutes and drops. There are more than 50 groomed trails to fall in love with at Whakapapa.

For freeskiers and snowboarders there are terrain parks on the lower mountain and extensive upper mountain lift facilities to access advanced black runs.

Services and Facilities 

Opening Times

  • 9am - 4pm 7 days 
  • Night Skiing | 4:30pm - 8pm Friday - Saturday 
  • Upper Mountain | July - 28 October
  • Happy Valley | June - TBC

Getting Here

Ruapehu is located in the centre of New Zealand's North Island halfway between Auckland and Wellington - both less than 4 hours drive.

Kiwirail operates scenic rail services between Auckland and Wellington, with stops at National Park Village and Ohakune, and national bus operators offer daily services to the area. Closest airports are Taupo, Whanganui and Palmerston North.

More information

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