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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 is home to NZ's largest gondola, the NEW 1.8km Sky Waka. Open year round. Whakapapa is NZ's largest ski area in winter and open for you to explore NZ's largest volcano in summer.

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For the beginners

Just learning or finding your feet? Whakapapa ski area is the best place to learn to ski or board in New Zealand and is 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. Watch your little one grow from first-timer to the master on the slopes.

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. What ever your skill and style we grantee the good times will happen in our unlimited playground.  

Big air above Knoll Ridge Cafe Whakapapa.jpg

For freeskiers and snowboarders

There are small terrain park features on the lower mountain and extensive upper mountain lift facilities to access advanced black runs. However if your craving more of a terrain park thrill Mt. Ruapehu's Turoa parks is renowned for bringing the goods year after year from the moment the snow arrives. Turoa Parks have a range of terrain parks and features to make sure riders of all ages and abilities can have a go. It's all about bringing the fun! Located on the southern side of Mt. Ruapehu. 

Check out here for more on Turoa Parks 

Services and Facilities 

Opening Times

  • 9am - 4pm 7 days 
  • Night Skiing | 4:30pm - 8pm Friday - Saturday 
  • Upper Mountain | 13th June - late October
  • Happy Valley | Early 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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