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

Happy Valley

Just learning or finding your feet? Whakapapa's Happy Valley is NZ's premier learners' facility.

Two children skiing.jpg (1)

A fully self-contained learners’ area and gentle slope is nice and long, allowing for plenty of time to really get the hang of turning and stopping, with easy to use carpet lifts and a slow-moving chairlift for quick progression. There are 2 carpet lifts & an easy-paced double chairlift to get you confident and having fun in no time.  

Happy Valley also features a dedicated zone with its own covered surface lifts well away from the skiing and boarding public so the little ones are safe while tobogganing and building snowmen. 

Planning your first trip to the snow 

Opening Hours

  • Happy Valley will be opening May 30th – October 13 2020 TBC 
  • During the winter facilities open from 9am - 4pm Monday - Sunday.
  • You should prepare to spend the full day at the Mountain. 
credit mtruapehu.com1.JPG
Getting Here

Situated in the centre of New Zealand's North Island and located on the north-west slopes of Mt Ruapehu, Happy Valley is easily accessible from all directions. By car, Happy Valley and Whakapapa ski field is accessed from Bruce Road, a 6km sealed road. Depending on your time of arrival will reflect how close to the ski field you will be able to park. If, due to weather conditions, chains are required please not there is no chain hire on the Bruce Road to Whakapapa, however, there are a number of shuttle services departing Taupo, National Park, Whakapapa Village and Ohakune offering transport to the top of the Bruce Road every day.

A list of shuttle providers can be found here

What to Bring
  • Boots or shoes with tread for all family members
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Warm waterproof pants and jacket (rentals are available on the mountain)
  • Warm hat, scarfs, gloves and waterproof gloves

Plenty of layers such as thermal underwear, polar fleeces, t‐shirts, skivvies, wool garments ‐ avoid cotton if possible. It might seem like a nice day when you first set off, conditions on the mountain can change quickly and it is best to be prepared. It is always recommended to leave what you may not use during the day at home, securely stored out of site in your vehicle, or in one of the locker/bag check facilities located at the base area of Whakapapa.

What Lift Passes you Need

For information on Happy Valley starter packages please visit here


Your snow plans are heavily reliant on the weather, please make sure you check the snow report before embarking on your travels to avoid disappointment.   Up-to-date weather reports can be found here


  • Timber Trail Ruapehu Region.jpg

    Things to see and do

    Whether it’s adrenaline you’re after or relaxing with a good coffee enjoying the scenery, Ruapehu boasts easily accessible, family friendly activities to suit all palates.

  • building shot1.jpg


    Find your happy place. From camping and backpackers, to luxury lodges and chateaus, Ruapehu has just about every style of bed (and breakfast) you can imagine.

  • Blind Finch 1.jpg (1)

    Eat | Drink | Shop

    Fancy a gourmet filet mignon? Maybe you’d rather a juicy burger, or perhaps just some good old fish ‘n chips. Whatever your taste, Ruapehu is home to some first class eating establishments, with a wide array of local and international beverages on offer.

Show on the map