1. NZ’s largest ski areas
Whakapapa Ski Area and Turoa are the two largest commercial ski areas in New Zealand – yep there’s more skiable terrain on these two ski areas than the South Island’s Cardrona, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt all put together!
2. Access to the snow is easy
Take the hassle out of getting to the snow with daily mountain transport from Taupō and Turangi to Whakapapa (return). Get picked up straight from your accommodation with Adventure HQ or take the Mt Ruapehu snow shuttle, which also departs daily from the Snow Depot right in the heart of Taupō town.
3. Geothermal wonders, hot pools and bubbling mud
Who doesn’t love to soak away the aches and pains of a day spent on the snow, or just relax and unwind? Taupō is a volcanic, geothermal wonderland with natural thermal hot pools perfect for a soak at the end of a long day. The kids will love you for it!
4. New Zealand’s largest beginner ski area
Whakapapa Ski Area is home to Happy Valley, New Zealand's largest beginner ski and snow play area. Here you can spend the day experiencing the best that a family winter holiday has to offer with ski and snowboard lessons, sledding, snowball fights and building snowmen.
5. Family-friendly après ski
There’s a whole lot going on in Taupō after a day on the slopes! Come and see the town come to life with fairy light-lined streets and cosy bars and restaurants with hearty winter food menus, mulled wine and crackling fires to sit beside. There’s everything from craft beer and wood-fired pizza in lakefront pubs to gourmet cuisine in top restaurants and family-friendly dining throughout the town. Many of these establishments offer spectacular sunset views and a vista of the massive Lake Taupō with the mountains of Tongariro National Park beyond.
6. Discover an ancient and spiritual landscape
The ski areas of Whakapapa and Turoa are located within the Tongariro National Park – which in 1990 was declared a World Heritage site in recognition of its outstanding natural characteristics. But it wasn’t just recognised once, the Park was then granted Cultural World Heritage status in 1993 in recognition of its cultural significance and history. The park is one of only 29 sites in the world with Dual World Heritage status.
7. You are skiing an active volcano!
Whakapapa and Turoa ski areas sit proudly on Mt Ruapehu, the largest of the three volcanoes located within the renowned Tongariro National Park. The volcanic landscape lends itself to brilliant terrain features for skiers and snowboarders – think natural halfpipes, chutes and wide-open bowls that stem from centuries-old lava flows.