New Zealand snow
Whakapapa Ski Area lies just one hour and fifteen minutes' drive from Taupo on its southern doorstep. The mountain is a magnet for experienced skiers, but it must be the best place to learn to ski or snowboard in the North Island.
With New Zealand's largest beginner area, Whakapapa is the choice for many when learning to ski. What’s more is that Whakapapa ski resort is now home to the country's largest gondola, the Sky Waka. From the Plaza area, sightseers can take a gondola up the mountain to the Knoll Ridge Chalet, whilst watching skiers and snowboarders show off their moves below. Situated at 2,020m above sea level, it is New Zealand’s highest cafe and eatery. Here you will find great coffee, gourmet fare and incredible views overlooking the Pinnacles and out over the Central Plateau of New Zealand's North Island. The gondola will operate year-round and is set to become a must-see in New Zealand.
The stretch of State Highway 1 from Taupo town to Turangi must be one of the most picturesque drives in New Zealand, even if you don't plan on skiing - be sure to take a road trip from Taupo to Whakapapa Ski Area and absorb the stunning scenery of the region. As you wind around the shores of Lake Taupo alongside forestry and native bush you will find yourself captivated by the remarkable panoramic views out across the lake.