Don't wait for a weekend! Cheeky midweeky deals >
Opening in July, the ski areas at Whakapapa, Turoa and Tukino are a dazzling playground, with skiing, snowboarding, and sledding slopes to suit all ages and levels of skill, and endless views from the chairlifts and New Zealand’s highest cafe.
After a day on the slopes, the geothermal hot pools of Taupo and Turangi will quickly warm chilly bones and re-energise tired muscles, before relaxing fireside with a glass of mulled wine.
If snowplay isn’t your thing, the lakes, forests, and geothermal areas await biking and hiking, and the region is full of adrenaline activities like jet boating, bungy jumping, sky diving, and car racing that will get your blood pumping.
Even when it’s raining, there are still plenty of things to do: peruse Taupo’s fashion and homeware boutiques and art galleries, catch a film at the cinema, or just relax at a restaurant, cafe, or bar with a locally brewed craft beer and a delicious meal while waiting for the Matariki skies (the Maori name for the Pleiades constellation) to reveal their stars again.
From sparkling lakes and turquoise rivers to steaming geothermal moonscapes and ancient volcanic terrain to explore, it’s not only the romantic scenery that will take your breath away.