Richard Hayes Digital

Is Mt Ruapehu open for 2024?

Mt Ruapehu Ski Area, North Island - New Zealand

Whakapapa Ski Field opening dates:

Sightseeing and Sledding: 1 June – 27 October;
Happy Valley: 27 June – 13 October;
Upper Mountain: 13 July – 27 October; terrain will be opened as snow conditions allow.
 

Tūroa Ski Field opening dates:

Opening day: 27 June

Yes, Mt Ruapehu is open for 2024

We are huge fans of Mt Ruapehu, located on the North Island of New Zealand, as it was the mountain we learnt to ski on many years ago. Too many now.

The wide-open terrain of Mt Ruapehu’s south side, Tūroa Ski Field, makes for a unique skiing experience. On the mountain, your views are unobstructed across the Central Plateau countryside – you can see for hundreds of Kilometers. We have to let you know that this is on a fine day. Mt Ruapehu can be fickle when it comes to providing those!

The term “Big Sky” best describes your skiing on Tūroa. It is the only ski field in New Zealand we feel gives you this effect. Mt Hutt gives you a similar sensation when you ski the Virgin Mile.

On a clear day, Mt Taranaki can be seen from Tūroa.

On the northern side of the mountain, you will find Whakapapa Ski Field. The ski experience there is more immersive. The ski runs are in lava-created gullies with high cliffs on each side, not the long open runs of Tūroa. Hence, it is a more technical playground with many turns, rolling terrain, and shutes. There are also more T-bars.

This is what skiing Mt Ruapehu is about: two ski fields on one mountain with completely different skiing.

Mt Ruapehu ski season 2024: July 29 – October, snow dependent
Pure Turoa, Mt Ruapehu "Big Sky" view
The "Big Sky" view of Pure Turoa

Skiing Mt Ruapehu in 2024

Several things have changed on Mt Ruapehu since the 2023 ski season. Firstly, Tūroa is no longer owned by RAL (Ruapehu Alpine Lifts). It was sold to a company called Pure Tūroa Ltd. This now means that Whakapapa and Tūroa Skifields will operate individually.

Separating the ski fields should improve the planning and operations on Mt Ruapehu. We all know that some of the decisions made on Mount Ruapehu over the last several seasons have been questionable. The car parking debacle was just an example. However, let’s not be too harsh; they did have COVID to face.

Tūroa Changes

Pure Tūroa has made changes to the mountain for the 2024 Season. They have removed one lift, The Nga Wai Heke, which is no actual loss – it didn’t go anywhere. There was talk of removing the Giant Chair, but it’s good to see that common sense prevailed. That decision alone would have cut the mountain in half, terrain-wise.

A new Ohakune HQ is located at The Powderkeg. You can print your tickets out from here before you hit the mountain.

Video of Pure Tūroa interviewed on Breakfast.

The other big change is the upgrade of the Alpine Cafe. Watch the video above to see what it looks like; it looks really good.

Lastly and importantly, Pure Tūroa Ltd has been granted a Department of Conservation Concession to operate the Tūroa Ski Area. The announcement comes after months of hard work by Pure Tūroa Ltd, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd (RAL, in receivership), the Department of Conservation (DoC), MBIE, and iwi partners.

As discussed above, Pure Tūroa has new owners, Cam Robertson and Greg Hickman. They are passionate about Mt Ruapehu and supporting the local businesses, which is to be applauded.

“Our mission is to ensure a culturally aligned, environmentally sustainable and commercially viable Tūroa for years to come. In collaboration with iwi and our local community, we aspire to take Tūroa to a new experience level for all.”

So, we wish them all the best for 2024 and a fantastic season.

Pure Tūroa trail map for 2024

Whakapapa Skifield

Whakapapa Skifield is open for 2024. They are currently open for sledding and sightseeing, and starting on 27 June, skiing/snowboarding will be possible in Happy Valley.

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd. still owns Whakapapa Skifield. (In Receivership & Liquidation); however, there is expressed interest in purchasing Whakakapa. Decisions on this are expected around December.

Whakapapa Skifield trail map for 2024

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