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Tūroa Ski Area, Mt Ruapehu

Tūroa Ski Area, located on the southwestern slopes of Mt Ruapehu, for us holds a very special place in our hearts as this Tūroa was where we learn’t to ski for the first time, after many years of skiing you never forget it.

Tūroa Ski Area, renowned for its diverse terrain and breathtaking scenery, it offers a unique North Island skiing experience. Let’s explore what makes this ski area a top destination for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

Mt Ruapehu: A Natural Marvel

Mt Ruapehu, the tallest mountain in the North Island, reaches an impressive height of 2,797 meters (9,177 feet). This active stratovolcano is part of the Tongariro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its dramatic landscapes and cultural significance. The name Ruapehu means “pit of noise” or “exploding pit” in Māori.[4] reflecting its volcanic nature, which adds an exhilarating element to the skiing experience at Tūroa.

Tūroa Ski Area: An Overview

Tūroa Ski Area is famed for its extensive skiable terrain, covering 500 hectares, and offering a mix of slopes suitable for all skill levels. From wide-open beginner trails to challenging advanced runs, Tūroa promises an adventure-filled day on the mountain.

Facilities at Tūroa Ski Area

Tūroa boasts a range of modern facilities designed to enhance your skiing experience. Here’s what you can expect in 2024:

Ski Lifts

Tūroa is equipped with an efficient lift system, including high-speed chairlifts, T-bars, and platter lifts, ensuring quick access to the slopes. Key lifts include:

  • High Noon Express: A high-speed six-seater chairlift that provides swift access to the upper slopes.
  • Giant Chairlift: Perfect for reaching intermediate and advanced terrain.
  • Alpine Meadow Platter: Ideal for beginners, offering gentle access to the learner’s area.

Dining and Accommodation

After an exhilarating day on the slopes, visitors can unwind and refuel at one of Tūroa’s dining establishments. Options include:

  • Powderhorn Chateau: Located at the base of the mountain, offering a range of delicious meals and cozy accommodation.
  • Alpine Café: A casual spot at the base area, perfect for a quick bite or a warm drink.

Accommodation options around Tūroa are varied, ranging from budget-friendly lodges to luxurious hotels. Many accommodations offer convenient access to the ski area, making your stay hassle-free.

Rental Services

For those without their own gear, Tūroa’s rental services provide a wide selection of skis, snowboards, boots, and clothing, ensuring you’re fully equipped for the slopes.

Ski Passes and Lessons

Tūroa offers a variety of ski passes and lessons to cater to different needs and budgets. Here’s a detailed look at what’s available in 2024:

Ski Passes

Tūroa provides several ski pass options, allowing visitors to choose the best fit for their stay:

  • Single Day Passes: Perfect for a day trip, with prices varying based on the season and age group.
  • Multi-Day Passes: Ideal for longer stays, offering discounted rates for multiple consecutive days.
  • Season Passes: Great for frequent visitors, granting unlimited access throughout the ski season.
  • Family Passes: Special packages designed for families, providing significant savings.

Ski Lessons

Whether you’re new to skiing or looking to enhance your skills, Tūroa’s ski school offers lessons for all levels:

  • Beginner Lessons: These lessons cover the basics for those new to skiing or snowboarding, ensuring a strong foundation.
  • Intermediate Lessons: Designed for those looking to improve their technique and confidence on the slopes.
  • Advanced Lessons: For experienced skiers and snowboarders seeking to master advanced skills and tackle challenging terrain.
  • Private Lessons: Personalized instruction tailored to individual needs, available for all skill levels.

Activities Beyond Skiing

While skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions, Tūroa offers a variety of other activities:

Snow Play

The Alpine Meadow is perfect for families and non-skiers, featuring a dedicated area for snow tubing, tobogganing, and snow play, ensuring fun for all ages.

Guided Tours

Explore the stunning volcanic landscape with guided tours that provide insights into the geological and cultural significance of Mt Ruapehu.

Scenic Rides

Even if you’re not skiing, the High Noon Express chairlift offers a scenic ride to the top, where you can enjoy panoramic views and the unique volcanic terrain.

Planning Your Visit

When planning a trip to Tūroa, it’s essential to consider a few key factors to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

Best Time to Visit

The ski season at Tūroa typically runs from late June to early November, with peak conditions in July and August. Early season visits can offer quieter slopes, while the peak season guarantees the best snow coverage.

Weather Conditions

Weather in alpine regions can be unpredictable. It’s crucial to check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. Layered clothing, waterproof gear, and sun protection are recommended.

Travel and Access

Tūroa is easily accessible by car, with ample parking available at the base area. Shuttle services also run from nearby towns and cities, including Ohakune and National Park Village. For those traveling from further afield, domestic flights to Taupo or Rotorua provide convenient access to the region.

Safety Tips

Safety is paramount when skiing or snowboarding. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Always wear a helmet and appropriate protective gear.
  • Stay within marked boundaries and follow all signage.
  • Be aware of weather conditions and potential hazards.
  • Ski or snowboard with a buddy, especially in more remote areas.

Embracing the Local Culture

A visit to Tūroa is not just about the skiing; it’s also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the area. The Maori culture is deeply intertwined with the land, and there are several ways to experience this:

Cultural Tours

Join a guided cultural tour to learn about the Maori legends and history associated with Mt Ruapehu and the Tongariro National Park. These tours offer a deeper understanding of the significance of the land and its stories.

Local Events

Check out local events and festivals during your visit. These often include traditional music, dance, and performances, providing a vibrant and engaging way to experience Maori culture.


Tūroa Ski Area at Mt Ruapehu is a winter paradise that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned skier, a beginner, or simply looking to enjoy the breathtaking scenery, Tūroa promises an unforgettable experience. With its world-class facilities, diverse range of activities, and rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that this ski area continues to be a favorite destination for locals and international visitors alike. So pack your bags, gear up, and get ready to make the most of your visit to Tūroa Ski Area in 2024!