Turoa Ski Field – Mount Ruapehu
Turoa is situated on the south-western slopes of Mount Ruapehu. Apart from sitting on New Zealand’s most active volcano, it has lots of other claims to fame. It has Australasia's longest vertical drop at 722 metres and it is one of only two commercial ski fields on the North Island, the other being Whakapapa
. Together with its beautifully named twin resort, situated on Mount Ruapehu’s north-western side, Turoa forms New Zealand’s largest lift-accessed terrain, and has the nation’s highest chair lift (2,322 m).
Turoa with its huge snow filled basins, steep chutes, bowls and modern lift system, is owned and operated by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts. All passes are valid for both Turoa and Whakapapa.
Turoa Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The completely treeless terrain at Turoa has great variety thanks to past volcanic activity; from groomed open runs, natural half pipes, to gullies and cliffs, and a 4km long sweeping run that will test your endurance and offer thigh burning pleasure!
There are 40 named trails at Turoa: 20 percent advanced, 55 percent intermediate, and 25 percent beginner. The skiable area is a huge 500 hectares. The car park is at 1,600 metres, and the highest point is at the top of High Noon Express (2,322 m).
Where is Turoa?
Turoa is an easy and scenic 4.5 hour drive from Auckland; slightly less from Wellington. If you’re flying in from overseas, it’s best to rent a car at the airport.
The Turoa ski area is accessed from Ohakune at the foot of the volcano. The mountain road to Turoa was opened in 1963 to promote tourism. The road is 17 kilometres long and sealed. However it’s a narrow, painfully slow affair, and could do with an upgrade! The drive from Ohakune to Turoa takes just under 30 minutes.
Turoa has no real accommodation on the mountain itself. Ohakune and the adjacent Turoa Alpine Village offer the closest places to stay. Both locations are less than 30 minutes from Turoa and offer a good range of accommodation options to suit various budgets, from backpacker and B&B to self-catered units, motels and hotels. See the Ohakune accommodation
page for more information.
All Turoa accommodation areas are serviced by a shuttle service to transport skiers and boarders to and from the ski area.
Why Ski or Snowboard at Turoa?
Right through to October and sometimes November, Turoa provides a good value ski adventure for those who love long, sweeping runs in a pristine setting. Turoa boasts fewer lifts (8 compared to 14) and fewer trails (40 compared to 67) than its sister ski area Whakapapa. But Turoa is by no means inferior in skiing and boarding terms. There are loads of secret powder stashes and challenges galore to keep you on your toes!
Turoa also offers the novelty factor. You can tell your friends you have glided down the slopes of an active volcano. And on a nice weather day it is possible to hike (or tramp as the kiwis like to say) a mere 500 metres (roughly 60 minutes if you’re fit) to the Mount Ruapehu crater lake, take a picture, have a snack, ponder life’s many little questions, all in blissful solitude, then ski or board back down to the ski field. Wicked eh?
Turoa Packages & Tours
||2 - Day Wicked Weekender
Includes return transfers from Auckland, accommodation, some meals & daily mountain shuttles. Ideal for young adults with lots of energy.
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||3 - Day Mid Week Getaway
The perfect way to avoid the crowds and escape from the daily grind. Includes accommodation, all transfers from Auckland /to/from mountains, & most meals.