Whakapapa Facilities & Services

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Whakapapa Ski Field Facilities and Services

Whakapapa Ski Resort has relatively modern facilities and services, which cope well on weekdays, whilst weekend crowds can become a major challenge. There are all the required amenities at the main base area of the Whakapapa Ski Field as well as the adjacent Happy Valley. Further up the volcano, there are another two cafés and a multi-million dollar restaurant with gorgeous floor to ceiling windows, and a good choice of fresh, tasty, slightly upmarket food.

Whakapapa Ski and Snowboard School

Whakapapa runs a professional snow school, Whakapapa Snow School, with instructors from all over the world including Europeans and South Americans.

The Whakapapa ski school offers group lessons for kids from age 4 for skiing and age 8 for snowboarding, either at Happy Valley or the main mountain. If you don’t mind coughing up the dough, consider booking your child into a private lesson. This way, rather than copying the mistakes of the kids they are trailing in a group, your son or daughter will soon emulate the class and style of Heinz, their private tutor from Austria. But be warned, your kid will soon ski better than you!

Adult group lessons are for the whole day or afternoon, and Whakapapa ski school also has adaptive lessons.

Child Care

There’s no kids centre or child care at Whakapapa.

Eating on the Mountain

Whakapapa ski field has four cafés, bistros and restaurants, including two licensed premises. They serve meals of comparable quality and price, except for Knoll Ridge restaurant, which is more upmarket, and the biggest and most modern eatery on Mount Ruapehu.

At 2,020m above sea level, it’s New Zealand’s highest café. On a good day, the mountain and valley views are world class. With a bit of luck, you can see for miles and all but imagine where LoR director Peter Jackson might have drawn his inspiration from (after the third beer, I’m certain I saw an Orc!).

Whakapapa Village Facilities and Services

Whakapapa village offers only the most basic facilities: a few bars and restaurants; a motel; a holiday park with a basic camp store selling foodstuffs, drinks, ice cream and newspapers; the luxurious Bayview Chateau Tongariro hotel, and a Visitor Centre run by the Department of Conservation. There’s no supermarket, no chemist, and no petrol station.

You can hire snow gear at Edge to Edge. It has a range of ski, snowboard and alpine equipment, and can be found downstairs in the Skotel Alpine Resort.

Ohakune Facilities and Services

The closest major town to Whakapapa ski area is Ohakune. It’s a vibrant hub and offers a string of shops, including a supermarket where you can stock up your fridge, and purchase drinks and snacks to keep you going back at the accommodation or slopes. They also serve some of the best take-away coffee we’ve ever had – just keep an eye out for a VW van.

National Park Village

There’s also National Park Village, 16 kilometres away from Whakapapa village. It has a few restaurants, bars, and a general store offering some very basic groceries, magazines, and limited options for hot food.

There are a few National Park ski shops that rent out ski and snowboard gear.

Alternatively, you can rent your gear up on the mountain.
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