Turoa Ski Area on the south-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu has Australasia's longest vertical descent and New Zealand's highest lift - The "Highnoon Express"
The Alpine Meadow at the base of Turoa Ski Area is a wonderful little beginners' area. It has a massive 120m long carpet lift. If you haven't seen one of these before it's basically like a conveyer belt over the snow - you just stand on it and it takes you smoothly and easily up the slope.
The Alpine Meadow is right next to the Alpine Chalet where you'll find good coffee, meals, snacks or even a well-deserved cold beer after you're done on the slopes. And, for the littlies in the family, there's a tobogganing area right alongside the Alpine Meadow too!
The intermediate terrain at Turoa is mostly wide and smooth, though you can easily find a few chutes and bowls to keep it interesting too. There are 12 groomed intermediate runs, all of which are nice and long and many of them link to one another so you can enjoy excellent intermediate skiing and riding all the way from the top of Australasia's highest lift to the base area.
With 25 black and black diamond runs and two spectacular lift-accessed backcountry areas you'll find a massive variety of terrain as an advanced skier/rider at Turoa. Enjoy the natural half-pipes and chutes through the Organ Pipes and the Solitude backcountry area or the amazing wide sweeping terrain of the Triangle and the Glacier backcountry area. If you're into steeps Hamilton's Face is for you and the budding big mountain skier will find an ever-changing range of natural terrain features to play on.
The Triangle - Turoa Ski Area, Spring 2013
At Turoa Ski Area, the Nga Wai Heke chairlift has opened up 30% extra terrain into the South East Basin and return access from the epic 'Triangle' area and back country Glacier terrain. With the top-to-bottom snow conditions this good don't miss out! Good thing the Mt Ruapehu Winter Season is the longest in the country, stretching until the end of October.