Planning your first trip to the snow is easy. Just follow these simple tips and you'll be all set for a fantastic time!
Ruapehu is a busy region during the winter months, especially during weekends and school holidays. Check out the accommodation listings on our site and book early to get the best deals.
The weather on Mt Ruapehu is extremely changeable and hard to predict. Don't take the forecast as gospel - it can and does change frequently!
Come prepared for any weather conditions and check on the current conditions before you leave your accommodation. Weather updates are aired regularly on all the local radio stations and displayed at many accommodation and retail outlets throughout the region. You can also find the current conditions on our snow reports web page and can subscribe to text or email alerts by signing up to My Ruapehu.
The sun might be shining but it can still be cold up here and conditions can change rapidly. Cotton clothing like jeans offer no protection against the cold when they're wet. Wear plenty of layers of wool or synthetic fibres like polypropylene and polar fleece. Check out the What to Bring page to see what you'll need.
Ski and snowboard equipment has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Modern skis and snowboards are lightweight, flexible, shaped to make it easier to turn and their binding systems are safer. Renting new equipment will make your time on the mountain much more fun and learning will be easier. Borrowing Aunty Sue's old skis might sound like a great money saver but it could ruin your day! It's cheap to rent on the mountain and our equipment is all no more than 4 seasons old.
Whether renting, borrowing or buying - the most important thing when it comes to ski and snowboard boots is the fit. Your boots should feel firm but not so tight that they hurt. A well-fitted boot will make your day on the snow comfortable and give you better control of your skis or snowboard.
It's hard to say this without making it sound like we're just trying to sell you a lesson but...really...honestly...the best way to learn to ski or board is from a professional instructor. Your friend may think they are super hot on the snow but does that mean they can teach?
Our ski and snowboard instructors are all fully trained and qualified to teach you the right skills at the right pace. They'll keep you safe and help you build your confidence and skills so that you'll be up riding with your more experienced mates in no time.
And a word of warning...if your friends are saying, "just come up the top with us. We'll get you down just fine. You'll pick it up in no time!", ignore them! Start on the smaller slopes and build your way up at your own pace. You must be able to control your speed and direction at all times and you'll only learn this by starting small. You'll get there - we all have to learn once - it's all part of the experience!
Check out our safety information so you know how to keep yourself safe and happy on the slopes.
Mt Ruapehu is a beautiful special place and skiing and snowboarding are so fun they border on addictive! You'll love it - enjoy!!