Mt Ruapehu is an easy drive from New Zealand’s main centres of Auckland and Wellington, with Ohakune being roughly four hours’ drive from either city. Taupō is the closest domestic airport, a scenic one hour 30 drive to Whakapapa or two hours drive to Tūroa. Tourist hotspots of Tauranga and Rotorua are also not far away.

Mt Ruapehu gets busier on weekends with city visitors and driving up the mountain roads can be intimidating for the inexperienced driver. Luckily there are plenty of local businesses that provide shuttle services or ride shares up the ski field.

Click and collect machines

Cutting down the time that it takes for you to get on the snow and enjoying yourself is super important to us. Once you get here, we also want to make your experience as seamless as possible.

You can now pick up your new Snow Card at any of our 24 Click & Collect machines, using a QR code that will be emailed to you, getting you on the snow faster.

Parking on mountain

If you are driving to us and are looking to park your vehicle on mountain please read these important details:

  • Please check the REPORT prior to arrival for the road status (open - no restrictions) (closed - spaces full) (chains or 4WD required etc), this will help you decide whether you can drive up the mountain road and if your vehicle is suitable or if you need to make alternative arrangements, such as a shuttle or carpooling with the correct vehicle.
  • If you need snowchains, please note these are not available for hire and will need to be purchased in advance.
  • All day parking is available on mountain.

Carpooling up the maunga

When vising us, we encourage you to carpool helping us to lower our carbon emissions in the Dual Heritage National Park and also help more people enjoy the mountains.

If you are driving up the mountain and have some spare seats or are looking for a seat, we'd encourage you to use carpool services such as Snowriders. They will put you in touch with people who can help you get up the mountain or people who need your help to enjoy the slopes. This allows you and others all to enjoy the maunga!

Park and ride shuttle transport

RAL will not be operating public shuttles during the 2022 season.
Therefore anyone requiring shuttle transportation will need to book a shuttle directly with the individual operators. Advance booking is advised.

For Whakapapa: A Park and Ride Centre is available with all day free parking in National Park. The majority of prebooked shuttles will pick up here - Click Here for directions.

Parking within Whakapapa Village (by The Chateau Tongariro) is now limited to 3 hour free parking.

For Tūroa: Shuttles can be prebooked from the induvidual providers and pick up from numerous places throughout Ohakune.

Whakapapa location and drive times

Whakapapa is right in the middle of the North Island, an easy drive from Auckland, Wellington & most other North Island cities & towns. Head over for an easy short or long winter break!

Once you're in the region you'll find it well serviced by the local villages of National Park & Whakapapa Village. From Whakapapa Village you're only a short 6km drive up a fully sealed road to the ski area - it's the easiest mountain road in NZ!

The closest airport to Whakapapa is Taupō's domestic airport, with a 1 hour 20 min drive.

Tūroa location and drive times

Tūroa is an easy drive away from the main centres of Auckland & Wellington for a short or long winter break. It's also a pretty quick day trip from a lot of North Island towns including Napier, Hastings, Palmerston North and Taupō.

At the base of the Tūroa access road you'll find the North Island's most popular ski resort town, Ohakune, which is well serviced with a great range of accommodation, activities, restaurants, cafes and bars. It's easy to get to by bus or train so you don't need your own car to get here! From there, catch a local shuttle or drive up the Ohakune mountain road.

The closest airport to Tūroa is Taupō's domestic airport, with a 2 hour drive or Palmerston North with a 2 hr 20 min drive.