Get prepared
Your trip to Mt Ruapehu

Getting here

Located in the central North Island, an easy drive from main centres of Auckland (5-hour drive) and Wellington (4-hour drive), getting far away and exploring Mt Ruapehu’s unique volcanic terrain, is closer than you think.

Neighbouring towns of National Park and Ohakune (25-minutes' drive from Whakapapa and Tūroa, respectively), and larger town, Taupō (1 hr 30 minutes’ drive north from Whakapapa), provide a great day-base to explore from.

Buy online

Buy ahead and buy online to save time.

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.

Reload your exisiting Snow Card with your purchase or pick up your new Snow Card at any of our 24 Click & Collect machines on or off mountain, using a QR code that will be emailed to you once you complete your online transaction.

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. From there, catch a local shuttle or drive up the Ohakune mountain road.

Parking on mountain

Parking is available on mountain, on a first come, first served basis. You must check the road status prior to embarking on your journey up the mountain roads, to understand conditions and whether the road is open, restricted to 4WD and / or chains, or closed. Also, whether, on a busy day, the car parks are full.

Carpooling is encouraged, from both a social and environmental standpoint, and Snowriders NZ can help connect empty seats with those looking for a ride up the maunga.

Park and ride shuttle transport

There are many local shuttle operators which offer daily trips up the maunga and 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.

Being prepared

Mt Ruapehu’s unique alpine conditions are very changeable. Our season spans warmer early season and spring days through to some of the harshest winter conditions in New Zealand. Conditions change day to day, and hour to hour.

Come dressed for alpine conditions, with layers of clothing and protective outerwear, footwear and eyewear, regardless of whether you plan to ride or simply see the sights. Sunscreen is also recommended.

Regardless of what the conditions throw up, if you are prepared you can be assured of a comfortable and enjoyable day. Check our latest conditions (regularly!)

FAQs

Are there any EV chargers on Whakapapa or Tūroa?
Do i need to pay for or book parking?