Whakapapa, on the northern side of Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand's Tongariro National Park, is one of the mountain's two commercial skifields. The other is Turoa, located on the mountain's south-western slopes. The ski season is generally from late June to mid November, depending on snow and weather conditions. The terrain at Whakapapa Skifield is divided up as 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced. Access to the skifield is by Bruce Road, a 2-lane, 6 km sealed road.
Limited accommodation and refreshments are available at 'Top o' the Bruce', at the entry to the skifield, and elsewhere on the mountain. Alpine huts are provided for trampers and climbers. Mount Ruapehu's two skifields, Whakapapa and Turoa, are considered to be the largest ski resort in New Zealand. Both are owned and operated by the company Ruapehu Alpine Lifts. Chateau Tongariro, which has appeared on several New Zealand stamps, is a feature of Whakapapa village.
Happy Valley is a big beginners area at Whakapapa separated from the rest of the ski field in its own little valley and is considered one of the best in the country. The area has a cafe and ski hire facility, there is also a chair lift, one platter and a magic carpet.
Tubing At Whakapapa
Just across from Happy Valley is a tubing park called 'the sliding zone'. It is a large area dedicated to tubing, this is within walking distance from the base area. Guided Crater Lake Walks Only offered in the summer months of the year there is an option to go and view the volcanic crater lake at the top of the mountain, you begin with a scenic chairlift ride up to 2020m then your guide will take you on a 6 hour walk around the lake with spectacular views.