Turoa Ski Resort
With extensive skiing on the volcano Mt Ruapehu, Turoa is one of North Island’s best ski options.
Turoa is nestled on the southwest flank of Mt Ruapehu, one of New Zealand’s active volcanoes and certainly one of the country’s most striking landscape features. The lofty summit means Turoa is home to the country’s largest vertical drop of 722m and as a result there’s some excellent long runs on offer from the top of the resort’s premier lift, the High Noon Express. Most of the terrain is rated blue and black, making this a big playground for intermediate skiers upwards. There are however excellent beginner facilities at the foot of the slopes and the Alpine Meadows beginner zone is sheltered for those socked in cloudy days that unfortunately can plague the region.
The base lodge is the main feature on the mountain, with no accommodation available up on the hill. Instead you’ll need to stay down in the town of Ohakune, which is home to a decent range of small hotels and lodges, as well as a number of bars and restaurants – all overlooked by the towering snow-capped peak of Mt Ruapehu. A trip here is not complete without skiing at the volcano’s two other ski areas of Whakapapa and Tukino, taking a dip in the local hot springs or visiting the world-renowned scenery of Lake Taupo and Rotorua. Both Wellington and Auckland are around 4-5 hours away by road.
Resort website: www.mtruapehu.com/turoa