Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ski Ruapehu New Zealand!

Mt Ruapehu.
By elastic design - Flickr Creative Commons
The glorious Mount Ruapehu, in the centre of New Zealand's North Island, will be a snowy, perfect picture soon and a wonderland for skiiers and snowboarders.  The double ski field mountain is scheduled to open soon (around July) when the snow covers enough ground to let you shred down the slopes.

Mount Ruapehu is situated near the middle of New Zealand's North Island in the Tongariro National Park area.  It has two skifields: Turoa, on the southern side and Whakapapa on the northern side.  Both are world class ski areas that boast fantastic views over the central plains.  On clear days, Mount Taranaki can be seen from  the Turoa side and the magnificent Ngaruahoe from the Whakapapa side. (Think Lord of the Rings' Mordor).  The ski fields are 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours drive from Auckland and about the same from Wellington.   The ski fields are accessible by cars and then chairlifts.   Both cater for the whole family to have a fun day.  Get the kids some ski lessons in Happy Valley and you can head further up the slopes to the fresher powder.  

Ohakune Mountain Road, Mount Ruapehu, through snow-covered bush
Ohakune to Turoa Ski Field
By Pseudopanax - Creative Commons
There are several campgrounds where you can happily stay in your Campervan in the Ohakune area (which is ideal for Turoa skifield) or in the Tongariro area (which is nearest to Whakapapa). 

If you're flying into Auckland or Wellington, pick up a Campervan, perhaps stay a night in the city somewhere to get refreshed and then drive the next morning up or down the country.  If you want to break up the trip a bit, stay a night in Palmerston North, if you're coming from Wellington, or Rotorua, if you're coming from Auckland.  

You'll see the majestic Mount Ruapehu from far off on your approach,  she'll be glistening in the sun.  Head straight on up the mountain if you can.  Campervans make a great changing room to get into your snow gear rather than the carpark...  If you need to hire all or some gear, you can do that in the villages at the foot of, or up the mountain.  If it's a cold day or bad weather day, get back in the campervan, brew up some coffee and snuggle up under some blankets.  Campervans sound like they are made for the mountain life.  
Ruapehu Summit
By Marcus Aurelius - Creative Commons

If you're more of a hiker and would rather hike to the summit than ski or snowboard, the walk has got to be one of the best in the world.  The reward at the end is incomparable.  Make sure you take water and lots of energy!!

Alright, places to stay in the beautiful snow villages:

By Digging for Fire - Flickr Creative Commons
Turoa side:

Whakapapa side:

A Campervan trip to the mountain, a perfect family holiday or couples get away!  Find a Campervan at many locations in New Zealand.