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  Ski & Snowboard with Kids >> Ruapehu Alpine Lifts

Mt Ruapehu

Turoa – Ohakune Mountain Road, Ohakune

Situated in the heart of NZ’s North Island, Mt Ruapehu is one of the three mountains in dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park and is home New Zealand’s largest ski area.

With the largest lift accessed terrain and highest lift in New Zealand and a massive 722m of Vertical descent, Mt Ruapehu provides MORE terrain, MORE choice and MORE freedom. One Mt Ruapehu lift pass gives you access to both Whakapapa and Turoa Ski Areas.

Mt Ruapehu is also home to the Happy Valley Snow Park, NZ’s premier beginner ski area. This year Happy Valley will open earlier than ever on 3rd June with guaranteed snow and three new surface lifts. A new snow play area for sliding will be a highlight for kids of all ages who don’t wish to ski.


Skiable area

1050 hectares




Terrain parks




Minimum age for ski lessons


Minimum age for snowboard lessons

3-17 years

Child minding for infants
(lunch included)

Grading of runs

Beginner: 20%/25%
Intermediate: 55%/50%
Advanced: 25%

2322 meters

Summit height

Length of season

June to October

4.5 meters

Average snowfall



On-mountain family activities

Dedicated snow play area

Tobogganing/Sliding - Happy Valley

Great progression up the mountain - Happy Valley to Whakapapa

World's best designed cafe at Whakapapa (Knoll Ridge Cafe)

Snow School

Off-mountain family activities

White water rafting

Jet boating


Mountain biking

Lake cruises

Huka prawn park

Hot pools

Geothermal parks

Summer activities

Whakapapa remains open during the summer

Guided walks to the Crater Lake

Dining at NZ's highest cafe (Knoll Ridge Cafe)

Self guided walks

Lord of the Rings sightseeing

Snowplay through to January


What better way to spend five days of the school holidays than having an amazing adventure up on the mountain at Whakapapa Ski Area? This is the perfect option if you’re planning on being here for the full week with groups for beginners right up to intermediate and advanced skiers. Learn new skills with experienced kids' instructors, meet new friends and have an awesome time on the snow. Enjoy the benefits of being with the same group and same instructor throughout the programme. All Snowsports Centre Programmes also enjoy lift line priority. Whakapapa Kids Holiday Programmes offers the options of either two hours or four hours of instruction per day.



If you're looking for accommodation that is conveniently situated near Mount Ruapehu, click here. There are a multitude of local operators that offer family-friendly lodging, with breathtaking views of the wintry mountain. Stroll along the Mangawhero River, which runs serenely as a border for many lodge surroundings. Or, if you're looking for a place to relax after a long, hard day on the slopes, enjoy the recreational spaces, including hot tubs and lounge areas, that many of these fine establishments offer.


Knoll Ridge Cafe

The Knoll Ridge café is a modern 400 seat café boasting incredible 180 degree views, a stunning selection of food and fantastic barista made coffee, all delivered by a truly international team. Situated at 2020m above sea level, there is no experience like it in NZ. Named World’s Best Designed Café in 2015 by Design Curial.

Snowflake Cafe

Don’t miss the famous gourmet burgers at the Snowflake Café, located just off the Parklane Chairlift. Or take in the magnificent views from Turoa’s highest café – the Giant Café, while enjoying a daily hot dish special, guaranteed to warm you up on a winter’s day.

Happy Valley Bistro

Located right beside Happy Valley, NZ’s premier beginner ski area, the Happy Valley Bistro is ideally suited for families with young children who are just learning to ski, or are here to enjoy some snow play time. Offering up a great selection of family friendly food options, and open for night skiing on Friday and Saturday nights with pizza on the menu!


Nearest city:
Taupo - 100kms
National Park - 15.5kms
Whakapapa Village - 6kms
Ohakune - 19kms

Nearest airport:
Taupo - 100kms

Nearest train:
National Park - 15.5kms
Ohakune - 19kms


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