Piste Skiing on Mt Ruapehu.
Skiing on Mt Ruapehu gives you a choice of three ski areas – on the eastern, northern and western slopes.
On the eastern side, Tukino is the least accessible of the ski resorts on Mt Ruapehu. Appealing to those who want to get away from it all. Tukino is a ski club operated by and for its members, but it is also open to the public. Accommodation is in bunk rooms with everyone mucking in with cooking and cleaning, a great way to talk to those who really know the mountain.
Turoa, on the western side of Mt Ruapehu, has some exciting terrain and the biggest vertical drop in New Zealand at 722m. The terrain resembles a natural snow park with bumps, drops and gullies. The High Noon Express takes you to 2,322m offering spectacular views of the North Island.
Whakapapa is New Zealand’s biggest ski area on the northern slopes of Mt Ruapehu. Happy Valley is a self-contained beginner’s area, perfect for getting your ski legs. Once outside the beginner’s zone, there are plenty of more challenging runs taking advantage of natural gullies of the terrain.
Piste Information for Tukino, Mt Ruapehu.
- Ski Resort Altitude: 1,700m.
- Bottom Ski Area: 1,680m.
- Highest Ski Lift: 2,020m, cat-ski drop off point.
- Skiable Terrain: 170 hectares.
- Average Seasonal Snowfall: less than 1m.
- Kms of piste: around 6km of designated piste, no snow cannon.
- Marked Pistes: around 15 marked pistes, 35% green/blue, 30% red, 35% black/ski routes.
- No of Ski Lifts: 1 cat-ski operation, 2 drag-lifts.
- Mountain Restaurants: 3 lodges at the base station.
- Snow Parks: 0, no night skiing.
- Longest Ski Run: cat-ski routes, un-groomed, 340m elevation.
- Ski Season: early July to September.
- Main Advantages: large variety of natural terrain; interesting volcanic landscape; good boarding facilities.
- Drawbacks: Mountain is exposed to wind and attracts foul weather.
Ski Pass Options for Tukino.
As primarily a members ski club there are discounts for members of any of the three ski clubs with lodges in Tukino. There are also discounts for children and students. A ski pass is available for half-day, full-day or the season.
Those with a Tukino season pass can obtain discounts at the other ski resorts on Mt Ruapehu. Those with a season pass for Turoa or Whakapapa can obtain a discount to ski at Tukino.
Ski Resorts near Tukino, Mt Ruapehu.
As mentioned above Mt Ruapehu has three ski resorts on its slopes. The other two might be close, as the crow flies, but they aren’t easy to travel between. If you got to Tukino in a 4WD you may be able to get to the others the same way; each is about 30km away.
The other ski resorts in New Zeland that lay claim to be among the best in the world are on the South Island; Treble Cone and Aoraki Mount Cook.