Turning off Highway 47 toward Ruapehu brings you to The Grand Chateau. From there the 8km Bruce Road winds to the Top O' the Bruce where there are car parks for 3000 cars. The road is sealed all the way.

Click on the Snowflake for more info or,
View the Whakapapa Ski Area Location Map as a larger map

Whakapapa, Contact

Web: www.mtruapehu.com
Phone: +64 7 892 4000
Fax: +64 7 892 3732
Snowphone: +64 7 892 3738
Mail: Ruapehu Alpine Lifts
Private Bag 71902
Mount Ruapehu 3951
New Zealand

Late June to Late October

Commercial Ski Area operated by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts which is a non-for-profit organisation.

Lift Info

Total: 14

  • Chairlifts (1 Highspeed Quad, 1 Quad, 5 Double.)
  • 4 T-Bars
  • 2 Platters
  • 1 Learners Rope

Snow Stats

Whakapapa snow stats



2 Pisten Billy 400 Winchcat
1 PistenBully 200D



Airgun system covering:

  • Happy Valley
  • Rockgarden
  • Hutt Flat
  • Express Chairlift
  • Staircase & Waterfall


Terrain Park

Freestyle features are located by the top of the Valley T-Bar

Restaurants & Cafes

  • Lozenzo's Cafe - At the TOB
  • Happy Valley Cafe - In Happy Valley
  • Knoll Cafe

Rental Equipment

  • 2000 sets skis/boots/poles
  • 600 sets snowboards/boots
  • 700 sets jackets/pants
  • 570 sets season rental skis/boots
  • 145 sets season rental snowboards/boots



Mountain Shuttle

Mountain Shuttle provides daily coach transport to Whakapapa Ski Area from Whakapapa Village. It runs from Whakapapa Holiday Park in Whakapapa Village every hour from 8:30am. When there are chain/4WD restrictions on the Bruce Road the service runs every half hour from 8am to 11:30am and every hour thereafter. For information and bookings call 0800 11 76 86.

Whakapapa also provide shuttle buses from the lower carparks up to the Top of the Bruce area.

Snowco supports;


Chain Hire

Whakapapa does not offer chain fitting service.

  • Base Altitude

    1625 m

  • Highest Altitude

    2300 m

  • Vertical Drop

    420 m

  • Skiable Area

    550 ha

  • Annual Snowfall

    240 cm

  • Average Snow Depth

    166 cm

About Whakapapa

Whakapapa is on the north-easterly slopes of Mt Ruapehu. It is New Zealands biggest and busiest ski area. It has a total skiable area of 550ha, it has a total of 43 runs ranging from beginner, to off piste expert. Accessing these runs is a total of 16 lifts with a total uphill capacity of 26,710 skiers per hour.

Like most areas in New Zealand, Whakapapa has treeless alpine conditions and can suffer from whiteouts. The ski area follows a well defined landscape boundary along it's eastern edge. The Te Herenga Ridge, Meads Wall, Whakapapa Valley, Skippers Cliff and Pinnacles ridge form an impossible barrier.

The skifield itself is divided in two by an ancient remnant lava flow. Therefore, the area east of Delta Ridge Hut Flat and the eastern side has abundant landmarks and landscape focal points, whilst the western side is open with a weak sense of boundary definition. Both these areas of the ski field have many cliffs and unexpected breaks in the terrain.

The ski area can be broken into three distinctive areas:

Happy Valley is a self contained beginners area seperate from the rest of the ski area. It is situated just below the Top O' the Bruce. It is sheltered, it has it's own ski rental and cafetaria, and the terrain is 100% covered by snowmaking. The "east" side of the ski area is where the majority of the lifts and services are. It has a variety of terrain for every skiing ability. The "west" (formally the National Downhill) hosts and cafeteria, a quad chairlift and a T-Bar. The highlight of this area is "Black Magic", an off piste area, which is lift accessed back country skiing at it's best.

Photo Gallery

Click to view photos