Whakapapa Ski Area is on the north-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu and is New Zealand's largest ski area, with over 65 trails on 1050 hectares.

Whakapapa boasts New Zealand's best beginners' area in Happy Valley, right at the top of the Bruce Road – a sealed road all the way.

It's a large learner’s area in its own valley away from speeding skiers and boarders to worry about. Happy Valley has its own café, equipment hire and ski school meeting area. The gentle slope is long, giving you plenty of time to really get the hang of skiing or boarding.

A slow-moving chairlift takes you to the top of the slope, giving your legs a rest on the way. There are over 30 groomed trails ideal for intermediate skiers and boarders – especially the Rockgarden, which leads down the first chairlifts to the Top o the Bruce. This trail is one that is targeted with snowmaking, so is reliable for riding and is an easy progression up from Happy Valley. The volcanic Mt Ruapehu terrain gives a large variety of trails with bumps, chutes, drops, bowls or wide open runs.

With 24 black and black diamond runs as well as the Black Magic backcountry area – accessed by the Far West T-Bar, there is plenty of places at Whakapapa to challenge the best of the experts. The Pinnacles backcountry area is used for the increasingly popular Extreme competition in September and provides some of the most challenging terrain you'll find anywhere.



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