Mt Ruapehu ski fields and the wider Central Plateau region are gearing up for a busy spring season with the school holidays and several drawcard events taking place over September and October.
Mt Ruapehu has released its September school holiday development programs for kids aged 6-16 years which are expected to sell out. The five-day ‘Holiday Crew’ group programs run 9am-3pm Monday to Friday each week of the school holidays. Both the Whakapapa and Tūroa Holiday Crews cater to ski and snowboard, and levels 1-6 in ability, with an experienced instructor to student ratio of 1:8 max.
Owner operator of Plateau Lodge and National Park Village Business Association Chair, Andrea Messenger, said although much of the of the accommodation in the area is already booked up for the September school holiday, there is still availability for those wanting to enjoy the snow.
“A trip to the snow is chance for families to create awesome memories and with so much snow still on Mt Ruapehu, there’s plenty of fun to still be had - whether it’s simply building a snowman together, racing each other downhill in Whakapapa and Tūroa’s dedicated sledding zones, or hitting the upper mountain slopes in search of the world famous ‘spring corn’,” says Andrea.
“National Park Village is just a short drive to Whakapapa Ski Area and the Sky Waka gondola boasts great views out across the Central Plateau and is excellent value for families, plus heaps of other activities from mountain biking to guided off-road quad bike rides.”
There is still good accommodation availability over the weekend of 7 October in Ohakune for the Ohakune Blues & Roots Festival, combined with fantastic school holiday spring skiing at Tūroa. And visitors are encouraged to dust off their retro ski gear on September 30 for Ohakune’s annual Retro Day, celebrated at Tūroa Ski Area and the Ohakune Junction. The original retro ski celebration!
Tūroa Ski Area’s reputation for having some of the best spring skiing conditions in the world has been cemented thanks to recent snowfall top ups. The current snow base at Tūroa is 244cm on the upper mountain tapering to 130cm on the lower slopes, while Whakapapa is holding at 135cm and 69cm respectively. Both ski areas will run a long way through spring and are expected to close 23 October.
Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Chief Executive Officer, Jono Dean, says, “Don’t put your skis away yet as the best runs are still to come. Spring generally brings settled weather conditions and we’re confident that our current snow base will sustain us as they days get warmer and longer.”
“Our September school holiday programs are expected to sell out quickly given the timing of the holidays falls earlier this year and within our peak spring skiing conditions - which we believe is some of the best in the country.”
“Guests planning to visit Mt Ruapehu’s ski fields over the school holidays are strongly encouraged to plan their trips early and save time and purchase their passes online prior to arrival,” concluded Jono.