ice mtruapehu newzealand ohakune ski skiing snow snowboard travel turoa whakapapa

Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

mt ruapehu
Snow, glorious snow! Mount Ruapehu is located in the centre of the North Island, New Zealand. Nestled amongst endless, rolling hills filled with hungry sheep and lazy cows, Mount Ruapehu was totally worth the four hour road trip from Auckland. Mt. Ruapehu has two skiing areas, the first is Turoa (tu-roh-ah) and second Whakapapa (fukka-pappa… haha I’m serious). The heart of our trip was in Ohakune a small town approximately 25 minutes drive from the Mountain. No surprise that this town loves to ski, and who can blame them? With multiple ski stores and pubs centred around skiing and snowboarding such as Powderkeg, The Suitcase and Kings. We filled our days with skiing, eating and partying, and what a great combination it was.

However for the newbie skier’s (which I was) here are a few helpful tips:

1. Bring thermal underwear so you only have to wear one layer. Seriously- I was sweating with only a thermal top and leggings + ski outfit, whilst others wore 5 layers under their ski jacket and pants, and were still cold.
2. Wear water proof ski clothes. You’ll thank me when you axe yourself and end up body-tobogganing through the snow and still stay dry.
3. Only do a blue/orange/black run with people who have done it before. Yes, we’re channelling a frazzled wreck with multiple bruises and torturous flash backs of steep (or at least what a beginner thinks is steep) cliffs upon completion of doing it alone.
4. Try not to pass-out drunk the night before you ski, wine is always a good idea, spirits not so much. Sick times on the slopes. Literally.
5. The ski lessons are really helpful, I’d definitely recommend doing at least one, however the second lesson made a bigger difference, improving our skills tenfold.
6. The more the merrier, however skiing in pairs is easiest.

What are some important tips you believe first time skiers should know? Post in the comments below!

For me, I will definitely be going back to Mt Ruapehu, as it is a less touristy location meaning we had more space, less lines and a great atmosphere to ski, with lots of ski staff remembering us and having a chat each day.
This August 2013 there was tons of snow, and some days it even fell while we were on the mountain, Mt Ruapehu did not disappoint!

Some cool facts from GNS Science:

  • It is the largest active volcano in New Zealand and is located at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone.
  • Ruapehu is the highest peak in the North Island, with several subsidiary peaks. Three summit craters have been active in the last 10,000 years.
  • The active vent is now beneath the crater lake of South Crater. The crater lake contains warm, acidic water that is fed by snow melt.
  •  Ruapehu is a stratovolcano (composite cone volcano) made of successive layers of andesite lava and ash deposits.
  • The mountain is surrounded by a ring plain of volcanic material from lahars, landslides and ash falls.
  •  Ruapehu is the Māori word for ‘pit of noise’ or ‘exploding pit’.
  •  The last eruption was in 1995.

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