Whakapapa Ski Area

Whakapapa Ski Area

New Zealand’s largest ski area, Whakapapa provides a unique skiing experience in a dual World Heritage Area, recognising both its cultural and spiritual significance to Māori and the natural significance of its volcanic features.

Whakapapa is home to arguably the nation’s premier beginners’ area, Happy Valley, as well as more than 30 groomed trails that intermediate skiers and boarders love.

Read more for the latest season info on skiing and snowboarding in New Zealand

For the more adventurous, Whakapapa boasts 24 black and black diamond runs and the lift-accessible Black Magic backcountry area. For mixed-ability groups, Whakapapa has many areas containing green, blue and black runs, so you can take different runs and meet up at the chairlift. Whakapapa also includes great dining at the Knoll Ridge, New Zealand’s highest café (at 2020 metres), as well as New Zealand’s longest gondola, Sky Waka.

Quick Facts

  • Where 104km from Taupō, 7km from Whakapapa Village
  • Ski & board Great variety of natural terrain and some of the best piste skiing in NZ
  • Season July – October
  • Access road Sealed, carry chains
  • Ratings Beginner 30%, intermediate 45%, advanced 25%


  • Highest point 2300m
  • Vertical: 675m
  • Skiable area 550ha
  • Lifts 1 x 6-seater express, 2 x quad fixed chairs, 2 x triple fixed chairs, 2 x platters, 1 x learner’s conveyor (magic carpet)
  • Lift passes from $149 adults, from $99 kids, discounts for weekday and multi-day, can be used at Whakapapa or Tūroa skifield
  • On-field ski/board hire Yes
  • Tuition Snow School package deals, lift and rental packages
  • On-field accommodation No



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