Happy Valley is OPEN!

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Happy Valley is OPEN!

Winter Has Arrived & Happy Valley is OPEN!

The snow dances paid off with snow fall on the upper and lower mountain, just in time for the opening of Happy Valley beginner ski area. With more snow forecast for the coming week we are off to a great start for the winter season.

An easy 40-minute drive from Motutere Bay TOP 10 Holiday Park is NZ'S LARGEST SKI AREA & GONDOLA

550 hectares of incredible terrain awaits you! Whakapapa is NZ's largest ski area & boasts the country's premier beginner facility as well as vast areas of intermediate & advanced terrain.

Whakapapa's Happy Valley is THE place to learn to ski or board. With its own cafe, rental outlet, 5 lifts plus a ski & ride school, it's like its own mini ski area just for beginners.

When you graduate from Happy Valley you get to play in the vast intermediate & advanced slopes made all the more exciting by the natural volcanic terrain. Come explore everything from cruisy groomers to exhilarating chutes, bumps & drops.

Whakapapa is home to NZ's largest gondola, the NEW 1.8km Sky Waka. Open year-round, Whakapapa is NZ's largest ski area in winter and open for you to explore NZ's largest volcano in summer. Ride Sky Waka to the award-winning Knoll Ridge Chalet any time of year. At 2,020m above sea level, it boasts NZ’s highest restaurant & café with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the pinnacles providing spectacular views.


Whakapapa is right in the middle of the North Island, an easy 40-minute drive from Motutere Bay TOP 10 Holiday Park at Turangi. Head over for an easy short or long winter break!

Once you're in the region you'll find it well serviced by the local villages of National Park & Whakapapa Village. From Whakapapa Village you're only a short 6km drive up a fully sealed road to the ski area - it's the easiest mountain road in NZ! Or head to Turangi or Taupo for a lakeside town experience a little further afield & serviced by our shuttles.

Facilities Currently Operating

  • Customer Relations Ticket Offices are open on-mountain at Whakapapa and Mt Ruapehu Snow HQ in Taupō for ticket sales and Season/Life Pass pick up.
  • Beginner carpet lift in Happy Valley. We look forward to opening the Double Happy Chairlift when snowfall permits.
  • Happy Valley's Rental facility for ski, snowboard and clothing hire.
  • Happy Valley Bistro and Lorenz's Bar & Cafe (Top of Bruce Road) for food and beverages.
  • Ski & Ride School lessons to get you confident and back on the slopes. See our friendly Customer Relations team at the ticket office in the Plaza to book.
  • Ski & Snowboard workshop at the Top of Bruce Rd - to fit customers who have bought Season Rentals for 2019.

Upcoming Whakapapa Event

Click below to see more of Mt Ruapehu's upcoming events.