The 2023 Mt Ruapehu winter season is ON!!!

The 2023 Mt Ruapehu winter season is ON! Both Mt Ruapehu ski fields - Whakapapa and Tūroa - will run this winter with facilities opening gradually from 1 July as conditions and weather allow.

UPDATE - 3 July 2023: Season Passes on sale now

Season passes for winter 2023 are now available at: 


28 June 2023 

We’re excited about the news that both Mt Ruapehu ski fields - Whakapapa and Tūroa - will run this winter!

Although officially liquidated, the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) liquidators will operate the ski fields this year following an announcement of additional funding from the government this week.

In a statement released by an email and on Facebook, RAL Chief Operating Officer Travis Donoghue said both Whakapapa and Tūroa are set to open from 1 July as conditions and weather allow.

Donoghue said all lifts on both sides are on track to open as soon as they are able, except for the Nga Wai Heke lift on Tūroa as it has some maintenance work outstanding. This means RAL plans to operate more lifts at Tūroa than it initially planned at the start of summer.

“In other words, we are now working to a plan of more lifts, more of the time,” Donoghue said.

Lifts and terrain will open gradually throughout July and even into August, he said.

Passes on sale soon

Meanwhile, Donoghue said details of a season pass would be announced soon and could go on sale on Monday, 3 July. He added while RAL operates the season, life passes will remain active and useable.

Passes will be available on the current RAL website:

See the full statement from Donoghue here and below.

As always, our villages – National Park Village, Whakapapa Village, Erua and Raurimu – are ready to welcome skiers, boarders, snow players, families and anyone else looking for great outdoor winter adventures this year.

Our villages are close to both sides of the mountain and with RAL passes expected to still be valid at both Whakapapa and Tūroa this season, this gives you the option to choose either ski field depending on the weather and conditions.

Plus, our villages offer family-friendly dining options, ski/board gear rentals & sales, groceries, fuel, EV chargers, a range of fun activities, and of course a great selection of accommodation to suit all budgets and needs.

So, plan your 2023 Ruapehu ski holiday today and find somewhere to stay!

Statement from Travis Donoghue, Chief Operating Officer, Ruapehu Alpine Lifts – 27 June 2023:

Kia ora,

Thank you for sticking with us. But an even bigger thanks needs to go to the team at RAL, for whom this summer has been a bit of a mystery and misery at times. While it looks like part of that is set to carry on a bit longer yet, we’ll now be able to focus on what is right in front of us, hosting you for a great winter 2023. This is good news and should allow us all to remember why we are here- the love of this maunga.

My favourite statistic of this summer came in learning that our permanent team members at RAL add up to a total tenure of around 500 years, with just over 10 years each on average- that we have managed to hold on to this team through summer is amazing and it is testament to their tenacity and passion for Mt Ruapehu. On September 1st we also tick up 70 years of RAL.

We are set to open both Tūroa and Whakapapa from July 1st as conditions and weather allows. We’ve not had that much snow yet but it’s looking like we will get some falling into and over opening weekend. Enough to kickstart that winter feeling at the very least.

It is normal for us to be gradually phasing lifts and terrain into opening across July and even into August. With this earlier opening, we are also planning to operate more lifts at Tūroa when compared against our initial plan at the start of summer, in other words, we are now working to a plan of more lifts, more of the time. The only lift that will stay out of plan is the Nga Wai Heke- it has some maintenance work outstanding but there is a small chance it becomes an option later in the season. All other lifts on both sides are on track to open as soon as they are able.

At this stage, our team sizes are smaller than in some previous years, they are great in some areas and light in others, but we intend to continue to recruit and to ramp up to meet our new plan and demand.

We are aiming to have day passes available for purchase online from Thursday 29th June, and all going well, on Friday, we will be able to update you on a season pass offer which would be planned to go on sale on Monday 3rd July!

Lastly, one small matter…while RAL operates the season, Life Passes will remain active and useable.

Thanks once more, we can’t wait to see you, and we will keep the information coming.

Nga manaakitanga,

Travis Donoghue

Chief Operating Officer

Ruapehu Alpine Lifts

Posted in Blog, Latest News on 28 June, 2023