Mt Ruapehu season extended
The season at both the Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas on Mt Ruapehu has been extended until mid-November.
Great news for snow bunnies! There will be more time to enjoy awesome spring skiing and boarding this year, as the season on Mt Ruapehu has been extended.
Thanks to a recent fresh dumping of snow, both the Whakapapa and Tūroa ski areas will now stay open until mid-November - conditions allowing, of course.
The upper mountain areas at Whakapapa will run until Sunday, 15 November, while Tūroa now stay open on Fridays to Mondays until 16 November.
Tūroa was originally scheduled to close on 18 October and Whakapapa on 26 October.
"After a challenging season, we are stoked to announce an extension to our season at Whakapapa and Tūroa," ski area operator, RAL, announced on its Facebook page.
"Mother Nature has been kind to us over the last couple of days and provided us with a much needed top up of fresh snow. This should equip us for a great second week to the school holidays and some perfect spring skiing conditions."
The closure of the Happy Valley beginners' area at Whakapapa may also be delayed until around 11 October thanks to the extra snowfall.
Plus, Whakapapa's Far West T Bar may also open after all.
"The team are working hard to try and open the Far West T Bar for some additional spring terrain! Watch this space and keep an eye on our Report for daily updates," RAL said.
No more parking bookings
RAL added bookable parking is no longer needed for the remainder of the season: You do not need to book a park when visiting."
2021 Season Passes
Meanwhile, the early bird release of 2021 season passes will start on Friday, 9 October, with RAL promising a fresh approach to pricing and new features for Season Pass holders.
"A year like 2020 has tested us all, but has also helped to bring a renewed focus on what your experience should look like in 2021. So, we're taking a little bit more time this year to apply a fresh approach to our pricing, and to introduce some great new features for Season Pass holders."
National Park Villages Business Association (NPVBA) chair Andrea Messenger has welcomed the season extension, saying it will offer a much-needed post-COVID lockdown boost for the local community.
"The extension is of course great news for skiers and snowboarders, especially season pass holders, but is a fabulous development for the local business community, in particular. Our communities have done it tough over lockdown and many face uncertain times as the summer season nears with none of the international visitors who normally keep us thriving.
"Giving Kiwis more reason to come visit us in November will be an incredible boost to our local community - many of whom are small owner-operator businesses. We are super excited to welcome skiers and boarders to our villages for an extra couple of weeks this season. We'd like to thank RAL for all their hard work in ensuring we’ve had a good season so far and that it’s now even longer!"
To find somewhere to stay near Mt Ruapehu, visit https://www.nationalpark.co.nz/listings?location=&category=accommodation