The King of the North
Slap bang in the middle of New Zealand's relatively flat North Island you'll find a massive volcano and New Zealand's two largest ski resorts. These resorts boast the longest season in the Southern Hemisphere - from mid-June to early November most years, which is almost a month longer than any other!
Riding on New Zealand's North Island is a surreal experience unlike almost anything else on earth. Mt. Ruapehu boasts the highest vertical in Australasia and the longest season in the entire Southern Hemisphere. So, in short, you'll get some of the best snow in the Southern Hemisphere and, as well as gentle groomers, you'll also be tested on some gnarly vertical terrain!
Looking at the statistics alone it's a no-brainer that if you're serious about snow this is the place to do a New Zealand season. The whole area is in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's largest park, and the setting for a lot of the Lord of the Rings movies - Mount Doom is just around the corner!
One of the best things about New Zealand is that you can have an epic day on the mountain then head back down to town (Ohakune) where there is rarely snow, meaning you can also do all kinds of warm weather activities.
Mt. Ruapehu hosts the two largest resorts in New Zealand and your season pass will give you access to both of them. The two resorts, Turoa and Whakapapa, are on opposite sides of the mountain, which is also an active volcano complete with a 40 degree crater lake on top.
THE TUROA SKI AREA - has the longest vertical descent in all of Australasia and is home to New Zealand's highest lift. There are a number of interlinking long runs, so you can enjoy riding all the way from the top to the base. The Turoa ski area is ideal for advanced riders with 25 black and diamond runs and two incredible backcountry areas. You can ride the wide terrain of the Triangle and the Glacier backcountry or hit the natural half-pipes and chutes in the Organ Pipes and the Solitude backcountry. And if you like steeps you'll want to hit Hamilton's Face. The range of natural terrain provides an ideal playground.
Courses in Mt Ruapehu
Basecamp are based in the town of Ohakune, the centre of skiing on the North Island and our accommodation is right in the main town centre. The accommodation is 17km from the base of the ski lift - about 20 minutes' drive on a good weather day.
We have lodge-style accommodation complete with 2 kitchens, 5 bathrooms, common areas, big screen TVs, pool table and an epic mountain view. It's a new building, complete with all the comforts of home, which can be hard to come across in New Zealand. Rooms are twins with the option to upgrade to a single. The lodge also has a bar and café on site and, if you're up for it, you can venture to the nearby selection of Ohakune's bars and restaurants.
As a Basecamper you'll receive breakfast seven days a week and home cooked meals on five nights. Breakfast is provided at the lodge, including options like bacon and eggs or a hearty muesli. For five nights a week the staff at the Storm Shelter, located in the lodge, will provide a hearty dinner to make sure you are fuelled for another day of skiing. The lodge also houses two kitchens and the grocery store is just a 3 minute walk, so working on your chef skills is an easy option. Also located around the corner are a selection of restaurants offering everything from take away fish and chips to fine dining.
Ohakune has earned the reputation for having the best winter time nightlife on New Zealand's North Island. Each year the season kicks off with the massive Mountain Mardi Gras festival and the party doesn't really stop until the snow is gone. A typical night out will start in the lodge at the Storm Shelter café and then proceed to the famous Ohakune Junction which has a bar for everyone's taste!