If you ever needed an excuse to dust off your skis again or experience your first touch of snow, then have we got a treat for you!
Mt Ruapehu on the North Island’s central plateau are knee deep (literally!) in a multi-million-dollar investment plan to upgrade infrastructure, guarantee snow on the ground, and make your skiing experience one of the best in the world.
First off the rank in 2016 was the Rangatira Express, which replaced the Centennial and Rockgarden Chairlifts at Whakapapa. At $7.5m, the chairlift was the biggest investment in lift infrastructure since the installation of the High Noon Express at Turoa in 2007.
The 2017 winter season will see a $15m investment into Happy Valley Ski Area at Whakapapa. This premier beginners’ area will be transformed into a new ‘snow park’, complete with carpet style surface lifts, new high speed access elevators and a longer ski season. Happy Valley will open on June 3 – making it the first ski area in Australasia to open – all thanks to a brand new state-of-the-art ‘Snow Factory’ which has the ability to make snow in temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius! Plans are also in place to replace the Waterfall T Bar with a new Doppelmayr Delta Quad in 2017.
Mt Ruapehu are also opening two new booking offices in Taupo for on-snow information, ticketing and gear hire, in time for the 2017 ski season. RAL are also introducing a dedicated Taupo-Whakapapa transport service, departing on the half hour to and from the mountain, ensuring Taupo is the ideal base for North Island, New Zealand winter ski holidays.
The proposed multi-million dollar Whakapapa aerial tram project and plaza rebuild is also just around the corner with consents due to be lodged this year and construction commencing in November. Phewsh!!!
Turoa Ski Area doesn’t miss out on the love either - there are plans for major developments following confirmation of a renewal to RAL’s licence to operate. This is expected later in 2017.
We think that’s a pretty impressive and exciting list of reasons to pull out your retros, dust off your skis and come and explore what New Zealand North Island ski holiday’s are all about! What are you waiting for?