Cheapest way to hit Mt Ruapehu from Auckland?


Hard Yards
Jun 25, 2006
EU, close to the Alps :)
Hy, maybe I will be late September/or in October in Auckland for a few days. I'm thinking about to skiing in Mt Ruapehu (Turoa or Whakapapa). Which is the best tour operator, travel agency, which offers transfer from Auckland to Mt Ruapehu (or maybe coach, train?)

Any suggestions, experinces?

ps.: it would be a one-day ski trip (if it could be possible (?)


Hard Yards
May 15, 2001
You would have to find someone specialised - train is not really an option, I think it only goes once a day and takes ages. Normal coach/bus same deal really, will take forever and schedule will not suit you.

I would advise you to hire a car - you should be able to get one for $NZ50/day or less, and at that time of the year you should get away with a 2WD.

It's doable in a day if you wanna get up early but if I was you I'd drive down the night before, then you can get a full days skiing in and drive back to Auckland that night.

A few years since I've done the drive but I think it's about 4 hours from Auckland to Whakapapa, another half an hour to Turoa.

James B

One of Us
Dec 18, 2000
Christchurch, NZ, God's Own
Yes, hire car will solve many problems. 4 hours PLUS, from Auckland to Whakapapa. It's a hilly winding road most of the way. You will need a rest at some stage along the way, so factor in time for a break also.
A day trip is not a very fun way to spend the day. More hours on the tarmac than on the snow. I think better to stay a night somewhere (e.g. National Park township).

Also, big hint, go midweek. It's the North Island, where most of NZ's population lives, so the weekends are crowded. So if you want to have more time on snow and less in queues, midweek is your time.

If you have AT gear and skins, bring them, and go for a tour to the summit plateau and crater lake. How often do you ski an active volcano? Make the most of it. The snow will prob be better higher up also. (Crampons and ice axe are often useful up there also).

Have fun, and try to do a couple of weekdays down there.
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First Runs
Jul 1, 2007
It's not like freeway driving in Aus. As soon as you leave Auckland surrounds its old style, hilly, windy hwy driving through lots of small towns. It's not a day trip. You will be exhausted. If you can do an overnight you will enjoy much more. And go midweek as suggested. Looks like there is going to be some great spring conditions on Nth Island. Couple of big dumps lining up in the next week. Whakapapa is the first you will come to. Turoa is another 45min to an hour round the other side of the Mtn.


First Runs
May 18, 2001
Munich, Germany
1treehill said:
It's not like freeway driving in Aus. As soon as you leave Auckland surrounds its old style, hilly, windy hwy driving through lots of small towns.
And it's definitely not like autobahn driving in Germany which you might be used to. It's like driving on a Bundesstraße for 4 hours.
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