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Turoa Skifield
LocationMt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
Coordinates39°18′16″S 175°31′38″E / 39.30456°S 175.52731°E / -39.30456; 175.52731Coordinates: 39°18′16″S 175°31′38″E / 39.30456°S 175.52731°E / -39.30456; 175.52731
Top elevation2,322m
Base elevation1,600m
Skiable area1,235 acres (500 ha)
Runs34 named
Lift system8 lifts: 5 chairs (1 Detachable Sixpack, 2 Quads, 2 Triple), 2 Platter lifts, 1 Magic carpet
WebsiteMt Ruapehu - Tūroa
Base of Turoa skifield in winter

Turoa (or Tūroa) is a large skifield on the south western side of Mount Ruapehu, the highest mountain in the North Island of New Zealand, in Tongariro National Park. The area has been used for skiing since before the completion of the Mountain Road, but the first lifts opened in 1978.

There are two beginner areas, and many intermediate and advanced trails. The upper field is a mix of natural pipes, steep drops, fast plains, and easier slopes, along with several terrain parks. The lower field contains the field's single narrow beginner trail, Clarry's Track, and a few other intermediate trails. They also serve as access to the base area from the upper mountain, and are often crowded. The field is 500 hectares (1,200 acres) and has a 722 metres (2,369 feet) vertical drop.

The skifield is reached via the Mountain Road from the town of Ohakune. The Mountain Road was built by locals from Ohakune, mostly during weekends after they formed the Mountain Road Association in 1952. Their aim was to open Ruapehu's southern slopes for skiing, partly as a replacement industry for the decline in logging which had sustained the town for the previous decades. The now renamed Ministry of Works helped with the road on one occasion by 'misplacing' a culvert destined for another roading project. The 17 kilometre road was opened in 1963. It winds up through spectacular native forest before breaking out above the tree line and finishes at a complex of carparks below the bottom chairlift.

Turoa has been owned by Ruapehu Alpine Lifts since 2000, which also owns the nearby Whakapapa skifield, also on Mt. Ruapehu. It is possible to traverse from one field to the other. The two are operated together, with a combined lift ticket for both fields. Together, they are considered to be the largest ski resort in New Zealand and possibly the southern hemisphere.

On a good day it is possible to hike to the top of the mountain with skis or snowboard in hand, view the Crater Lake, and then ski back down to the field, or to Whakapapa. Also on a clear day Mount Taranaki can be seen.

A new high speed six-seater chairlift has been added for the winter of 2007, replacing an existing T-bar to the top of the mountain.


There is one proposed ski lift at Turoa, a new Quad express set to be positioned west of the high noon express, to give better access to where the old Jumbo T-Bar used to operate near. This lift is set to be installed by the 2020 season.

Lift Name Type Ride Time Capacity and Speed Vertical Rise
High Noon Express Six seater detachable chairlift 6 min 3200 passengers per hour at 5 m/s 420m (1.4 km total length)[1]
Nga Wai Heke Chair Quad chairlift 8 min 210m
Movenpick Chair Quad chairlift 15 min 290m
Giant Chair Triple chairlift 13 min
Parklane Chair Triple chairlift 7 min
Alpine Meadow Platter Platter lift 2 min
Wintergarden Platter Platter lift 2 min
Alpine Meadow Carpet Lift Magic Carpet 2 min
The High Noon Express

The lifts are capable of taking up to 11,300 people per hour on a busy day. A new high speed six-seater chairlift has been added for the winter of 2007, replacing an existing t-bar to the top of the mountain.


  1. ^ Louisson, Simon (2 April 2007). "New Zealand: We have lift-off at Turoa". NZ Herald. Retrieved 31 July 2018.

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