New Zealand is a favorite skiing destination for overseas travelers and for locals, while the south island remains the major ski destination in New Zealand the north island boosts the largest ski fields, Turoa ski field and near by Whakapapa ski field, both located on Mount Ruapehu in the central north island and close to lake Taupo.
Accommodation can be found in Ohakune on the southern side of Mount Ruapehu when you are using the Turoa ski field, or from the Whakapapa ski field on the northern side of the mountain you can stay at the famous Chateau Tongariro hotel located on the slopes of Mount Ruapehu, there is also accommodation in Raetihi located further south than Ohakune and during the ski season from around june to october most accommodation can be booked out as the mountain is popular during the best skiing times.
Access to the Turoa ski field is from Ohakune on the Ohakune Mountain road, the drive up from the bottom of the mountain is spectacular the lower reaches are through forest and then through scrub land, the futher up the mountain you go the trees start to thin out and the landscape turns barren rock chains are required in the winter time as the road is some times covered in ice.
Around a third of the way up the mountain and on the right hand side of the road is a stunning water fall, there is a small car park and the falls are located close to the road during the snow melt in early summer there is a large volume of water going over the falls and is spectacular to see.
During the summer months you can access the crater lake at the very top of the mountain providing there is no volcanic activity, the track starts at the Turoa ski field and runs up the south western side of the mountain the walk is not for the unfit as the track is extremely difficult at the best of times but the views out across the central north island are absolutely stunning on a clear day and you can see Mount Taranaki snow covered peak over on the west coast.
Whakapapa is accessed off State hwy 47 and onto the Whakapapa road on the northern side of the mountain,a few kms up the road are Tawhai falls, on the left hand side of the road there is a small carpark the falls are a short walk from the road and are well worth a look. Whakapapa village is located around half way and is the start of the Tongariro Northern Circuit which is a multi day hiking track that cuts through the lowland between Mount Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe and emerges on the Desert road at the eastern side of the National park.