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Beginner slopes open for business

05 July 2016

Beginner slopes open for business

Whakapapa and Turoa beginner ski areas are now open following a weekend of cold temperatures and more than 60 hours of snowmaking.

The beginner carpet lift within the Happy Valley area at Whakapapa opened on Saturday and the beginner’s area at Turoa (Alpine Meadow) opened on Sunday.

“There currently isn’t enough snow to open intermediate and advanced facilities. We’re hoping another one or two more storm cycles do come through this week which may allow opening of the upper mountain facilities,” says Ruapehu Alpine Lifts CEO, Dave Mazey.

The opening of the 2016 season also marks the first operation of the new chairlift at Whakapapa, which has officially been named by Ngati Hikairo Ki Tongariro as ‘Rangatira Express’.

The construction of Rangatira Express, which replaces the Centennial and Rockgarden Chairlifts at Whakapapa, has been underway since late December 2015.

Mazey says “Upgrading the lifts has been in our planning for years so it’s exciting to see it finally come to fruition.”

“This new express chairlift offers features including quad chairs with padded seats and footrests, a much shorter ride time and elimination of queues with a significant increase in the number of passengers we can transfer up the mountain.”

More than 1700 visitors made the journey to Mt Ruapehu for the opening weekend and numbers are expected to swell in the coming weeks.

“Opening both beginner ski area’s is great timing with school holidays starting this weekend,” says Mazey.

The Alpine Cafe at Turoa ski area and Knoll Ridge Café at Whakapapa ski area are open for sightseeing visitors. Please visit for further information.


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