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Happy Valley On Track For Queen’s Birthday Weekend Opening

Winter ski season prep is well underway with Mt Ruapehu’s Happy Valley ski area on track to welcome its first winter guests at Queen’s Birthday weekend in early June.

Whakapapa Ski Area Manager Steve Manunui says that the team is confident and excited about the upcoming season. “The snow factory has been pumping out snow for the last 4 weeks and there’s been a couple of dustings as well. There’s also snow in the forecast over the next week so it’s shaping up well.”

The Sky Waka gondola and Happy Valley beginner ski area are scheduled to open for the winter season on Saturday June 5 with the rest of Whakapapa ski area and Tūroa to open on Saturday July 3, weather dependant.

All facilities at Whakapapa will be ready to open as the season progresses with the maintenance team working hard catching up on lost time caused by COVID-19 disruptions last year. “Maintenance work is on track on the Valley T-Bar and West Ridge Quad, and maintenance is underway on all the other lifts. Also, a couple of months ago cable maintenance was completed on the Sky Waka gondola,” Steve says.

“We’re also busy with a general tidy up of the ski areas and ensuring that our processes are streamlined ready for the busy winter months ahead – for both New Zealand and Australian visitors.”

And to add to the excitement of the upcoming winter season Mt Ruapehu has some incredible pricing for skiing and boarding, especially during the week when it’s perfect to escape the crowds. And there’s also new family package pricing.

Weekday passes are just $74 per day and there’s also some great family packages where 2 adults and 2 youth can ski any day of the week for $299.

Mt Ruapehu offers the longest winter ski season in New Zealand on its two ski fields, Whakapapa and Tūroa. The Happy Valley beginner slope is scheduled to open on Saturday 5 June and Whakapapa and Tūroa on Saturday 3 July. The season – snow permitting – runs through until Monday 25 October.

Mt Ruapehu is an easy drive from the New Zealand’s main centres of Auckland & Wellington and close to the popular holiday spots of Rotorua & Tauranga. There are two ski areas on the mountain, Whakapapa and Tūroa, including the New Zealand’s longest and most advanced gondola Sky Waka on the Whakapapa side.

Check out Steve’s weekly updates on Instagram @whakapapskiarea

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