The North Island isn’t quite as plentiful with its ski fields as the South, but with an Auckland car hire you’ll be set to check out every one of them!
Equally, you could grab a rental from Wellington and drive north, it will take you about the same time to reach these fields as it would from Auckland.
There are just four ski fields in the North Island, and they’re all pretty much in the middle of the island so you can hop between them easily with a car rental.
This field is New Zealand’s largest, and hosts over 65 trails across 1,050 hectares on the side of Mt Ruapehu, a live volcano. Happy Valley is the country’s premiere beginners’ area, and with 24 black and black diamond runs, there will be plenty of terrain for the beginners and the masters in your group.
On the south-western slopes of the same volcano as Whakapapa, Turoa nestles in with Australasia’s longest vertical descent and New Zealand’s highest lift. There’s a tobogganing area next to the beginners field for the littlies and backcountry areas for the off-piste junkie.
Due to open in July this year, Tukino is found on the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu (don’t worry, it’s safe!) and is smaller than the first two mentioned as it is a club ski field. Even though it is smaller, skiing on a field like this is like skiing with your neighbours – you don’t know them, but everyone is so friendly that you just smile and say hello anyway!
This one is a bit of a special case and needs to be researched properly before planning a visit. It is another club field, and you’ll need to be prepared for a 25 minute walk from the car park to the field. The lifts include a t-bar and a towrope – so bear this in mind if you are a beginner.