Mount Ruapehu Accomodation

Mount Ruapehu is arguably one of New Zealand’s premier ski fields, and is undoubtedly North Island’s most popular snow sport destination.  Aside from having some first-rate facilities and runs, Ruapehu is celebrated for its remoteness, with its surrounding towns catering perfectly to winter sports and snow-bound tourists. However, this seclusions means that it can be logistically difficult to visit the mountain for only one day, and in most cases you will need to find accommodation nearby to fully enjoy the experience (not that many would complain about such “difficulties”).

In order to find Mount Ruapehu accommodation that will perfectly meet your needs, you will need to consider two things, location and timing. In the snow season, rooms nearby Mount Ruapehu book out fast, and preparation can be the difference between hitting the slopes from the first run until closing, or watching other skiers and boarders enviously via webcam.

Before you pack your gear and head out to Ruapehu, you will need to decide where you would like to stay.

Ohakune is probably the easiest option for Mount Ruapehu accommodation. The town has multiple options for all price ranges and requirements, from upscale hotels and lodges, to budget conscious hostels which provide the bare essential facilities needed for travelers who care more for snow than spas.

Ohakune’s main advantage is its proximity to the Turoa ski field, with the road to the mountain starting right in town. You will also find several gear shops nearby which can service your board, or sell you the equipment you accidently left in your lounge. Luckily, the snow stores charge the same rates as you would see in a larger city, unlike the gear shops on the mountain. Ohakune also has several bars, food options, and a supermarket. However, be aware that as with any tourist town, these eateries will charge at a premium, and brining your own supplies will be a smart option.

National Park
National park is located almost halfway between the Whakapapa field and the Turoa field. The accommodation ranges from motels, to backpackers and hostels.  Access to the mountains is fairly straightforward if you have your own car, but the town is also serviced by several shuttles that will take you and your gear to the slopes and back, normally for less than $30. However, be aware that National park has limited dining options, and you might need to bring our own food or drive to a nearby town.

Whakapapa is limited in its accommodation options, with a handful of higher-priced options located at the bottom of the mountain road. If you are willing to pay higher prices, you will stay in the some of the most luxurious accommodation in the area, within minute’s reach of the first lifts. However, entertainment and dining options will be limited to what is available at your hotel. Also, if you need new gear, you will need to drive to Ohakune.

Taupo can be a perfect location for anyone wanting the comforts of a city, alongside the proximity to the ski fields. To drive from Taupo to one of Mount Ruapehu’s snow slopes you should set aside approximately two hours, to account for the distance, potential icy conditions, and the inevitable slow driver. If you are willing to get up earlier to catch the first lift, staying in Taupo will mean that you have access to a full range of shops, food, and accommodation, alongside several other New Zealand tourist options.  But you need to realize that Taupo is a central North Island destination, and receives snow bound tourists, and a host of other traveler, so spaces might be limited.

If you are headed to Mount Ruapehu, you cannot expect to arrive in town and find accommodation. It is best to book somewhere to stay at least a week in advance.

Ohakune is especially infamous for being booked out, and reservations are essential. National Park is also prone to being full, but you will have more leeway than Ohakune. It is possible to find last minute accommodation Taupo and Whakapapa, but banking on finding something short notice could very well lead to an abruptly short trip.

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