Whakapapa sits on the opposite side to Turoa on Mt Ruapehu, an active volcano in the centre of New Zealand's North Island. The natural lava flow from Ruapehu ensures rolling half pipes and open bowls with steep pinnacle chutes for the daring.
There's a separate dedicated beginners area with its own lift meaning beginners need not be intimidated by those who can ride the mountain. The views while skiing are stunning with a vista that includes both plateau vista and Mt Doom from Lord of the Rings. Whakapapa is where Mordor was filmed.
The resort has over five hundred and fifty hectares of skiable terrain and is host to the Marmot Extreme Ski and Snowboard competition every September.
National Park is the nearest town, if you can call it that. The apres scene at Whakapapa is practically non existant.
Most skiers stay in the on mountain ski clubs or in the swanky Bayview Chateau. If you want more night life then stay in Ohakune and ski Whakapapa by day on the same lift ticket as Turoa.
Again, the exposed condition can mean the mountain weather can change in an instant so be prepared for down days.
If you're a free skier, you will love this mountain but like Turoa, avoid weekends unless you want to queue.