Turoa is situated on the southern slopes of Mount Ruapehu, above the carrot capital of New Zealand, Ohakune. Turoa is similar to Whakapapa in size but the terrain is noticeably more open.
Snow and Weather Rating:❆❆
Being south facing Turoa gets more snow, and is colder than Whakapapa. As a result Turoa has a longer season, often open into November. Snow quality however is similar to that of Whakapapa and blower powder is rare.
Turoa has a mix of terrain for all levels. Beginner and intermediate skiers generally prefer Turoa as it’s terrain is more open than that of Whakapapa.
For those who like getting sendy Turoa also supplies the goods. Most of the steeper terrain is found off the High Noon Express chair, cutting back towards the Nga Wai Heke Chair. This zone, that includes the Black and White Chutes, Tardis Chutes, and the Earth’s End Area, are chock full of fun steep terrain. Be sure to scope the area first as there are a number of lines that don’t go anywhere.
Alternatively taking a right from the High Noon Express puts you out on the wide open runs of Slide and Lay Back -epic for fast wide turns in spring corn, soul skiing type of stuff. You can then head through the Organ Pipes for a steeper more technical line, or cut back to the Giant Chair for another lap.
When things are firm up top, a good option is to head to the gullies on the lower mountain. These have similar steep terrain, tend to soften up first, and are a lot less crowded on busy days.
Heading to the summit is a good option, especially when it is busy. There is normally a boot pack to follow, and the hike takes around an hour from the High Noon Express.
Turoa has an extensive mix of large jumps, rails and smaller features. The park is accessed from the High Noon Express. Consequently you can take advantage of the freeride terrain above the park and mix a bit of this into park laps as well.
Lift SYSTEM and Capacity rating:❆❆½
Turoa’s lift system is all about chairs. It has a combination of four older fixed gripped chairs, and a high speed six-seater. On busy weekends Turoa handles the crowds a little better than Whakapapa.
The night life in Ohakune is always a good time, especially on weekends, and is probably one of the least pretentious ski towns in the world, with a super fun, down to earth vibe.
Dollar per turn:❆❆❆
Day pass: $90.00
Season pass: $400ish early bird both Whakapapa and Turoa
Bottom line: Over stoke factor 3.5
Very similar to Whakapapa but with a better lift system and bigger terrain park.