Visitor reviews for Turoa Ski Resort
October 08, 2018
adam from New Zealand
The best mountain in the country on a good day in my opinion! Turoa has everything, from great groomed runs to powder bowls, a decent park, steeps, drops, chutes galore. Lifts can get pretty busy on the weekends if the weather is good.
Score a midweek powder day and you will be riding fresh lines all day!
It is really exposed so can quite often have high winds and be closed. This also means it gets some epic dumps. Typical for the off-piste to be completely frozen so make sure you sharpen your edges!
Usual expensive mountain prices for food but you can just take your own and leave a bag outside the cafe :) Get up there early to get a good car park.
People are quick to criticise for many reasons but RAL is a non-profit organisation so any profits get put back in to the resort. There can be delays opening the lifts due to de-icing.
Ohakune is a great little ski town with decent bars, restaurants and cafes. Check out TBC for all of your gear needs. Make sure you go to the Choclate Eclair Shop. Best ever! Also try the afghans and the steak, mince and cheese pies!
This season has been the best I can remember with every weekend being bluebird and lots of them being powder days!
This season a major avalanche took out one of the towers and broke the cable of the top main lift but they have done some excellent work pushing snow around and making new trails.
If you don't mind hiking the summit is around a 1 hour walk from the top of the 6 seater lift with amazing views and you can see the crater lake (it's actually a live volcano that erupted last in 1995)
I have been coming here for over 30 years and have snowboarded all around the world and have had some of the best days of my life here!
Love this mountain :)
Overall: 3.6. Based on 40 votes and 35 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Turoa.
Public Transport: 3.5
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Turoa, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Turoa, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.3
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.4
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Turoa.
Ski in/Ski out: 2.0
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Turoa, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Turoa is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Turoa relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.2
(1) There are no snow groomers at Turoa, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Turoa are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Turoa is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.1
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Turoa, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.3
(1) Turoa usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.3
(1) The staff at Turoa are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Turoa are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.8
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.5
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.1
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Turoa has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Turoa, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.7
(1) Not even a kicker at Turoa, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Turoa, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Turoa has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.4
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.6
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.6
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.5
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.6
(1) Overall, Turoa is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 3.5
(1) Overall, Turoa is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
June 02, 2016
Lukeski from New Zealand
Turoa is a beautiful resort and definitely the best lift accessible terrain on the North Island, with sweeping wide and steep runs of the 6 great back country bowls and shoots all traversable from the lift, and even more just a short hike away, And the glorious descent from the summit is something else when the conditions are right (and you feel like a good walk).
Best time to ski here is definitely midweek as there are no lift lines to worry about, groomers are uncrowded, staff and customers seem genuinely friendlier. I work weekends and get Wednesday, Thursday off work so generally take the Tuesday and Friday off as to get a good amount of days in.
Skiing the weekend at Turoa is another story, however. Turoa gets a lot of traffic during the weekends and school holidays making the field very congested. A combination of Auckland and Wellingtonians and everyone in between heads to the slopes of Ruapaehu at a moment's notice when the conditions are looking good. Meaning the resort gets slammed with gapers of all shapes and sizes looking to score a few good turns. Unfortunately, Turoa only has 1 express chair ( I think Movenpick and Giant should also run express ( Detatchable lifts ) as the ones they are using now are painfully slow. People often complain about the staff especially during busy times, which i don't think is fair; its not their fault thousands of people showed up to ski when the resort can't really handle that many people.
Anyway, I love Turoa. Only a short 4.5 hr drive from home (including a stop at the Taumaranui maccas); can't wait for the first trip this season 1 month to go.
August 28, 2015
Anthony Stone from New Zealand
Great day today. However, really disappointing that from about 11am, for rest of the day, no RAL staff coordinating the queues at the 6 seater chair. Chaos with the majority of chairs having less than 6 people resulting in unnecessary long queues. Come on RAL, expensive day passes deserve better service. The girl who did coordinate was friendly; why did she leave?
June 15, 2015
SkiwiLeCreep from New Zealand
Turoa is a beauty, mate; you're going to have a rad time. Smoking all the kush from those chill lifties and patrollers are pretty chill most of the time. The field is skiable for usually 6 months of the year, unless it gets hammered by that wonderful rain. Heaps of backcountry pow almost as good as skiing mordor. But ,in reality, if you're going to bitch how bad the facilities are just start touring. Maybe ride it how it is. Newschoolers for life.
[note from the editor: edited for the sake of relevance.]
June 05, 2015
bob from New Zealand
Super fun chutes when the powder isn't wind effected. The runs are kinda rubbish; super rocky and super crowded! Shame the lifts don't go higher; a peak run would be fun without the hike. If there's enough snow the chutes are epically fun. The snow can be very disappointing. It's so open that it quickly becomes icy. To sum it up: fun when the chutes are good and rubbish when not.
June 04, 2015
barry william from New Zealand
Management of road is poor; needs patrol and barriers to control speed on Clarry's track. Needs patrol and several gates down Boneyard to make it a safe ski slope for access. Needs patrols on as many runs as practical; shift the patrol from day to day, notify skiers which runs are patrolled. Investigate better queuing methods.Redo the access from bottom of Clarry's to the lift so mobile skiers don't hit skiers getting ready to go to the gate.
November 06, 2014
Craig Phillips from New Zealand
I live just under 2 hrs drive from Turoa. It is a great place! I have been snowboarding at almost every spot in NZ and Turoa is at the top of the commercial fields for me. The upper mountain is wide open, with huge big bowls and gullies and wide open spaces to bomb. If you are super keen there is plenty of accessible stuff to hike. Well groomed terrain park and pistes. Up high and out wide is where it is at. And a season pass for, what, $475? What the hell has anyone go to complain about? 5 days and you get your moneys worth. Whiners, honestly.
I love the club fields of Christchurch but Turoa still rocks for me. I swore I'd never do a commercial fields again after Craigieburn etc but, yeh, Turoa is great. Only downers are that Ruapehu attracts any crap weather around, and in holidays it gets crowded. But spring time, it's really just glorious. And it's open into November too!!
October 01, 2014
Disillusioned from New Zealand
RAL need to do more than just collect the money. No patrols. No controls. Run to bottom down Clancey's track just mayhem 30 Sept. Hoons barrelling through the little kids. Rocks everywhere. A bit of basic grooming around lunchtime would have been a big help, but no grooming all day, anywhere. Definitely South Island next year for us.
October 02, 2013
Leigh Yeoman from New Zealand
I'm sick of negativity.
If you're going to bring your fast pace mentality down from Auckland for the weekend and give everyone grief about how shit the service is and how shit the snow is, push off back to Auckland.
There was a bunch of people on the summit today and the conditions were perfect. Not a bad word to be said. Smiles and positivity everywhere. But on the way up I had to put up with yet another cog in the machine winging his face off.
What is wrong with people, look at where you are and how beautiful it is.
It's seems like everyone with the right attitude knows where to find the snow.
Explore a little more.
September 17, 2013
brams senior from New Zealand
Response to the critics.
It is impossible for me to think of any negatives or to criticise in any way the Turoa experience. As a family we have enjoyed the mountain since the beginning of the 1980's watching it grow and flourish. The staff on Turoa have always been their greatest asset; 2013 has produced even more characters. Don't bitch about the weather, pick your days; so far 14 days this year 12 bluebird! last year and the year before the same, do your research and have a good time. Don't bitch about the bosses. If you have an issue face up to the people that run the place, I have always found the management to be very approachable and they do listen because they do care, so speak up.
Queues on some days are a fact of life on our skifields as is crap weather and remember planning staffing levels without any idea of how many punters may front on a given day is at best a lottery, biggest crowd for me this year a Friday that everybody wagged on! bastards!
Think how lucky you are to be there, relax and enjoy!