Whakapapa Ski Area, on the northwestern slopes of Mt Ruapehu, is NZ's largest ski area, with more than 65 trails across 1050 hectares and a maximum altitude of 2300m. It's a good spot for beginners with some easy runs. The only accommodation is in private ski-club lodges so most visitors stay at Whakapapa or National Park Village.

The Turoa and Whakapapa Ski Areas are managed by the same company and passes cover both sides of the mountain.