Following Last-Minute Government Bail Out, Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand, Opens Tomorrow

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Mt. Ruapehu Sky Waka
Mt. Ruapehu Ski Resort’s Sky Waka Gondola; image:

Winter is on at Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand! Whakapapa and Tūroa is pumped to announce that the winter season is poised for lift-off from this Saturday, 1st July, as the school holidays begin.

After falling into voluntary administration in October 2022, it was touch and go whether the area would ever operate again. However, in a last-minute development, the New Zealand Government loaned up to NZD 5 million to ensure the ski season on Mt Ruapehu proceeds as planned. The Regional Development Minister, Kiri Allan, announced the funding today to save hundreds of jobs and prevent significant economic loss to the region if the season couldn’t proceed. The Government initially declined in December to provide a lifeline to keep it going.

The loan, provided to the Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) liquidators, will buy crucial time for the liquidators to consider potential purchasers for the business and its assets. Minister Allan emphasized the Government’s unwavering commitment to enabling the ski season on Mount Ruapehu to proceed. Cabinet’s decision has now solidified the prospects of a successful season.

Day passes, Sky Waka Gondola sightseeing, and sledding passes are available now to be purchased online, while season passes go on sale Monday, 3rd July, for two weeks.

In exciting news for Life Pass holders, it is confirmed that their passes remain active and valid while Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) operates the 2023 winter season.

As temperatures drop, new snowfall has landed and looks promising over the opening weekend – timed perfectly for the start of the July school holidays, with Sky Waka and snow play open.

“We’re back and ready to host an epic winter of good times on both sides of the maunga. Our teams have been diligently working on getting everything prepped and ready for opening weekend sledding and sightseeing. I’m so proud of our crew who have continued to put in the hard mahi during an extraordinary period for RAL, and we cannot wait to share the treats with all our loyal supporters, skiers, and riders later in July. Stay tuned to for current updates on lifts openings.”

“We’re thrilled with the timing of the snow’s arrival and cannot wait to welcome our manuhiri back to the maunga. It’s time to dust off the thermal undies, sharpen your edges and come support the central North Island tourism operators and communities who deserve a great winter season this year.”

“We’re also very excited to confirm for Life Pass holders that their passes remain honoured whilst RAL is in operation on Mt Ruapehu. We’re calling on Life Pass holders to bring the froth, bring their mates with them, and spend up in the cafes and retail stores to help keep the machine rolling for the season.”

– Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Chief Executive Officer, Jono Dean

The Mt Ruapehu team will progressively open lifts and terrain on both sides of the maunga throughout July and August, as snow conditions and weather allow.

The Tūroa team expects to open all lifts except for the Nga Wai Heke lift, which is undergoing some last-minute maintenance and may open later in the season.

Map showing the location of Mt. Ruapehu.

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